Receipt of a newsletter from the Monmouthshire Meadows Group has reminded us of the Keep Wales Tidy-led Long Forest Project, which aims to plant 100,000 trees and improve 120 kms of hedgerow in Wales by recruiting thousands of volunteers. MMR members will be volunteering and so might you.
First minister Mark Drakeford refused to be drawn on when he would decide on the M4 relief road scheme at Newport when quizzed by AMs last week. He insisted he had not yet received or read the report into the public inquiry, nor the advice officials were preparing for him.
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.