TACP Landscape Architects has recently won the prestigious President’s Award at the Landscape Institute’s annual awards for its Green Infrastructure Action Plan for Pollinators in South East Wales. The plan, with which MCC was closely associated, will support and inspire landscape projects on public land to redress the decline in biodiversity and provide environments favouring pollinators. Wales has the first action plan of its kind in the UK to tackle the decline and the Green Infrastructure Action Plan for Pollinators in South East Wales identifies measures to benefit pollinators. It outlines actions that could encourage bees and others such as cutting grass to different heights and/or at different times of the year; and the development of wild flower meadows or formal planting areas.
A UK-wide consultation on proposals to ban plastic microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products is open until 28 February. Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic that are added as an exfoliating agent to everyday cosmetic and other products. The consultation also seeks evidence on the environmental impacts of microbeads in other products, to inform future actions to protect the marine environment. Details at https://consultations.gov.wales/consultations/proposals-ban-use-plastic-microbeads-cosmetics-and-personal-care-products.
Monmouthshire County Council is inviting residents, businesses and organisations to comment on the review of its Rights of Way Improvement Plan (RoWIP). The outline plan has been published on the council’s website – http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/?p=39506 – and comments may be sent to email@example.com at any time until Sunday, 29 January.
Monmouthshire’s Principal Countryside Access Officer Ruth Rourke said: “We invite as many groups, individuals and organisations as possible to contribute to the review of our Rights of Way Improvement Plan. We welcome your views and any information you may have to provide a new RoWIP document that will serve the county’s communities into the future.”
The long awaited public inquiry into the proposed M4 relief road at Newport will begin on 28 February, with a pre-inquiry meeting on 27 January.
Councils across Gwent have had to find millions of pounds to tackle fly-tipping over the last decade, according to new Welsh Government statistics. Clearance costs are increasing in most areas; only Monmouthshire showed improvement with costs dropping from £16,624 to £12,925 between 2014/15 and 2015/16. Newport spent about £120,000 pa during the same period and Torfaen’s costs rose by 25% to over £38,600.
Welsh Government is seeking views on the new version of the Welsh Transport Appraisal Guidance 2017 (WelTAG 2017) by 2 March. This provides guidance for use in the development, appraisal, and evaluation of transport related projects. The opportunity has been taken to reduce the length of the guidance and to embed the principles of the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. Details at: https://consultations.gov.wales/consultations/welsh-transport-appraisal-guidance-2017.
The Welsh Government has issued a Call for Evidence and Projects relating to the National Development Framework, with a deadline of 7 March. The NDF will replace the Wales Spatial Plan and contain national spatial planning policies and projects for the next 20 years. Details at: http://gov.wales/docs/desh/publications/161206call-for-evidence-and-projects-en.pdf
A funding application has been submitted to the Department for Transport to build a new £7m railway station for Magor and Undy. Two stations serving the villages closed in 1965 when the areas’ population was 500. It is now expected to rise to 10,000 in the next 10 years. The application – for one new station – has been made by Monmouthshire council and the Magor Action Group on Rail and asks for £5.2m of funding, with the rest of the money anticipated to come from the Welsh Government.