The Welsh Government has issued a direction to prevent Blaenau Gwent Council from giving planning permission to the ‘Circuit of Wales’ motor-racing centre, while ministers decide whether to call the matter in. The council granted outline consent to the Heads of the Valleys Development Company last month.
We were among the objectors who wrote to the Minister for Housing and Regeneration, urging him to call the application in because it is of national significance and contravenes national planning policies, as set out in Planning Policy Wales, regarding national parks, sustainability and common land. Natural Resources Wales, the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, the Gwent and Brecknock Wildlife Trust and many others have also objected.
It is right that the Welsh Government should call this in, and we hope it will do so. Not only does the development have a national impact, on the landscape of a national park, but also it will have a devastating effect on registered common land. Indeed, as we have pointed out, the proposal cannot go ahead until suitable exchange-land has been provided and approved by the Welsh Government.