Cross-party Planning Bill report's Welsh language emphasis welcomed


Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg has warmly welcomed a cross-party report on the Planning Bill published today (January 30). 
The committee, made up of Assembly Members from all parties has supported, supports a number of the language group's main recommendations including making the Welsh language a statutory material consideration, establishing a system for Welsh language impact assessments of developments and and a statutory purpose of the planning system. 
Tamsin Davies, sustainable communities spokesperson for Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg commented: 
"We very much welcome this report, in particular its support for putting the Welsh language at the heart of the system and measures to return power to communities. We now expect the Government to amend the Bill so that the system is more sustainable for every community in the country. If the Government doesn't listen, we will consider challenging this law in the courts. This is such an important issue for the language, we must consider every possible option available to us. 
"After all, this Bill needs to reflect Wales' unique needs in order to improve the environment, strengthen the Welsh language, and tackle poverty. We can't afford this copy and paste job from the system in England, it could be the death knell of our Welsh-speaking communities otherwise." 
The committee report comes after Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg said it has started to take legal steps challenging the legislation on the grounds the Government has ignored the Welsh Language Commissioner's advice on the legislation. Last year, seven council leaders wrote to the Government about the Bill complaining about its failure to help the language.