MCC’s consultation on their revised Preferred Strategy for the Replacement Local Development Plan begins on Monday 5 December and you have until 30 January to respond.
All you need to know (perhaps) can be accessed via RLDP- News & Consultations – Monmouthshire. As well as the Preferred Strategy, the consultation includes the Candidate Sites Register and other documents. There are drop-in consultation sessions and virtual events online (you need to book).
Monmouthshire County Council has now published Preferred Strategy proposals for consideration by the Place Scrutiny Committee on 10 November 2022. The new strategy aims to make provision for up to 2,200 new homes by 2033 in addition to the 3,700 homes already in the pipeline or completed since 2018. On new site allocations, approximately a third of the new homes will be social housing for rent and another 17% will be affordable housing available at less than market price. The Plan will also make provision for 6,240 jobs and will be accompanied by an Infrastructure Plan, an updated Local Transport Plan and an Economic Development Strategy.
The Council has appraised all the sites which have been offered for development and the new strategy proposes three strategic sites for future housing. These sites will be:
- Abergavenny East – 500 homes together with employment, retail, leisure, education and community uses
- Caldicot East – 925 homes together with employment, retail and leisure uses
- Bayfield Chepstow – 145 homes
Cllr. Paul Griffiths, Deputy Leader of Monmouthshire County Council, said: “These sites have been selected because they will add to the sustainability of existing settlements. Residents of these new homes will be well connected to existing town centres, schools and transport facilities. It is my ambition that the homes that are built on these sites will be zero carbon and built to the highest possible standards of design and construction. The next two years will be an exciting and creative journey as we ensure that the very best homes are built here in Monmouthshire – homes that will lead the way for every other development in the United Kingdom.”
The new Preferred Strategy will be reported to Council on 1st December 2022 to seek agreement to commence public consultation. If agreed, this will run from 5 December 2022 to 30 January 2023. For more information about the proposals visit Replacement Local Development Plan (RLDP) – 2018-2033 – Monmouthshire
News from MMG: This three-year project to create and conserve wildflower grasslands in Wales comes to an end in December. The small team have achieved some significant successes, with new meadows groups created and supported and many training courses run across the country. Monmouthshire Meadows Group was involved at the beginning, talking to groups about how we started (nearly 20 years ago), and we hosted some of their training courses for our members. Although the project is ending and their staff are moving on, their legacy remains in the materials they have created. In particular their Meadows Hub has a wealth of information about creating, managing and surveying wildflower grassland, and information about seeds, tools and equipment. They have also uploaded many of their webinars to their YouTube channel so if you missed any you wanted to see, they are there to watch.
A Monmouthshire County Council public consultation launches on Wednesday 5 October for residents and businesses in and around Chepstow to gather feedback on ideas being proposed within the Transforming Chepstow Masterplan.
The County Council, working with Chepstow Town Council, is holding two initial face-to-face events and is encouraging locals to attend to find out more and share their thoughts. The first session is taking place on Saturday 8 October at the Palmer Centre, Upper Nelson Street, from 10am until 5pm. On Tuesday 11 October the team will also be at Bulwark Community Centre between 10am and 8pm. Exhibition boards from these two events will then be available to view at Chepstow Library from the afternoon of Wednesday 12 October.
Information about the Transforming Chepstow Masterplan can be found on the Council’s website at https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/transforming-chepstow-masterplan/ along with a link to the online survey, for capturing views and comments. The survey will also be available in a paper format at the two face-to-face sessions, and throughout the consultation period (until 5pm, 30 October 2022) from Chepstow Library and the offices of Chepstow Town Council.
The consultation follows and builds upon part of a Place Plan process during 2020 to 2021. Once the consultation has closed and the feedback gathered, a report of consultation will be published. The draft plan will then be updated to reflect the comments that were received, and a final copy of the Transforming Chepstow Masterplan will be made available online.
Monmouthshire County Council has endorsed a new direction for its Local Development Plan to ensure sustainable growth in the county. Cllr Paul Griffiths, the Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Sustainable Economy, said: “Our proposals would set the county on the path for growth which meets the housing needs of the population, allows for economic growth and ensures that young people can choose to live in the county.’’
In contrast to 2021 proposals for nearly 8,400 new homes 2018-33, with 3,700 on new land allocations, which drew criticism from Welsh Government and locally, the new strategy will aim for 5.940 homes and 2,000 on new sites.
Paul Griffiths emphasised the need for affordable housing: “The housing that we create will need to match the people’s ability to pay…. 33% of homes on new sites will need to be social housing for rent and another 17% will need to be at less than market price or market rent. We will work with the Welsh Government, Registered Social Landlords and house developers to ensure that this is achieved.’’
