Housing and planning

Planning developments and the housing market can lead to challenges and opportunities in terms of the linguistic profile of communities.

On the one hand, housing developments can lead to in-migration from other areas into communities with a high density of Welsh speakers resulting in changing the main language of the community from Welsh. On the other hand, a shortage of housing can mean that local young people can often not afford to buy homes in their communities and therefore new housing developments can make affordable housing available locally. 

Other factors such as economic and social ones, the increase in second homes and low wages also affect the housing market and the affordability of housing in many communities. 

The Planning (Wales) Act 2015 established, for the first time, the statutory basis for the need to consider the Welsh language in the planning system; and this was a significant step forward. 

Our recent publications in this field contains:

A review of Welsh planning authorities’
procedures

There is no consistency in planning authorities’ policies in terms of the Welsh language.

There is a lack of assurance that the potential impact of developments on the language is reliably assessed, and that appropriate steps are taken to promote the Welsh language.

There is a need to provide a clear and detailed guidance to the Planning Inspectorate and local authorities on how to assess the impact on the Welsh language.