Planning decisions must consider Welsh
COUNTY councils in Wales should take language issues into account when determining planning applications in largely Welsh speaking areas.
Welsh Government Housing and Regeneration Minister Carl Sargeant yesterday published updated guidance on how the Welsh language should be considered in the planning system.
First Minister Carwyn Jones has pledged to tackle a decline in the percentage of Welsh speakers in traditional Welsh speaking heartlands following Census results earlier this year that should numbers were falling.
Mr Jones said: "The Welsh Government is committed to promoting and facilitating the use of the Welsh language.
"Issuing this revised TAN 20 delivers on the commitment we gave in the Welsh Language Strategy for 2012-17 and I am grateful for the support and guidance received from the Welsh Language Commissioner during its preparation."
Mr Sargeant added: "We recognise that the planning system can help to create the social and economic conditions which give people the opportunity to speak Welsh.
"This revised TAN provides local authorities with clarity regarding how Welsh language considerations should feed into the preparation of their Local Development Plans."
"The guidance means that local planning authorities who have identified the language as an important local issue, must in future take the language into consideration as part of their LDP and must consult the Welsh Language Commissioner when preparing and reviewing the plan.
"In this way planning authorities will be able to use their LDP to mitigate the impacts on the language that can result from new development."
Dyfed Edwards, Welsh Local Government Association spokesperson for housing, said it would assist councils when faced with applications for new developments in Welsh speaking areas.