Sustainable communities are communities that work with the environment and nature, use good sustainable building materials, have integrated public transport to connect them to the wider community, active travel routes for people to use for commuting, recreation and tourism, lots of open green spaces for people to enjoy, and has good connectivity to the wider world to enable remote working, social inclusion and tele-base economy to develop.
In essence, CPRW believes that sustainable communities incorporate all of the elements of good planning, sustainable / affordable housing, connectivity and sustainable transport. A community that works and thrives for everyone.
Rural Wales, in particular, is suffering from a housing shortage. In some areas this has been exacerbated by the rise of Airbnb and other holiday homes, which in some instances have had dire consequences on the sustainability of the community itself. From coastal areas of the Llŷn Peninsula to Pembrokeshire, small communities have become like ghost towns for half the year and congested for the remainder. This heavily impacts the sense of community and community cohesion and often outprices the locals.
CPRW is supportive of moves by the Welsh Government and Local Authorities to increase council tax on empty properties and second homes. However, this needs to be implemented in a sensible way to ensure tourism is not completely stifled as it is an important part of both the local and national economies.
More affordable, sustainable housing is also needed, particularly in some semi urban areas, but this needs to be done in a sustainable, sensible way that works with existing settlements and the environment around it. CPRW believes that the Welsh Housing Standard should go further to include better insulation and energy generation and storage to new builds. We must build smarter!
We strongly campaign for brownfield sites to be used before considering anything in open countryside and particularly the green belt. See Planning.
We’re working with local partners and urging the government to create well-designed, vibrant places that people want to live in – with the homes people need, public transport links and easy access to work, leisure and nature.