Ceredigion AM Elin Jones has called on the Welsh Government to ensure that the Planning Bill, currently proposed at the Assembly, does not jeopardise open spaces.

The current draft Planning Bill seeks to emulate legislation recently passed in England, making it more difficult to register land as a town or village green.

Elin Jones said,

“Reform of our planning system is clearly needed – too often it’s slow and bureaucratic. But this proposal is one which concerns me. Green spaces within the centres of our towns and villages are very valuable. The proposed changes risk keeping people in the dark. Residents will not necessarily know that the land is under threat and once they become aware of this it may be too late to register it.

“There is very little evidence that the current rules surrounding Village Greens are being used to systematically frustrate development. In the few instances we have in Ceredigion – in Talybont and in Maesglas, Cardigan - they can be a valuable protection for local people seeking to protect small plots of green land in areas which are already heavily built-up.

“The Government needs to tread carefully here. I’ll certainly be scrutinising this legislation very closely when it comes before the Assembly.”