The Welsh Government has said that it is minded to grant permission to de-register over 800 acres of common land to enable Ebbw Vale’s controversial Circuit of Wales to go ahead. But the developers have to fulfil agreements with the commoners first – and raise the £285m investment. Welsh Government has committed £30m.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) yesterday published a consultation document on reforms to the Feed-in Tariffs (FIT) scheme, which rewards those who adopt green technology by guaranteeing minimum prices for excess power fed back into the national network. The plan would see an 87 per cent reduction in the payments offered to eligible new schemes – a crucial consideration for offsetting the cost of hardware installation. The move is part of a wider plan to reduce the cost of renewables subsidies funded by levies added to household energy bills, which DECC says is on target to cost £1.5 billion more than its £7.6 billion allocated funding cap by 2021. Details at https://econsultation.decc.gov.uk/office-for-renewable-energy-deployment-ored/fit-review-2015; consultation closes 23 October.
A Monmouthshire County Council Cabinet Member will be recommended tomorrow to refuse permission for any sky lantern or mass balloon release from Council land, to seek a voluntary prohibition elsewhere and to consider the potential for taking litter proceedings.
Consultations on the Cardiff Tidal Lagoon will start in the Spring of 2016 when the options for grid connections, construction compounds etc will be for consideration. The broad impacts of the preferred layout and design will be available in the Autumn of 2016, the draft Environmental Statement in Spring 2017 and the application to the Planning Inspectorate and others will follow in the Autumn of 2017. Any consent is likely to be in 2018. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you signed the petitions posted on 30 July you might also like to put your name to this one – http://action.sumofus.org/a/bayer-bees/?sub=taf – which is directed at Bayer and emphasises research that suggests that neonicotinoids are moving up the food chain and killing birds as well as bees.
Our County Council has much improved its practices in recent years, but you might like to sign this petition calling for even better management of roadside verges for wildlife: http://www.plantlife.org.uk/roadvergecampaign. There is a link to their Guidelines pdf at the bottom of the same page.
Monmouthshire County Council is shortly to consult on 18 Conservation Area Appraisals. Five events will be held – 3pm-7pm:
3 September: County Hall, Radyr, Usk (Usk, Raglan, Llandenny)
7 September: Chepstow Leisure Centre (Chepstow, Mathern, St Arvans, Tintern, Llandogo
9 September: St Mary’s Priory Centre, Abergavenny (Abergavenny, Llanover, Llanarth, Llantilio Crossenny)
16 September: Shire Hall, Monmouth (monmouth, Whitebrook, Grosmont)
29 September: Caldicot Town Council Hall (Magor, Shirenewton, Caerwent)
The consultation includes seeking views on proposals to amend the boundaries of some of the Conservation Areas and on potential management proposals for some Areas. These could include introducing an Article 4 Direction, which is a way of us removing people’s ability to carry out certain works without the need for planning permission. An example might be that they would need planning permission to replace the windows in their home, or to render it. An Article 4 is a legal designation so would require further consultation in its own right, and a formal decision by the County Council, all of which would take place via a separate process if that idea is pursued, but they would like to hear initial views.
They will be adding the Appraisals and associated maps to their website at http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/planning/conservation-area-appraisals-draft-documents-2 in time for the start of the consultation, for people to refer back to or for anyone who is unable to attend the relevant event for their area. Views should be sent to email@example.com within 28 days of the relevant event or 31 October.
Yesterday’s news is dwarfed by the sum of £300,000 that another property developer, Kim Davies, must find because he carried out extensive unauthorised works at Grade 2* Listed Llanwenarth House in the National Park near Abergavenny. The fine was £60,000 and £240,000 must be paid towards prosecution costs.
A property developer, Paul Bailey of Shirenewton Hall, has been fined £22,000 for felling more than 200 trees at Caerwent without a licence.
The Policy Forum for Wales is holding a seminar on Priorities for the Energy Sector in Wales on Thursday, 3 December in central Cardiff. It will feature an address from Edwina Hart, the responsible Minister, and be an opportunity to discuss priorities as powers to approve projects of up to 350MW are due to be devolved to the Welsh Government. More at http://www.policyforumforwales.co.uk/forums/event.php?eid=1139&t=12226. £210 + VAT but concessions for charities.