First Minister seals first Act in office ensuring Wales is ‘more attractive’ to infrastructure projects

Measures to modernise and simplify the process behind developing significant infrastructure projects in Wales have today become law – as the Infrastructure (Wales) Act gained Royal Assent.

The new legislation, which was passed by the Senedd in April, introduces major changes to the legislative framework and will speed up the consenting process on both land and in the territorial sea.

This unified approach to the consenting process will create more consistency and certainty in Wales’s ability to deliver, develop and attract further infrastructure investment.

Sealing his first Act since taking office, First Minister Vaughan Gething said:

“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.”

Cabinet Secretary for Housing, Local Government and Planning, Julie James, said:

“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.”

To ensure the smooth implementation of the new legislation, two consultation papers have been issued.

The first consultation paper focuses on the pre-application consultation procedure seeking ideas and suggestions from local communities and other interested parties on how pre-application consultation should be conducted.

The second consultation paper focuses on fees for the consenting process.

Local communities and other key stakeholders are encouraged to engage with the consultations to help shape developments which affect them.

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