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Referendum – residents asked for view on new homes

The examination by a Government Planning Inspector of the National Park’s Local Development (Replacement) Plan is taking place now.

Newport Area Environment Group will be attending hearing sessions with the proposal that the occupancy of all new housing given planning permission should be restricted to those who will make it their principal or main place of residence alone. 

A referendum is being conducted amongst all Newport residents to determine the level of support.

You can see the Press Release and the letter and ballot form by clicking the following links:

Legal Grounds for Objecting to Feidr Bentinck Proposal

Summary of current Legal Advice as to why Planning Application NP/15/0194/FUL – ought to be refused by the PCNPA

  • The two respective provisions of the PCNPA-Local Development Plan (2010), setting out the number of “units” associated with the residential development on Housing Allocation “HA825” – “Land north of Feidr Eglwys” in Newport, Pembrokeshire are completely internally inconsistent and irreconcilable.
  • Whereas, the mere numerical data appearing in Table 7 “Allocations of Housing Sites” (p.76), as against the entry for this Allocation, states it to be for “20 units”: the following sentence appears in the full expository reasoned justification, at the equivalent entry, in the table at Appendix 2 “Allocations” (p.122) namely “The density of development will need to ..[be].. limited to 12 dwellings to ensure that it does not harm the character of the area and to meet access constraints”
  • This conflict has come about as the result of a grave oversight and serious lapse by the Planning Inspector concerned, (albeit compounded by the PCNPA staff) who simply failed to make adequate Recommendations, when he found that the original site, as proposed in the 2009 Deposit Plan, could in his view be “expanded” to the north, so as to include two further proposed additional so-called “alternative” sites.
  • Notwithstanding this, the said Plan as approved by the Welsh Assembly Government and adopted by the PCNPA in 2010, now sets out a simple unconditional factual statement with respect to the limit of “12 dwellings” acceptable for inclusion within the Allocation site so identified. As a matter of law the general public is now entitled to rely upon that statement and to expect it to be honoured and implemented by the NPA, whatever the earlier failings of the Planning inspector, or indeed its own staff.
  • The fact of the internal inconsistency, and the history of the Planning inspector’s oversight, are not legitimate further “material planning considerations” which the Development Management Committee of the NPA may take into consideration in their determination of the present planning application for 35 units on the site instead.
  • Such is the gravity and substantive significance of the oversight or lapse here involved, that the PCNPA is most certainly not at liberty to treat it as if it were a mere minor administrative error instead (i.e. equivalent of a typo); and attempt a quick fix solution by the simple expedient of adding it to its existing “erratum” document, which in any event is without stated authority.
  • The established lawful statutory mechanism for making any such rectification, as it may be deemed in future it is appropriate to make, lies instead under the LDP “review and revision” procedure, per ss.69 & 70 of the 2004 Act.
  • Any person who can show that, in the course of the past 5 yrs since its adoption, theyhave indeed enquired of this Plan and so became aware of this “12 dwellings” limitation, has thereby gained a substantive “legitimate expectation” that the NPA will honour and respect this commitment, when considering a planning application, such as the present, to develop on the site. They may thus have grounds to launch a subsequent challenge on a judicial review, were the Authority to simply ignore it instead.
  • The figure of only a 40% proportional commitment to “affordable housing” associated with this allocation, as now appears in the 2014 “supplementary planning guidance” document ; is not consistent with, but rather clearly and deliberately intended to be in conflict with, the previous commitment to a 70% proportion instead, as stated at Policy 45 in the LDP. Such inconsistency is expressly contrary to 2005 WAG planning guidance. Furthermore, it seeks to “delegate the criteria for decisions on planning applications” to supplementary planning guidance ,which again is contrary to WAG guidance.
  • Finally, whilst the current contemporary advice of PCC Highways regarding the changed proposal for principal vehicle access off Feidr Bentinck rather than Feidr Eglwys instead, must naturally bear greatest weight, as a material planning consideration. Nonetheless, their former advice, at the time of the Planning Inspector’s public examination of the Deposit Plan, and his professional views upon it as an integral aspect of his approval for the “expansion” of this Housing allocation site, are nonetheless also a further such material planning consideration.

NAEG comments to PCNPA on Renewable Energy

PCNPA Officers produced a new Consultation Report to the Authority on 12th October 2011

In summary: As a result of NAEG’s comments on the Draft Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) on Renewable Energy, PCNPA Officers have accepted that solar panels and solar photovoltaics are allowed to be installed without planning permission (up to 100% coverage and not to a maximum of 9 sq m as formerly advised) on roofs of a dwelling or a building within the curtilage of a dwelling (even if they front a highway) anywhere within the National Park, including within Conservation Areas (This is conditional upon them not protruding more than 200m from the plane of the roof or the highest part of the solar equipment not protruding higher than the highest part of the roof excluding chimneys)

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Local Produce Market

In July 2010 Nathan Richards, who grows organic fruit and vegetables in LlwynDafydd and sells his produce at St Dogmaels’ Local Food Producers Market, asked Newport Area Environment Group if they could find a venue in Newport for his stall.

Nathan worked in the film industry for 20 years and is concerned about ecology and food growing. Being the nephew of Patrick Holden(former director of the Soil Association for 15 years), he had contact with the early organic movement as a child.

Nathan has now been growing food for 9 years and feels strongly that we need to address food issues such as food miles and out of season food. Now that he is producing food, he wants to sell it locally to serve the community where he lives and see a move towards weekly farmers markets. Feedback is that his produce is “fantastic” and he intends do markets at Llanachaeron and Aberaeron.

In March 2010 Newport Area Environment Group, whilst in the process of trying to secure a suitable site in Newport, discovered that Newport Town Council had recently decided to set up a Local Produce Market independently and so NAEG passed their information to the town council (who have considerably more resources at their disposal with which to achieve success with this project).

NAEG wishes Newport Town Council every success in continuing this project to bring a Local Produce Market to Newport.

Newport Community Energy Project

Newport Area Environment Group, working with West Wales EcoCentre’s People’s Power Station project have teamed up with Newport Memorial Hall to create Newport Community Energy Project (NCEP)

NEWSFLASH: Newport Memorial Hall is through to the next round of funding for ‘Energyshare’.

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LAND AHOY! Newport Allotments at last

For over 6 years a group of residents have longed to find land for allotments in Newport. Down the years diverse efforts have been made, with many letters, meetings, approaches to Authorities – the Barony, the Community and later Town and County Councils. Continue reading