LDP Review to Begin

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Dec 032017

Monmouthshire CC’s Cabinet is expected this week to endorse a consultation report on the review of the Local Development Plan 2011-2021 – https://democracy.monmouthshire.gov.uk/documents/s12389/1.%20Cabinet%206%20December%202017.pdf.  A review of the plan adopted in February 2014 must begin within four years of that adoption and the aim must be to adopt a revised plan before the end of 2021 in order to avoid a policy vacuum.  The consultation report provides an overview of changes likely to be needed to the LDP, and stakeholders are invited to comment on these and to suggest additional issues or changes.  With a shortfall already in a five-year supply of housing land, housing land allocations are likely to be an inevitable concern.  Responses to the consultation will be needed before early February.

National Park Place Planning Shortlisted

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Dec 012017

The National Park’s ‘Shape My Brecon Beacons’ project, which helps communities to write their own Place Plans, has been selected as a finalist in the Royal Town Planning Institute Cymru National Awards.  Community leaders are supported to involve residents and other stakeholders in shaping the future well-being of their town or village, within the context of the Local Development Plan.

Wales Calls for More RE Support

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Dec 012017

The Welsh Government has called on Whitehall to do more to support onshore wind and solar energy.  It is one of a number of signatories to a public statement issued today, which urges the UK government to enable onshore wind and solar technologies to compete in Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction rounds.  Both onshore wind and solar are currently excluded from bidding in CfD auctions.  Other signatories include the Welsh Local Government Association and Community Energy Wales.

The Welsh cabinet secretary for energy, Lesley Griffiths, said ‘onshore wind and solar present the best opportunities to manage the costs of generation to energy bills.
The UK has invested over £9bn in developing the renewables sector and costs have successfully been driven down.  However, the rapid changes in UK government policy have decimated large parts of the renewable sector, with potentially valuable developments to Wales stopped in their tracks by UK ministers.’  In 2015 alone, four new wind developments in mid-Wales with an installed capacity of over 300MW were refused by UK government.  ‘The bulk of UK government renewables investment is now going to offshore projects outside of Wales,’ said Ms Griffiths. ‘This investment is paid for by Welsh bill payers, amongst others.  A policy framework which enables the most affordable projects to continue to form the bulk of energy supply is fundamentally important to delivering our decarbonisation and prosperity goals.’

CALM Fail to Convince Newport

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Nov 302017

A CALM attempt to persuade Newport City Council to change its position and oppose the M4 Black Route has failed.  CALM maintain that as well as damaging the Gwent Levels the new motorway will offer no economic benefit to Newport, which will be by-passed, and that it is an outdated response to transport needs.

Well-being Plan Engagement Sessions

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Nov 262017

MCC are holding community engagement sessions on the plan (see Nov 17 post):

  • Monday 27 November        Caldicot Hub     10.30am – 2.30pm
  • Tuesday 28 November       Abergavenny One Stop Shop 10.30am – 1.00pm
  • Tuesday 28 November       Abergavenny Library    1.30pm – 4.00pm
  • Wednesday 29 November  Monmouth Hub 10.30am – 2.30pm
  • Monday 4 December          Chepstow Hub   10.30am – 2.30pm
  • Wednesday 6 December    Usk Hub             10.30am – 2.30pm

Fly-tipping Increases

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Nov 262017

Welsh Government figures show that fly-tipping is getting worse – 37% worse in Monmouthshire compared to 80% worse in Newport, hardest hit of the Welsh counties.  Waste tipped on farms costs landowners an average of £844 to clear, says the CLA.  Fly-tipping of domestic waste has decreased slightly.  An Abergavenny man was recently fined £200 plus £2,000 costs for tipping garden waste on the Blorenge.

What Next for CALM?

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Nov 212017

As the M4 public inquiry draws to a close, the Campaign Against the Levels Motorway is considering post Inquiry campaigning via three subgroups who would like your help:

Direct political influencing – led by Catherine: catherinelinstrum@me.com;  Making our arguments across Wales – led by Natasha: natasha.yorke-edgell@rspb.org.uk;  Local grassroots campaigning – led by Sarah: sharris@gwentwildlife.org.

The joint Closing Statement of The Wildlife Trusts, Friends of the Earth, CPRW and the Woodland Trust, which is available at: http://tinyurl.com/M4statement.

The Well-being Plan is Online

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Nov 172017

Following the production of Monmouthshire’s Well-being Assessment in March, Public Service Board partners have been working together to develop the Well-being Plan for the County.  This sets out four objectives and steps that the PSB will take to deliver these objectives.  The Well-being Plan is now online at www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/our-monmouthshire.   A survey to respond is also going online.  The partners want to know what people think of the draft Plan.

If you would like to find out more, go along to a public meeting that Transition Chepstow have kindly organised next Thursday, the 23rd, at 7.30pm at the Beaufort Hotel in Chepstow.  Hazel Clatworthy will be giving a bit of background on the well-being assessment and what the evidence is showing, and then talking about the Well-being Plan and how you can get involved.

New Top People for the New Year

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Nov 132017

Clare Pillman, currently Director for Culture, Tourism and Sport with the Westminster government, is to succeed Emyr Roberts as Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales.  Julian Atkins, currently the Park’s Countryside and Land Management Director, will take over from John Cook as Chief Executive Officer of the Brecon Beacons National Park.