Area Statements and planning/development

We want to hear from you

These pages are being continuously updated, enabling stakeholders to get a better understanding of how Area Statements apply to their particular areas of work.

This page is intended as an introduction to the Area Statements process, together with the associated challenges, opportunities and emerging ‘themes’, and how that relates to planning and development.

The planning system can make a valuable contribution to many of the challenges and opportunities identified through Area Statements. We are keen to work with planners to implement actions and measures that will address these challenges and opportunities.

You can reach the planning team by contacting us at

Image showing Greener Grangetown scheme in Cardiff

The planning system and Area Statements

Area Statements provide a starting point for planners to understand environmental issues, priorities and opportunities in their particular area and, based on that information, help them identify strategic actions and policies to address through the planning system. It’s a process that complements existing sources of information aimed at enhancing our understanding of where we live.

Development Plans outline the strategic aspirations and objectives of local authorities in directing the right kind of development to the right locations, while also ensuring the sustainable management of the environment and natural resources.

Planning Policy Wales asks local planning authorities to undertake Green Infrastructure Assessments to inform Development Plans. These Assessments can help develop a robust approach to enhancing biodiversity, increasing ecological resilience and improving well-being outcomes, as well as identifying key strategic opportunities for restoring, maintaining, creating and connecting key green infrastructure features.

Area Statements (together with other sources of information) can inform this assessment process, and improve the resilience of the built environment, by identifying opportunities to use nature-based solutions that address local issues such as mitigating the impact of climate change, flood risk or air pollution, or improving availability/accessibility of green space. 

Natural Resources Wales has a number of datasets that can help local planning authorities when it comes to undertaking Green Infrastructure Assessments. We are currently developing a web portal along with guidance supporting local planning authorities to access and optimise these datasets. We will be sharing more information about this as we progress.

Collaborative work

Area Statements are an evolving way of working and, as such, we will be continuing to update and improve our engagement with stakeholders and users. 

We would particularly like to hear from planning stakeholders regarding how the current information and evidence meets your needs, along with how Area Statements can be improved to help you.

We also want to know more about exemplars of sustainable management and where they are occurring, along with helping to develop a common learning agenda (and communicating that learning more widely). Again, please refer to the ‘We want to hear from you’ section at the top of this page regarding how to contact us.

Discovering Area Statement themes

A full description of the different themes that are emerging from across Wales can be found here:

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