Dyfodol i'r Iaith, the campaign group founded last year, reported yesterday that it had been notified by the Welsh Government that its request to call in the controversial planing application for almost 300 houses in Penybanc near Ammanford had been rejected by the minister responsible, Carl Sargeant, who thereby continues what has become a tradition of sitting on his hands whenever anything to do with Carmarthenshire drops into his in-tray.
As has become clear to everybody in the last few months, there is nothing in Welsh government planning policy apart from a few warm words to protect Welsh-speaking communities from over-development. Slow worms and moths have much greater rights.
If not the language, there were other grounds under which the application could have been called in, including the trashing by the council of its own Unitary Development Plan.
Speaking for Dyfodol i'r Iaith, Heini Gruffudd, a respected academic, told Taro'r Post on Radio Cymru that he hoped Leighton Andrews would now intervene and work with Carmarthenshire County Council to put the application on hold while the Commission he set up continues to examine the reasons for the decline of the language in Carmarthenshire.
Heini Gruffudd also called for all larger planning applications to be passed to the Language Commissioner for review until such time as the Government completes its revision of planning policies as they affect the language.
Both are utterly sensible and fair suggestions, but neither will be taken up in Cardiff Bay which responded to criticism yesterday with an obfuscatory statement claiming that a new TAN20 was in progress.
TAN20 is the wholly ineffective and now pretty much obsolete planning guidance which deals with the language. Consultation on a replacement for this four page document ended two years ago, and the dust has been settling on it ever since.
Sorry, but the Welsh language will never be allowed to have an effect, any effect, on commerce or the everyday movement of people and capital throughout the European economic area.
Scream and shout all you like, language simply doesn't count, not even the Welsh language.
Mind, I suppose things could be different if we voted to leave the EU.
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