CLA Wales continues to call for permitted development rights for small-scale renewable energy installations on non-domestic properties if Wales is to take maximum advantage of the boost in demand for renewable energy generation.
When England introduced permitted development rights back in April this year, the CLA urged the Welsh Government to put Wales in-line with both England and Scotland. This still has not happened.
Talking at the CLA press briefing at this week's Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells, CLA Director Ben Underwood said: "Renewable energy projects have offered a potential lifeline to many of our members and the introduction of the Feed-in Tariff has been the key catalyst in getting these projects off the ground. But, sadly the planning authorities in Wales have been more than difficult and in many cases impossible to deal with which has slowed the growth in what should be a dynamic sector."
"This has been detrimental to such projects which is criminal when we are desperate to boost the rural economy.
"We need positive joined up thinking with all parties involved to support such projects to speed up the process. We recognise that this is new territory particularly hydro schemes where each one has its different issues. CLA members who are involved in hydro schemes have had to deal with a number of authorities in planning, the environment and archeological matters as well as obtaining Feed-in Tariff accreditation, abstraction licenses and aquatic surveys.
"We are suffocating an industry that is so willing to take up the renewable energy challenge as well as offer energy security and create thousands of much needed jobs for Wales.
He adds. "If this Government is serious in its commitment of sourcing 15 percent of its energy from renewables by 2020 it needs to seriously relax its planning policy now and act fairly," says Underwood.