Most of the new housing and employment sites will be focused on the county’s most sustainable towns, but development at Monmouth and elsewhere in the River Wye catchment will be on hold until a solution to the problem of phosphate pollution can be delivered. New housing sites will be supplemented by opportunities for existing town centre sites to be regenerated or redeveloped.
Officers will now be preparing the new Preferred Strategy for Council agreement that consultation takes place for eight weeks around the turn of the year. It will identify key strategic sites in both the north and south of the county, which Cllr Griffiths aims to be exemplary with zero carbon homes and other environmental qualities.
MCC’s media release is at Monmouthshire County Council endorses a new direction for sustainable growth in the county – Monmouthshire
Abergavenny and Crickhowell FoE will be showing Damon Gameau’s inspirational and positive Australian film ‘2040’ at Abergavenny Community Centre (car park off Merthyr Road) at 3.00pm on Sunday, 3 October. The 90-minute film will be accompanied by refreshments and there will be an optional discussion after the film.
Book your free place at www.friendsoftheearthabandcrick.wales.
To support the delivery of Future Wales, the Design Commission for Wales are preparing an update to Designing Wind Farms in Wales. This will be the further guidance that is referred to in Future Wales on the development of on-shore wind. In addition to wind energy, the update will consider the wider renewables opportunity in Wales including solar.
The Commission have started a consultation on this work. You can find out more information and how to share your views here. Following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the consultation period has been extended and will close on 7 October 2022.
An officers’ report to the County Council’s Place Scrutiny Committee on 15 September considers options and makes a recommendation for progressing the Replacement Local Development Plan following last year’s Welsh Government concerns. This will be the first formal opportunity for the Council elected in May and its new Administration to consider its position.
Agenda for Place Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, 15th September, 2022, 12.30 pm (monmouthshire.gov.uk)
Mourning for the passing of the late Queen has led to the postponement of this meeting, seemingly until 26 September. The recommendation appears to support the controversial 2021 increased housing growth rate except in the Monmouth/Wye Valley area where phosphoric river pollution issues are unlikely to be solved in the plan period. However, we will be trying to clarify the figures in the report.
To compliment the Welsh Government Nature Recovery Action Plan (NRAP), Local Nature Partnerships across Wales are producing Local NRAPs to identify key pressures on a local scale. Local NRAPs will suggest themes of actions, stimulate project ideas, direct conservation effort and provide a rationale for local action that can be used by developers, businesses and community groups.
The first stage of producing the Monmouthshire and Newport Local Nature Recovery Action Plan is to identify the habitats and species that are critical for nature recovery in our area. To start this process they have compiled a list of important habitats and species that are recorded in Monmouthshire and Newport. They would like feedback from interested parties that work or live in the area on which ones should be included in the Local NRAP.
The consultation is in the manner of a Microsoft Form, which allows collation of standardised responses easily, and is available at the link below. The forms don’t allow respondents to save their progress and come back to it so you are advised to contact LocalNature@monmouthshire.gov.uk for a list of habitats and species for you to consider before you respond. The closing date for the consultation is Monday 22 August.
Monmouthshire and Newport Local NRAP Consultation (English)
The Government’s strategy for getting to Net Zero is inadequate and unlawful, the High Court has found, following a successful legal challenge brought by Good Law Project, Joanna Wheatley, ClientEarth, and Friends of the Earth. The Climate Change Act requires the Government to hit Net Zero by 2050, to make proposals for how it will meet that target, and to place a report before Parliament. In a detailed judgment and order published yesterday, amid the UK’s first ever red alert for extreme heat, the High Court held that the proposals for achieving Net Zero approved by the Secretary of State were too vague to enable him to be satisfied that the statutory targets would be met. And that the report placed before Parliament lacked the specificity necessary to meet the Secretary of State’s duty to inform Parliament and the public of his plans.
In court, it was revealed that the Net Zero Strategy would not reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to meet the UK’s legally binding climate targets. The government had done the calculations and knew about this shortfall. But it held back this crucial information from both the public and parliament.
The illegality of its landmark climate change strategy is a political embarrassment to the Government. When it launched in October 2021, the Net Zero Strategy was hailed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a foreword: “Our strategy for net zero is to lead the world in ending our contribution to climate change.” And by the Secretary of State, Kwasi Kwarteng: “This strategy demonstrates how the UK is leading by example, with a clear plan for the future.”
The Court has ordered that the existing strategy be fleshed out with the detail necessary for Parliamentary and public scrutiny within the next eight months. The Government has also been ordered to pay our costs.