A CONWY cllr has won a David versus Goliath battle against the Welsh Government to protect greenfield sites from development.

Cllr Mike Priestley took up the cudgels to change a policy called TAN1 which allowed housing developers to get planning consent for schemes which were not currently included in the Local Development Plan.

He said: “In fighting my campaign to ditch TAN 1 it at times has felt like a David versus Goliath fight to change Welsh Government policy, but with support and a lot of determination, I feel this is what I have achieved.

“TAN 1 is the technical advice note that has led to some of our green fields being built upon, Marl Lane and Sychnant Pass are examples and there are many more not only in Conwy but across Wales, most of these fields are not in the Local Development Plans (LDP) and go against the wishes of local communities, in some instances tearing them apart.”

He added: “I am delighted that TAN 1 has been ditched, sadly too late for some green fields but now it has gone other greens sites will be safer from development. The agreed Local Development plans are the correct place to deal with housing growth and hopefully now speculative planning applications will go too.”

A letter from Julie James, Welsh Minister for Local; Government, explained the policy U turn, she said: “In response to concerns expressed by local planning authorities and communities regarding speculative residential planning applications, the Welsh Government has undertaken a review of the delivery of housing through the planning system.”

She added following the review she had decided to replace the five year housing land supply policy and make it explicit that the housing targets set out in the local authorities’ LDPs, will be the basis for monitoring the delivery of housing. This decision revokes TAN1.

Janet Finch-Saunders, AM for Aberconwy, who also campaigned for the removal of the policy said: “I welcome the scrapping of TAN 1 and that we can finally close the door on all the trouble it has caused and which has helped see controversial planning applications driven through in Aberconwy.

“It is just a shame that this common sense move has taken so long to be implemented.

“Just imagine, if it had been implemented sooner, we could potentially have saved a number of green fields for urbanisation”.