Page last updated at 16:37 GMT, Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Environment statement

The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley is Wales's newest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the environment minister announced on 22 November 2011.

John Griffiths AM has agreed that an area of approximately 230 square kilometres situated in the counties of Wrexham and Denbighshire will be made an AONB.

This will result in the boundary of the existing Clwydian Range AONB being significantly extended.

The minister said that "the natural environment is crucial to the Welsh economy and it is vital it is protected and managed as effectively and efficiently as possible to ensure the best outcomes for Wales".

Conservative Environment Spokesperson Antoinette Sandbach AM voiced her disappointment that the designation will be extended as she argued that it's against the wishes of the local communities who live and work on the land.

Although absent from the chamber, Clwyd West AM Darren Millar has always argued for the extension and Plaid Cymru AM Llyr Huws Gruffydd criticised the Conservatives for their lack of consistency.

Clwyd South AM Ken Skates welcomed the announcement as he believed that it will benefit the local economy and deliver a good future for rural areas.

AMs also agreed a motion put forward by the Welsh Government to approve the Incidental Flooding and Coastal Erosion (Wales) Order 2011.

Read this in Welsh.

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