Monmouthshire CC is consulting on its Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule for the Community Infrastructure Levy, charges to be met by developers to secure infrastructure required to support development in accordance with the Local Development Plan (e.g. £110/sq m for most housing developments). Go to http://www.planningpolicy.monmouthshire.gov.uk/?page_id=32. Comments invited by 26 March.
The Welsh Government has recently issued a response to the consultation on the availablity of land for allotments and community gardens. It recognises the need to improve waiting list arrangements and to provide more information to help new community growing groups. The WG statement is at http://wales.gov.uk/newsroom/environmentandcountryside/2015/9704026/?status=closed&lang=en and FCFCG response at www.tyfupobl.org.uk/fcfcg-response-minister-natural-resources-statement-land-community-growing.
A public meeting, called by the town council, to discuss a proposed development that includes a pub, drive-through restaurant and separate coffee shop, as well as a retail store and vets in Monmouth, will be held at 7pm on Monday, 9 February in Monmouth Comprehensive School’s hall. More than 100 individual objections and a 226-name petition have been lodged with Monmouthshire council, amid fears it will increase noise on an already heavily-used road, mean more litter, and harm the vitality of the town. As at Abergavenny a McDonald’s restaurant has divided residents. There will be a presentation from the developer and anyone wishing to speak at the meeting is asked to email Councillor Stuart Wilson in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an Assembly debate the Welsh Government has pledged to do all it can to stop fracking in Wales until more is known about its safety, but rules out revised planning advice. However, the pledge may have limited effect unless the relevant licensing powers are devolved by Whitehall. Campaigners also fear that planning authorities have insufficient guidance.
A Welsh Assembly committee scrutinising the Planning (Wales) Bill has called for an amendment to give local Place Plans a formal development plan status and to give futher consideration to how local communites can be given greater opportunities to engage in the preparation of all development plans. The Committee also wants to see clearer links to other plans, such as those for transport and well-being. Details at http://www.assembly.wales/en/newhome/pages/newsitem.aspx?itemid=1392.
£1.25 million is to be made available as loans for regenerating vacant sites and buildings in Abergavenny under a scheme whereby the County Council itself will borrow the money from Welsh Government. The town’s businesses are also preparing a Business Improvement District scheme that could provide substantial further cash for improving the appeal of the commercial area, and alternative uses for over £3m allocated for a new library are being considered as the authority moves to merge library and other services into a ‘community hub’. A Bryn-y Cwm Community Forum meeting at the St Michael’s Centre on 16 February (7.00pm) will be discussing some of the changes taking place in the planning and improvement of this part of the county.