Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has published a series of innovative area statements this week covering seven separate but hugely diverse parts of the country. That for SE Wales is at https://naturalresources.wales/about-us/area-statements/south-east-wales-area-statement/introduction-to-south-east-area-statement/?lang=en .
NRW has explained: “Each area statement outlines the key challenges facing that particular locality, what we can all do to meet those challenges, and how we can better manage our natural resources for the benefit of future generations. They will be updated regularly and improved year on year as we engage with more people, gather new evidence, put forward ideas and work across boundaries to create opportunities.”
The Welsh Government has stressed these are “a key piece of evidence which must be considered in development plan preparation”.
Following a period of consultation, the Welsh Government has confirmed that it will revise Planning Policy Wales (PPW) by implementing the replacement of the five-year housing land supply policy by the monitoring of housing delivery against local development plan housing trajectories. This will involve the revocation of TAN 1 (Joint Housing Land Availability Studies) and the publication of Edition 3 of the Development Plans Manual. These changes will be incorporated in a new edition of PPW in the autumn of 2020.
Message from MCC:
In light of the changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and following yesterday’s announcement by the Government, the decision has been made to postpone the RLDP engagement events detailed below until further notice. The consultation period and opportunity to submit candidate sites remain open, but the deadline for both will be extended accordingly. We will reschedule the events that have not yet taken place (drop in events at Abergavenny, Chepstow, Magor, Caldicot and Usk), as well as attendance at Community Council Clusters and Area Committees, but unfortunately cannot confirm a timescale for that yet. We will publicise the new consultation deadline in due course.
Recent speculation that Boris Johnson’s Government could reopen the Welsh Government’s decision to reject the M4 Relief Road has been dismissed in Wales. Road building is a devolved matter and a Heathrow-type legal decision could block any decision contrary to climate change policies.
The County Council has begun a consultation on its Preferred Strategy for the Replacement Local Development Plan 2018-2033. The strategy puts forward a need to accommodate 4,700 additional jobs and 8,200 new homes, 3,500 of them on new allocations of land. There is a particular emphasis on affordable homes and policies that address the Climate Emergency. The documents and consultation arrangements are available at https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/planning-policy/planning-policy-current-consultations/
Written responses are required by 22 April.
Monmouthshire County Council are in the process of finalising their cycling strategy and are holding a session to gain feedback on the current draft document. The session will take place on Tuesday, 25 February, 6:00-8:00pm at the Shire Hall, Monmouth. To see a copy of the draft strategy and to book places contact PaulSullivan@monmouthshire.gov.uk.
The Welsh Government is also consulting on draft revised Active Travel delivery, planning and design guidance – https://gov.wales/active-travel-guidance. The consultation ends on 8 May.
Welsh Government wants your views on their strategy (https://gov.wales/circular-economy-strategy) to make a low carbon, zero waste Wales that uses a fair share of resources. The aims are to:
1. Become the world leader in recycling
2. Phase out single use plastic
3. Make waste collection greener
4. Avoid food waste by looking at the whole food chain
5. Prioritise the use of wood and remake and recycle more items
6. Help and educate communities to do the small things that add up to making a big difference
7. Help businesses make more from their waste and accomplish positive environmental action
8. Take full responsibility for our waste
Share your thoughts by 3 April on how Wales can progress towards zero waste and what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint. They have set out some ideas – but need our thoughts too. Do you have a great idea you would be willing to share?
Engagement Event – 9 March, 12:30-16:30pm (Beaufort Hotel, Chepstow); Community Event – 9 March, 18:00-19:30pm (The Drill Hall, Chepstow) To attend register at https://tocyn.cymru/en/organisation/0cff23c5-1a3c-42d4-b500-0ae42c72e7a5
Recent changes mean that funding for energy-saving home improvements previously only available to those on benefits is more widely accessible. A low income (under £26,800 for a family of two adults and two children for example) and vulnerability to cold may now mean entitlement. Further information at www.sewenergy.org.uk – 01633 223111.
The South East Wales Transport Commission has launched an online survey to gather ideas and suggestions for tackling congestion on the M4 and improving transport across the region. The commission was established by Welsh Ministers last year to consider ways to tackle congestion on the M4 and surrounding roads. The commission has been asked to look at alternatives to the relief road. Later this year it will put forward a broad package of recommendations that include road, bus, rail and active travel.
Lord Burns, Chair of the Commission, has stressed the importance of as many people as possible completing the survey: How would you improve transport in south east Wales?
At a time when the consequences of Brexit and the Climate Emergency are overshadowing the future of farming in Wales, should and could Monmouthshire grow more fruit and vegetables, as the county once did? That is the topic for a free Abergavenny Just Food event to be held at Abergavenny Community Centre on Saturday, 28 March, 9.30am-4.00pm. Booking necessary – details from email@example.com