WELSH language campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith has launched a legal challenge to rules which they claim block councillors from considering the impact planning applications.

The group has said it is concerned new guidelines published by the Welsh Government last year which says councillors cannot request a report on the impact of a planning application on the Welsh Language except in specific cases, such as "big" developments, sites not identified in local development plans or "linguistically significant areas".

Cymdeithas yr Iaith has claimed the guidelines violate the Planning (Wales) Act 2015, which state the Welsh language must be considered in all applications.

The organisation's communities spokesman Jeff Smith said: "We in Cymdeithas firmly believe that the Welsh language belongs to every part of our country, not just some places.

"Since the start of devolution, every government, with cross-party support, has preached and legislated to make that clear. But, when it comes to planning guidance the Labour Welsh Government refuses to give the right for councillors to consider the impact on the language of every type of development in every corner of Wales.

"For example, if there isn't a Welsh-medium school built as part of a new housing estate in Cardiff, or somewhere else in the south east, the government's guidelines as they stand prevent councillors from considering the negative impact on the language.

"That's an approach that's partly responsible for councils like Cardiff Council, historically, stating that the language is not a part of the capital's social fabric and so not relevant to the planning system in the city."

Saying the new regulations were "totally without a basis in the law", he added: "This could be a difficult fight, but it will be a worthwhile one to ensure a bright future for the language in all our communities."

JCP solicitors have sent a pre-action letter to the Welsh Government on behalf of Cymdeithas yr Iaith.