Plaid MP tables key amendments to Localism Bill

Local Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards has laid groundwork that would bring all decisions over the future of energy production in Wales under the remit of the Welsh Government. Mr Edwards said the move was “common sense” and that this would help Wales to influence the renewables agenda and to take creative steps to diversify its energy portfolio.

Mr Edwards has tabled an amendment to the Localism Bill, due to be discussed in the House of Commons next week, which would give the Welsh Assembly the right to decide on planning applications for electricity generating stations in Wales, and offshore in Welsh waters.

At present, the Welsh Assembly only has the power to deal with applications of up to 50MW on Welsh land while the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) deals with applications greater than that. At sea, the Marine Management Organisation has the power to grant consent for applications of up to 100MW, with the IPC having the power above that figure.

The Localism Bill plans to scrap the IPC, with the powers being returned to the Secretary of State in Westminster. Plaid Cymru has argued that it is essential for consistency that all energy decisions for Wales are taken by the Welsh Assembly

Mr Edwards said:

“Energy decisions being made in Wales is a matter of common sense and consistency.

“The Welsh Assembly has powers to grant consent for electricity generation up to 50MW and was busy promoting a renewable energy agenda while Plaid were in government, but developers often went above that figure so that the decisions would be taken out of Welsh hands.

“This would mean that instead of two agendas being in place, there would be just one Welsh agenda to develop and diversify our energy portfolio.

“The amendment that I have laid would also give us powers over Welsh water which would pave the way for a tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay, and for us to take responsibility for our water, and harness green and clean tidal power around our coastline.

“As both the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives in Wales have backed substantial elements of these plans in the past, there is no reason why their coalition in London should not offer these powers to Wales or why Labour should refuse to accept them and continue to let London make decisions for us.”

ENDS / DIWEDD

Notes:

Amendment to the Localism Bill – to be discussed on 17th and 18th May, 2011. Transfer of generating station consent powers to Welsh Ministers:

Jonathan Edwards, NC11

To move the following Clause:—

‘(1) The Secretary of State must make regulations to transfer to the Welsh Ministers those functions of the Infrastructure Planning Commission and the Marine Management Organisation which relate to applications for an order granting development consent for the construction or extension of generating stations in Wales or in waters in or adjacent to Wales up to the seaward limits of the territorial sea.

(2) Regulations made under subsection (1) must be laid within 12 months of the passing of this Act and are subject to the negative resolution procedure.’.

One Response to “Plaid MP tables key amendments to Localism Bill” [latest first]

  1. 13-May-11

    I take the view that the government in Wales (WAG) should decide on all energy issues and i agree with Mr Edwards amendments to the Localism Bill.

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