WORK has begun on reviewing and replacing the existing blueprint for developing the city of Newport.

The Local Development Plan is the vital framework that determines what types of development will go where in Newport over a 15-year period.

The existing plan expires in 2026, and will take up to five years to replace.

The plan helps to inform decisions on planning applications and is a guide to what can be built and where, allocating land for sectors such as housing, employment, education and recreation.

At the council’s annual general meeting, it was agreed to submit a timetable and review report for a replacement plan to the Welsh Government.

When - and if - the Welsh Government approves this, the process of replacing the current plan can begin.

The review report sets out an overview of the issues to be considered in creating the replacement plan, for example, policy changes, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, tourism, and flood risk.

The council has already undertaken a public consultation, seeking views on what the key issues are.

There were calls in the consultation to protect the Gwent Levels from any further developments, with the “impact of the large renewable energy schemes” being a “real concern”.


Support for developments on brownfield sites was also mentioned. Brownfield land is any previously developed land that is not currently in use, and that may be contaminated.

Unsurprisingly, there was mention of the current coronavirus pandemic and how the plan could help aid the city’s recovery.

The importance of the regeneration of the city centre was also raised.

There will be a chance further down the line for the general public to have a say on where developments should or should not take place.

Why does the current plan need reviewing?

Councils in Wales are required to review their development plans every four years, but Newport was able to extend this because at the time it “was not considered necessary” after discussions with the Welsh Government.

The current plan, which came into effect in 2015 is now six years old, and a report says, “it is considered that a review is now needed in order to ensure that the plan continues to respond to the challenges and opportunities in Newport”.

The report says that many of Newport’s larger housing sites “have now been successfully completed” and there is a need to “identify further growth sites”.

The current plan expires in 2026 and there is a danger that if a review does not take place now, then Newport will be without any policy, which could effectively mean there is nothing to prevent planning applications getting approved.

What is the timeline?

The council's cabinet agreed in October 2020 to review the current plan and launched public consultation in March.

The council has agreed to submit this and the delivery agreement, which includes the timetable, to the Welsh Government. It is expected that this will be approved, and a formal start can be made on a new plan later this month.

This would then trigger stage two of the eight-stage process.

The second stage focuses on gathering the necessary information to create a draft. In stage three a preferred strategy will be created, while stage four is creating a draft plan.

Stage five involves submitting the draft to the Welsh Government, stage six sees it examined, while stage seven is the release of the inspector’s report.

If all goes according to plan, the final stage will take place in February 2025, which will see the local development plan adopted.

The replacement plan will cover the period 2021-2036.