Welsh infrastructure investment with streamlined consent process | Public Sector Executive

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The Welsh Government has announced that new measures to make the nation more attractive for infrastructure investment have come into law.

After being given Royal Assent, the Infrastructure (Wales) Act has become law, now simplifying the way that significant infrastructure projects in Wales are developed. The act sees major changes being made to the legislative framework, making it easier to gain consent for projects on land and at sea.

By making it easier to gain consent, more consistency and certainty can be created in how Wales is able to deliver, develop and attract further investment in infrastructure.

Vaughan Gething, Wales’ First Minister, spoke about his first act since taking office:

“There is no greater challenge than the climate emergency so I’m delighted this new law will play a key role in delivering the Welsh Government’s renewable energy targets.

“As we move towards ‘net zero’ emissions by 2050, we need to transform our economy to power green prosperity. This new legislation will allow us to consent to such infrastructure projects in a robust, but timely manner.”

So that the implementation of the new legislation is as smooth as possible, two consultation papers have been issued. The first of these will focus on the pre-application consultation feature, with ideas and suggestions being sought from local communities and interested parties on how the process should be conducted.

The second paper will focus on fees for the consenting process.

Cabinet Secretary For Housing, Local Government and Planning, Julie James, also commented:

“Having an effective and efficient consenting process is vital to deliver significant infrastructure projects in Wales which make a positive contribution towards our social, economic and environmental prosperity and net zero ambitions.

“Not only will it improve the competitiveness of Wales as an attractive place for investment and jobs, it will also empower local communities and other key stakeholders by providing robust opportunities to engage in an open and transparent process to help shape developments which affect them.

“I am committed to working closely with stakeholders during the development of the subordinate legislation to help ensure the infrastructure consenting process operates effectively, efficiently and with maximum engagement.”

 

Image credit: iStock

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