Details of the Welsh review of governance of designated landscapes published

Professor Terry Marsden, Director of Cardiff University’s Sustainable Places Research Institute, will chair the independent panel which will carry out the review of governance arrangements for Wales’s designated landscapes.

Announcing the decision, Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant said:
“Our designated landscapes are one of the key things that make Wales distinctive. Their landscapes, and the communities within them, are an important part of what makes Wales special environmentally, socially and culturally. In addition, they play a significant economic role with the qualities that make them special attracting many millions of visitors every year.
“Given their importance, I want to ensure that our designated landscapes are best equipped to meet current and future challenges while building upon their internationally recognised status. The review will consider whether the existing arrangements are best-placed to deliver these objectives and, if not, what changes should be made in order to achieve them.
“The panel has a wealth of experience in this area and I know they will undertake a thorough review collating and weighing up the evidence and views that will be gathered over the coming months. I thank them for their commitment and look forward to reading their recommendations.”

The review will be carried out in two stages and at each stage the panel will call for evidence and seek views from stakeholders, communities within the designated landscapes and the wider general public. Evidence gathering activities including written submissions, face-to-face meetings, public workshops and an online consultation will be arranged.

The first stage of the review will examine the designations themselves, looking at their purpose and the merits of classifying Wales’ designated landscapes under one type of designation.

The second stage will consider the governance arrangements and consider the recommendations of the Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery as part of this. It will also take account of the Planning (Wales) Bill in respect of the future arrangements for planning in National Parks.

Mr Marsden said he was pleased to be appointed chair of the panel: “In conducting our work and making recommendations, it will be particularly important that we gather a variety of types of evidence from both stakeholders and members of the public, so I urge all those with an interest to have their say.

“Our protected landscapes have served the public well over at least two generations, but as we are all aware, they now face new more complex challenges, but also opportunities. We hope therefore that the review will be an opportunity to create a realistic vision and governance framework for Wales, whcih will provide the basis for them to continue to deliver the needs of our present and future generations,” he added.