13 June 2024

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) has called for all Parties to commit involving local communities in planning decisions and integrating the energy policies that support and benefit rural Wales.

Jonathan Dean, Trustee, CPRW said:

“The forthcoming Westminster elections play a vital for the future of the Welsh countryside. Policies for energy and funding that are made in the UK Parliament will affect every part of Wales, but especially rural areas.

“The Welsh public and communities have minimal opportunity to make meaningful change to proposals that may have dramatic impacts on their immediate environment, resulting in disengagement and loss of faith in government policies.

“Our next priority is to ask that all political Parties commit to ensuring that a significant proportion of profits from renewable energy generated onshore and offshore in Wales are retained here, similar to Scotland; this includes energy from the Crown Estate licences. Legislation is needed at Westminster to deliver this.

“Finally, CPRW calls on all Parties at Westminster to hold the UK Government’s feet to the fire on climate change, nature protection and biodiversity recovery policies, to make sure we have a Wales fit for future generations. Above all there must be no watering down of net zero carbon targets to reduce emissions. In parallel there must also be a renewed commitment from the UK Government to work with the Welsh Government on climate and countryside protection policies.”

CPRW asks for commitments from all parties:

  • To develop an integrated offshore electricity transmission grid connecting offshore wind farms and new coastal power stations to main centres of electricity demand, using brownfield sites where possible.
  • Revise the National Policy Statement EN-5 to remove “overhead lines should be the strong starting assumption for electricity networks” and replace it with a commitment to finding  the best solution (subsea, underground, overhead), following the existing Treasury Green Book which values the natural capital of landscapes and countryside.
  • To lease more offshore wind where it is easier and quicker to develop in the shallow Irish Sea off north Wales, so that the Welsh Government does not need to pursue onshore wind and solar exclusively.
  • To make rooftop solar a standard requirement for new buildings, retrofit all possible government buildings and incentivise rooftop installation to avoid the use of greenfield sites.
  • To insist on genuine community engagement at the earliest stage before technology decisions on energy infrastructure are made. Public engagement for Nationally Strategic Infrastructure Projects (NSIP), such as overhead power lines, and Developments of National Significance (DNS), such as onshore wind farms in Wales, only commences once a developer has selected a particular technology option, resulting in consultation events being reduced to “show and tell” roadshows.


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