A Preferred Strategy for Monmouthshire

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.

Cycling Consultations

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.

Beyond Recycling Consultation at Chepstow

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

The 2020 Monmouthshire ECO Grant

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.

Have Your Say on Transport

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?

More Local Fruit and Veg?

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 justfoodplanning@gmail.com

Fixed for Free

Repair Café Abergavenny is a volunteer-run service that will do its best to repair household items – electrical, clean clothing, wood, bicycles, ceramics, etc. They meet at the Community Centre in Park Street every 3rd Saturday of the month, 11.00am – 2.00pm.  Contact repaircafeabergavenny@gmail.com – volunteer repairers especially welcome.

Noise Concerns at the Reservoir

A Welsh Water application to allow the Llandegfedd watersports centre to be used for purposes other than those associated with watersports and from 6.00am to midnight instead of from 9.00am to 9.00pm has provoked opposition. Concern centres on the impact that noise and other disturbance that might have on the reservoir SSSI birdlife, especially at dawn and dusk. The application documents are at https://planningonline.monmouthshire.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=Q3U9EPKYHLA00

The Latest from CALM

At a recent meeting CALM, the group that opposed the M4 Relief Road, expressed concern that the Burns Commission needed to be more effective at engaging with the public while preparing its proposals for transport in the M4 Corridor. CALM fears that a Conservative government in Wales might reintroduce the Relief Road project and is seeking confirmation that the Black Route is no longer protected and that land bought for the road is being sold. CALM is also exploring the possibility of strengthening protection of the Levels by a stronger designation than SSSIs.