Formal recommendations

Our formal recommendations require a response from Welsh Government, within 6 months for ‘the vast majority’ of cases, and always within a year.

Renewable energy

These recommendations were made in October 2023. Welsh Government responded in May 2024.

1. Welsh Government should produce a vision for energy in Wales to 2050National Energy Plan for Wales will be developed by end 2024
2. Strategic approach to grid development in WalesSupport a strategic approach; working with Ofgem, UK Government and network companies
3. Ofgem to reform grid access policySupport an approach that policy should drive planning and delivery of grid
4. Immediate review of Part L of building regulationsPart L 2025 review has commenced; public consultation later this year
5. Permitted development reviewPermitted development is kept under review. Air source heat pumps need more work.
6. ‘Positive silence’ on planning applications for renewablesReject.
7. Pooled planning resource for energy in Welsh public sectorKeen to explore ways to meet the demand on planning and consenting
8. Legislate for more community ownershipReject the need for legislation. Highlight of existing activity in the sector.
9. Require community ownership; reduce planning burden for repoweringHighlight existing activity in the community energy sector.
10. ‘Presumed consent’ for community projects in Freeport areasReject.
11. Devolve the Crown Estate completely to WalesAccept

NICW opinion

Our opinions, as distinct from our Formal Recommendations, do not require a formal response from Welsh Government.

Roads and cars

These suggestions were made in February 2023. No response was required from Welsh Government.

NICW opinion or suggestionStatus
1. Road projects should consider a wide range of infrastructure considerations, such as health and well-being
2. New road infrastructure, and existing road infrastructure that is targeted for maintenance or upgrade, should seek Design Commission for Wales and ‘Building with Nature’ (or equivalent) accreditation. 
3. Any activity on new or upgraded roads should consider whether it is possible to integrate electricity, gas, hydrogen, telecommunications and water infrastructure as part of delivering a ‘public good’ and to reduce overall costs to society
4. We would like to see pilot schemes to evaluate whether subsiding bus transport to very low or zero cost at the point of use could reduce congestion and car use in Wales’ urban centres.
5. We would like to encourage debate around roads to include ‘retiring’ those that do not contribute in a reasonable way to local well-being beyond their core function, to provide new functions of local connectivity, active travel and green infrastructure. 
6. We would like to see more ambition on real time road charging, congestions zones, increasing car parking permit fees and workplace parking levies
7. Welsh Government should raise ambition for existing and new roads, requiring ‘nature positive’ outcomes
8. Public bodies in Wales should consider the changing nature of car ownership and road transport when considering transport infrastructure
9. Future road investments should be made using a multi-modal regional approach that considers needs (including psychological) of all user groups
10. A proportion of the roads budget should be spent on digital technologies such as digital twins, that are utilised in the planning, design, construction and operation phases to minimise carbon and more effectively manage traffic movements via real time data
11. Where possible, reallocate any unspent capital earmarked for roads towards sustainable transport infrastructure

Infrastructure Bill

These suggestions were made in July 2023.

NICW opinion or suggestionStatus
1. We would like to see the importance of involving people in planning highlighted and strengthened through the Bill and any accompanying statutory instruments.NICW gave oral evidence to the Senedd Committee. In their report, the Committee recommended that Welsh Government provided more clarity on good practice for consultation processes
2. We would expect the legislation to be aware of the future energy and infrastructure needs of Wales and of potential shifts in devolved competence.


These suggestions were made in August 2023.

NICW opinion or suggestionStatus
1. We would like to see the creation of a four-nation intergovernmental working group on the UK electricity grid and renewable infrastructureNICW will be meeting officials from Scottish and Welsh Governments to progress