Rural landscape above Tremadog, Gwynedd, North Wales©Graham Harries/Rex

Wales’ new Rural Development Plan (RDP) could be given informal approval by the European Commission as early as next month.

The Welsh government said that commission officials appeared to be satisfied with the “scope, approach and ambition’’ of its development plan.

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Wales’ deputy farm minister Rebecca Evans said: “We believe that our RDP is one of those at an advanced stage.

“We hope to receive informal approval for the programme during February, although for commission budgetary reasons it is likely that the formal acceptance will only be received in the summer, when the EU Multi Annual Financial Framework has been accepted.’’

But the government is aiming to introduce schemes as early as possible, and the minister said she was optimistic that these could be launched after informal approval in February.