Concern at Welsh Government plan to ‘force thousands of new houses’ on Welsh speaking areas

New build housing. Picture by David P. Howard (CC-BY-SA 2.0).

The Welsh language society have described a Welsh government plan to force councils to build thousands of new homes as a potentially fatal blow to the Welsh language.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith said that the government’s new National Development Framework amounted to a “Western Britain Development Framework”.

The plan will set the direction for new housing and transport projects in Wales from 2020 to 2040. It sets out where the government thinks funding and investment should go and where development should happen.

But by including Carmarthenshire and Swansea in the same region and creating one region for the North, they were likely to encourage the over-development of houses in  areas which will be harmful to the Welsh language, Cymdeithas yr Iaith said.

Robat Idris, Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s Sustainable Communities Group, said the plan seemed to be an attempt to tie Wales closer to England.

“It’s uncomfortably close to the idea of the ‘Western Gateway’ which attempts to tie south-east Welsh to Bristol; the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ which connects north Wales with northern England up to the Humber in north-east England; the ‘Midlands Engine’ which drags mid-Wales further and further towards the midlands of England,” he said.

“The attention paid to the Welsh language is scant and superficial. ‘National Development Framework’ says the Government, but ‘Exploitation Framework for Wales’ would be a more appropriate title.

“There is no doubt, the proposals in this document could be a fatal blow to the Welsh language, especially in Carmarthenshire and the North. The proposals promote large developments that will promote inward migration and transport connections that are going to promote outward migration.

“Without a doubt, it will undermine the Government’s own language policies, including their aim of reaching a million Welsh speakers. The structure of three regions, with some members unelected, taking precedence over the priorities of the County Councils, is a way of trampling local communities underfoot in order to facilitate capitalist plans which will primarily benefit outside capital.

“The Welsh language will be one of the things that are trampled.”

‘Building block’

In his forward to the plan, the First Minister Mark Drakeford said that the National Development Framework has combatting inequality at its core.

“The National Development Framework is another building block in making Wales a fair, green and prosperous place,” he said.

“It covers a range of issues and challenges, including energy supply, transport, the natural environment, housing and industrial development.

“We can’t pretend that a long-term plan will eliminate all the tensions which are an inevitable part of policymaking, but it will give us a basis for our decisions and help explain how decisions are reached.

“The National Development Framework is clear about what kind of place we want Wales to be by 2040 and that clear vision will be priceless as we take big decisions that affect the future of our country.”

The consultation on the proposed National Development Framework ends on Friday 15 November.

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Simon Gruffydd
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Simon Gruffydd

Quote by Mark Drakeford, my emphasis: “The National Development Framework is clear about what kind of place WE WANT WALES TO BE BY 2040 and that clear vision will be priceless as WE TAKE BIG DECISIONS that affect the future of our country.” In this simple statement the central problem of modern politics is revealed for all to see: It’s all about a small group of people imposing their “vision” on everyone else, coercing people by laws, taxes, rules, regulations and subsidies to get their way. It has nothing to do with democracy (bottom up people power) and has more… Read more »

Charles L. Gallagher
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Charles L. Gallagher

Hi Simon, In the old days, they just shipped us pesky Gaelic/Welsh speakers off to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and not forgetting that amazing Welsh community in Patagonia. What Scotland and Wales need is a Norway style of local decision making where nearly all matters concerning ‘a local Area’ came within the aegis of a very strong, well funded ‘Community Council’. Of course, the chances of this ever happening while the ultimate purse strings are controlled by Wastemonster we have fat chance. And, while we in Scotland have more control than our friends in Cardiff we’ve had to centralize some… Read more »

jr humphrys
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jr humphrys

Charles is right.
We know this is Lebensraum, and aided by so-called Welsh Labour.
But are the Welsh people up to fighting it?

