In order to reduce flood risk and improve water quality, Welsh Government regulations now require all development of more than one dwelling or with a construction area of more than 100 sq metres to use a sustainable drainage system. SuDs aim to manage rainfall in a natural way using the landscape and vegetation to control the flow and volume of surface water. See: https://www.ciria.org/Resources/Free_publications/SuDS_manual_C753.aspx
An application has been made for a 49.9MW solar park on 247 acres of grazing land at Longlands Farm, Redwick, enough to power 15,000 homes. NCC ref 18/1253, to be determined by the Planning Inspectorate.
The Gwent Ornithological Society will be welcoming two well-known television personalities at forthcoming events:
Mike Dilger will be talking about his life as a wildlife presenter at Goytre Village Hall (NP4 0AW) at 7.30 on Saturday, 2 February (£2 entry); Iolo Williams will be giving a talk on ‘the Wildlife of Wales’ at Woodland Road Sports and Social Centre, Cwmbran (NP44 2DZ) at 7.30 on Monday, 25 March (pre-book £10/£5 tickets – see www.gwentbirds.org.uk)
Welsh Government has issued the latest version of their main planning policy document, all 168 pages of it: https://beta.gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2018-12/planning-policy-wales-edition-10.pdf
Consultations took place earlier this year and changes have been made, especially to the way the policy is presented.
Welsh Ministers are required by law to report on the objectives, actions and future priorities in relation to the impacts of climate change. The draft Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Wales meets those requirements by setting out 32 adaptation actions for Wales. Ministers want your opinion on the draft plan by 4 March – https://beta.gov.wales/sites/default/files/consultations/2018-12/climate-change-adaptation-delivery-plan-for-wales.pdf
A report to be considered by an MCC committee next week – https://democracy.monmouthshire.gov.uk/documents/s18562/Reusable%20recycling%20bags%20and%20food%20bags%20-%20RH%20-%20Dec18%20v.2%20FINAL.pdf – recommends that the present orange and purple single-use recycling bags be replaced by reusable bags similar to those used for garden waste. The advantages of this are considered to outweigh the prospect of emptied bags in the street until collected by householders. Food waste is currently collected in compostable starch bags that are, surprisingly, sent for energy-from-waste incineration by the company processing the waste. The starch bags are not suitable for anaerobic digestion and they prefer plastic bags that would be cheaper for the council to supply and also allow householders to reuse bags that have contained bread, frozen vegetables, etc. The council is already committed to collecting glass separately and to separating paper, metal and plastics at the kerbside when loading the collection vehicles.
The final decision on building the M4 relief road near Newport may be made by the next first minister, Carwyn Jones has conceded after a non-binding vote by AMs this week calling for his successor – due to assume the position on 12 December – to determine the project.
Blaenau Gwent Council is in ‘early discussions with interested parties’ over a proposal for a technology-based employment hub at Ebbw Vale which could include a test circuit. The site was formerly earmarked for the controversial but aborted Circuit of Wales (CoW) project at Rassau. Recently the council revealed that it has applied to renew the planning permission for the key elements of the CoW scheme “in order that any potential development opportunities can be explored fully”. According to the Western Mail the new plans, by ‘two of Wales’s leading financial figures’, for the 320-hectare site would involve a motor racing circuit as well as state-of-the-art testing facilities for the automotive industry. The cost could be £150m and they are looking for part-funding from the Cardiff City Region Deal for what could be a £150 million initiative.
We couldn’t resist posting extracts from one of Transition Monmouth’s excellent newsletters – hope they don’t mind. Why not join them? – email@example.com.
The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report published last month – download from https://www.ipcc.ch/news_and_events/pr_outreach_vietnam_2018.shtml or read one of the many articles such as https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/global-warming-must-not-exceed-15c-warns-landmark-un-report – told the world that it really had to get its act together. It states, loudly + clearly, that unless we make significant changes in the next 12 years we will reach a tipping point in climate change that will be irreversible. What to do? We can all make our individual contributions minimising our carbon footprint but it needs a whole lot else. It needs governments + corporations around the world to unite in the huge changes that are needed. How about we start with our own Government? How about getting them to stop building roads + runways – invest in public transport instead. How about getting them to support renewable energy + stop fracking, etc etc?
For a start there are two discussion opportunities:- Discussion Evening – the IPCC report: Tuesday 27 November, 7.30 at the Robin Hood: Discussion led by John Payne + Haydn Cullen-Jones; Gathering for some challenging conversation: Tuesday 11 December, 6.30 at Trealy Farm, Mitchel Troy NP25 4BL – contact https://thepracticeofthewild.com if you would like to attend.
Or for those of you ready for some direct civil disobedience action there’s the Extinction Rebellion, launched a couple of weeks ago with a rally in Parliament Square + a few arrests. There have been more – much reported on social media, not so much in the mainstream media (there’s a surprise!). Locally there is a group in Abergavenny – on Facebook as Extinction Rebellion: Abergavenny Affinity Group – providing support/information + organising groups to join in protests in London, + also at the Senedd on 4 December when the vote on the new M4 through the Gwent Levels will be taken. Contact them via Facebook or email Rob Proctor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food Sense: Wednesday 28 November, 7.30 at the Robin Hood – food poverty, social isolation, food waste – come along, or email email@example.com for further details.
No New M4 Protest: Tuesday 4 December, 12.30 at the Senedd – join a car share from Monmouth – details from Rob Proctor at firstname.lastname@example.org
While MPs of both main parties are calling for Welsh Government to make an early decision on the M4 relief road, campaigners against the road are urged to email AMs who will debate the matter in early December before Carwyn Jones is expected to make a decision before he leaves office on 11 December. Friends of the Earth plan an Assembly demonstration for 12.30pm on 4 December.