The Monmouthshire Meadows Spring 2016 Newsletter can be read at http://www.monmouthshiremeadows.org.uk/?page_id=883. It has the latest news about Kingcoed Meadow and much else about the group’s activities and events.
The latest newsletter from the Monmouthshire Countryside Service can be read at http://us3.campaign-archive1.com/?u=1b937f9c254d11056df6b1977&id=fdbb63c036&e=c62f13cb48. It includes news of Pathcare groups, the Chepstow Walking Festival (www.walksinchepstow.co.uk) and Woodland Trust volunteering opportunities at Cefn Ila.
Monmouthshire CC is inviting comments on its Draft Charging Schedule for the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) by Thursday, 5 May. For example, there will be a charge of £120 per sq m for most new developments of 3 or more dwellings, but none if less than three. Details at http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/planning-policy/current-consultations.
Abergavenny and Crickhowell Friends of the Earth have arranged a showing of a film about fracking and an opportunity to hear and question several expert speakers at the St Michael’s Centre, Pen-y-Pound on Tuesday, 12 April at 7.00pm.
The revised historic environment chapter (chapter 6) of Planning Policy Wales has now been updated following the Historic Environment (Wales) Bill’s passage and released for full public consultation. The twelve-week consultation will close on 13 June 2016. The consultation documents are available on the Welsh Government website: http://gov.wales/consultations/planning/proposed-changes-to-planning-policy-wales-chapter-6-the-historic-environment/?lang=en
Chepstow-based Gwent Energy (http://gwentenergycic.org/) has been highly commended in the Green Business category of the South Wales Business Growth Awards, and also took an Outstanding Contribution award on the presentation evening. Director Phil Powell said: “We have many projects that will look to use green energy on a large scale, so this recognition helps affirm our credibility as we raise funds to complete sustainable energy developments.”
The University of South Wales is consulting on the future use of its Caerleon campus – the old Caerleon Training College. The consultation is at http://www.caerleon.site/ and it will close on Friday, 15 April. The future of significant heritage and modern buildings and facilities is uncertain, and the early expression of well-argued views is important.
A community project, long in the making, is under threat. In August 2015, Resilient Energy Severndale, a 500kW community wind project, was granted planning permission by the Forest of Dean Council. But, late in the day a single individual representing a small group of local objectors, is taking the case to Judicial Review with two key Community Energy principles challenged. The situation is grave enough to threaten the legality of any energy projects (sustainable or otherwise) that are community-based and set up for the benefit of a community. Resilient Energy have launched a crowd funding appeal to help contribute to their legal costs. Assuming the case is won and the project proceeds, the intention is to repay any contributions made by supporters. Please go to www.crowdfunder.co.uk/high-court-challenge-to-aims-of-community-energy for more details, and, if possible, make a pledge. The case will be heard in the High Court on 21 April. Pledges of support are needed by Tuesday, 22 March.
Despite the continuing controversy, an issue at the coming Assembly election, Welsh Government has published the draft orders for the new £1.1 billion M4 across the Levels. Details, including a programme of exhibitions starting on 17 March, are at http://gov.wales/topics/transport/roads/schemes/m4-road/m4/?lang=en and responses must be no later than 4 May.
In the run-up to the Assembly elections in May, Oxfam is organising a series of Candidate Cafes in Oxfam shops to give you the chance to chat to local political candidates about the issues that matter. There is to be one in Oxfam’s Frogmore Street shop in Abergavenny at 5.30pm on Wednesday, 30 March. Space is limited so book your place with Hayley at HRichards@oxfam.org.uk.
Monmouth Friends of the Earth are planning a hustings meeting at the Bridges Centre on 17 or 18 April – more information to come.