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Greenfield Every Time

Green belts are much in the news at the moment as campaigners all over the country strive to protect them from the tsunami of unwanted and unnecessary low-density development being forced on them. But despite this gathering tide of public opinion, you still see Sprawl Lobby practitioners moaning tha...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 13 March 2017

The Fourteen Year Itch

There is quite an irony in the decision to call the housing white paper Fixing Our Broken Housing Market. It was with that very objective in mind that HM Treasury, no less than 14 years ago, began its assault on the planning system and the environment that has so damaged our land. The Treasury-apos-...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 24 February 2017

Petrolhead Paradise

Almost five years ago, the then deputy prime minister Nick Clegg offered a conference three alternative ways of meeting housing shortages. We could, he said, either condemn ourselves to damaging the countryside by haphazard urban sprawl, we could cram ever more people into cities, concreting over ga...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 16 February 2017

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Confused messages in Welsh transport plans

Added on 23 September 2016

The Welsh Government has set out a five-year plans for a sustainable economy and public services, but its commitment to motorway construction as well as public transport indicates continuing conflict in its aims.

First minister Carwyn Jones said the five-year plan, Taking Wales Forward, makes clear a relentless focus on improving the economy and public services, making Wales prosperous, secure, healthy, active, ambitious, learning, united and connected.

On the environment, its aims include working towards an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse emissions by 2050.

Its transport proposals, however, include a substantial increase in emissions by building the 24km M4 relief road and improvements to the A55, A40 and other trunk roads.

The document does, however, include a commitment to creating a South Wales Metro system and to advance development of a metro for north Wales.

The Campaign for Better Transport welcomed the commitment to public transport, including tackling lack of funding for buses.

But it said it was disappointing this would be undermined by the M4 plans whose £1bn cost would starve the transport system of essential investment.

"A new motorway across the Gwent Levels would be hugely expensive in both financial and environmental terms, and its construction would take Wales backward not forward," said head of campaigns James MacColl.

Taking Wales Forward

Campaign for Better Transport

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