The Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Climate Change – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has written to the First Minister to outline her alarm about the impact that guidance on phosphates, issued by Natural Resources Wales, is having on the housing sector in Wales.
It comes after Janet was notified that the delivery of all new homes, both affordable and private, are being negatively affected in numerous authorities including Monmouth, Newport, Carmarthenshire, Wrexham, Flintshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Brecon Beacons National Park, and Powys.
Janet, who is the Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy, has now called on the devolved administration to focus their policy might on a “rapid and overdue upgrade” to the sewerage system, which she says can capture nutrients closer to the source before they enter Welsh watercourses.
Commenting on the urgent letter to the First Minister, Janet said:
“Phosphate is naturally occurring, and is released slowly, at low levels, from natural sources. It is only right that action is taken to safeguard our watercourse, but the present and regrettable blanket policy is only posing a considerable barrier to developments we need during the current housing crisis. “The Home Builders Association have been clear to me that the industry is keen to play its part to enhance the environment. However, the significant challenges associated with the scale of the nature-based projects needed renders them unfeasible. “This is why I am calling on the First Minister to pursue the possibility of focusing his policy might on a rapid and overdue upgrade to the sewerage system, especially wastewater treatment plants, so that these can capture nutrients closer to the source before they enter our watercourses. “I am clear that there is an urgent need to undertake a virtual stakeholder meeting to address these concerns, to include representatives of local planning authorities, builders, architects, Welsh Water, NRW, and Welsh Government. Should the First Minister not be willing to undertake such action, I have assured him that it is a step I will take in his stead.”
Notes to Editors:
Please find a copy of Janet’s letter below.
Photo: Janet Finch-Saunders MS/AS