Dr John Ball
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Dr John Ball

I hear a rumour that there is an opposition party in the Assembly called Plaid Cymru.
Can’t be – too busy colluding with unionists and getting stuck in the mud of brexit.
I had cause to travel through Ceredigion last week, judging by the number of orange posters the Plaid Cymru inspired remain alliance deal is going well

jr humphrys
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jr humphrys

This “collusion” is a one off, as you well know, to keep us in the EU, save jobs
and achieve independence from a position of relative prosperity.
“After Brexit, things will get worse than Brexit.” say some writers. Chilling stuff.
I support Plaid in the “collusion”, but if Brexit happens…………………………………

Dr John Ball
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Dr John Ball

If not “collusion” what is it? No, naivety perhaps is a better word. Whilst I wish Ben Lake well, the reality is that this alliance is one sided and could well result in PC having less Westminster seats. So how does that help the independence cause?
These are the same Lib Dems who in 2017 rejoiced at Tory victories over SNP candidates and have set themselves clearly against independence; indeed are remarkably quiet about their *irrelevant) policy of federalism.
If – heaven forbid – Ben Lake loses, Adam Price has some explaining to do.

jr humphrys
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jr humphrys

For heavens sake!
1. If we manage to stay in the European Union, we may Evolve to Independence.
2. If Brexit happens, we enter a game called Liberation of our Colony which
may be a much nastier experience.
Is that clear enough?

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

“Evolve within the EU” ? Oh yes, that’s bound to happen. Recent indifference to the events in Spain/Catalunya shows EU stance on any secession within member states. EU loves sticking its oar into the domestic jurisdiction of states outside of the EU but any attempt to seek independence from a member state is taboo. A EU of 30-40 member states with say UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Spain fragmented into smaller states would be great but won’t be tolerated.

jr humphrys
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jr humphrys

The EU has no power to do anything about Catalunia.
The drive from Macron, is for a federated Europe.
This will greatly aid such small nations in saving their cultures.
Insular British Brexiteers hate the idea of the federation.
The Europeade is, at present, made up of some 26 countries.

Iran Dafis
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Iran Dafis

Saving their cultures??? Like they have done with English culture in London, Birmingham and many other towns and cities you mean?……..Like they have done in Sweden and are doing in Ireland you mean?…..you Sir are deluded….

jr humphrys
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jr humphrys

You can cut the Sir crap for a start.
It’s up to the English, they have tremendous power.
You actually believe that the EU forced immigration?
And you call me deluded, lol!
This began way before Ted Heath got on his knees to the EU to save the UK.
Svenska is doing okay,btw.

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

“The EU has no power to do anything about Catalunia” and by the same token it will have no powers to foster independence here in Wales. So looking to the EU for any kind of endorsement other than support for the status quo of big states is quite pointless.

Gareth Westacott
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Gareth Westacott

No ‘power’. What about just a teeny-weeny bit of criticism, then? Go easy on the baton charges, maybe?

Richard
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Richard

Are suggesting the EU should interfere in internal Spanish politics? The EU is essentially a trading organisation. It has no right or indeed mechanism to enable Catalan independece.

Gareth Westacott
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Gareth Westacott

Just a ”trading organisation’? No, it is a political project – ‘Ever closer union.’

A prophecy is buried in Eglwyseg
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A prophecy is buried in Eglwyseg

How many bridges must an Englishman cross to reach a Welsh-speaking town?

Richard Jenkins
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Richard Jenkins

The other elephant is the raping of our country by the Volume House Builders these plans facilitate! VHB’s do not purchase locally! They often do not employ locally They employ sub contractors at often penurious rates They are low providers of apprentices compared to local builders They do not build for local need They build mini mansions for wealthy incomers They do not address the needs f the first time buyer adequately They build solely for profit Huge profits! One of the most profitable industries you could have invested your money in ( if you had any) over the last… Read more »

John Evans
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John Evans

Historic names lost. Social housing ignored. Buyers ripped off by building scams. I don’t get out much as 24/7 carer for my disabled wife. But when we recently traveled by ambulance to Cardiff (hospital visit). I was shocked by the extent of development from the old rhydlafar hospital site all the way into Llandaff. I question why I know of so many empty abandoned properties accross the valleys.

Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

The Greater ( or simply enlarged) Cardiff project rumbles on with all parties nodding it through while mouthing platitudes about the “need” to disperse work further afield to cut down commuting and restore some equilibrium in the communities in the South Wales Valleys and even further afield. This is the cynical posturing of idle politicians and their salaried senior staffs who couldn’t give a toss about the life being sucked out of communities that deserve better.

pete
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pete

Minority welsh language has been used for too long to halt progress…..bring it on

pete
Guest
pete

Robert Idris ”tie wales close to England”

What a bozzo! wales has no internal economy, virtually everything sold in wales comes from or through England, the trade routes of both north and south wales are east into England, there is no south north economy. Wales is only an entity because of the minority welsh language and sport.

K.K
Guest
K.K

Very well pointed out Pete. I’ve often said it myself that the agricultural sector in Wales is a work of fiction and that any claims it makes millions every year through exports to Europe were exaggerated. Vis-à-vis energy, water and other foodstuffs.

Are you still playing with crayons?

and finally..

How is Aberystwyth these days?

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

You’ve isolated the problem very well. Question is, what are the Welsh Government going to do about it, or alternatively, what will their limited powers ALLOW them to do about it? There’s very little that can be done in the present set-up, it seems, even if a Welsh Government had the political will. By the time we see the inevitable break-up of the British state, it may be too late for Wales, unless we elect a government that will have the courage to pass the right legislation.

Gareth Westacott
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Gareth Westacott

Drakeford is right behind it! They’re only too happy to go along with it! And (apart from a few honorable individuals) Plaid Cymru, as a party, raises not even a whimper of protest against it.

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

This issue needs to go in Plaid Cymru’s 2021 Senedd election manifesto, but right now they need to challenge it strongly in Cardiff Bay, or are Wales’s colonisation-problems of secondary importance while everyone’s doing their Brexit thing? Take note, Mr. Price, that Drakeford will press on with this insane project irrespective of whether we remain in the EU or not.

Dave Brooker
Guest
Dave Brooker

Surely if you build houses in Wales, ordinary Welsh people will buy them??

Why would development have any effect one way or the other on the small number of Welsh speakers??

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

No, they’re unaffordable for most locals. The concern is not just for those parts of the country with a small number of Welsh speakers, but for those areas with a Welsh-speaking majority. Many people regard unwanted and unaffordable housebuilding as a greater problem in Welsh-speaking parts because of the inevitable impact of demographic change — few purchasers of new-build housing in these areas are from Wales, because of the cost , as well as the depressed, tourism-based local economy.

Dave Brooker
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Dave Brooker

Welsh people will be more likely to stay in their home towns and villages if there’s a good supply of decent family homes, it’s this weird paranoia from the language enthusiasts which is holding the country back, retired English people want cottages and smallholdings, not modern estate houses

jr humphrys
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jr humphrys

Pam mae hi’n rhyfedd?

Ann powell
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Ann powell

Well Plaid are great advocates for the free movement of people, so what do you expect? Or is it a case of any one except the English, or English speaking Welsh people, they cant have it all ways.

Gareth Westacott
Guest
Gareth Westacott

You can’t expect Plaid Cymru to oppose it because, being good ‘International socialists’, salivating over this multi-cultural paradise, and ‘celebrating diversity,’ they are ideologically committed to immigration.

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

A Plaid councillor did make a stand against anglicisation of the Bro Gymraeg a few years ago, and was accused of ‘racism’! That’s almost the last we’ve heard on the problem from Plaid since then, to the best of my knowledge. You’re right about Plaid Cymru’s failure to protect Welsh-speaking regions. History will judge them harshly over this. It’s a great shame that there are people who are able to make racist comments about Welsh-speakers and are not punished for it, as they would be for similar comments about ethnic minorities. You can find two examples of such trolls in… Read more »

Stuart Stanton
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Stuart Stanton

Judging by the total, complete and utter shambles of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ there is next-to-nothing to be concerned about. As the great Jim Royle would say ‘Northern bloody Powerhouse my arse!’