Julie James, the Climate Change Minister for the Welsh Government has laid the Infrastructure (Wales) Bill and its Explanatory Memorandum before Senedd Cymru.
James states that the Welsh government sees it as an important step towards ensuring that significant infastructure projects in Wales are delivered in a timely manner and is a crucial part of ensuring the attempt to reach ‘net zero’ emissions by 2050.
The Bill introduces a new unified consenting process for Wales that will apply both on land in Wales’ territorial sea. Currently licensing and other consent requirements all come under different regimes. The aim is to provide a transparent, thorough and consistent Process that will allow local communities to better understand and engage more effectively in decisions that affect them. The Welsh Government says that the need for this Bill has arisen as a result of the Wales Act 2017, that led to further devolution of powers for consent regarding power generation developments, overhead power lines, ports and harbours and infrastructure work of differing types.
The Bill also applies a framework for significant infastructure projects that Welsh Government Ministers are responsible in giving consent towards including, onshore and offshore energy generating satitions, certain electric lines associated with these stations, and also works on highways and railways as well as wastewater treatment plants.
James will make an oral statement before the Senedd on Tuesday 13 June in order to further outline details of the aims, objectives and contents of the Bill.