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Go ahead for One Planet development

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A sustainable development: In Pembrokeshire

CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has become the first local authority in Wales to grant permission for a One Planet sustainable development without going through the planning committee. 

The four hectare development, in Hebron, is also the first to be granted planning permission in Carmarthenshire.

One Planet Developments are a Welsh Government initiative, which allow the construction of sustainable dwellings outside of the area covered by the Local Development Plan, for the creation of small, sustainable land-based businesses.

Applicants must meet the detailed criteria for One Planet Developments, which are laid out by the Welsh Government, and have to produce a management plan, which demonstrates in depth how the applicant will achieve self-sufficiency over a five-year period.

By the end of that period, at least 30% of food consumed by residents must be grown on-site, and at least 65% must be either grown or paid for through money earned from sustainable land-based on-site business.

Strict rules also apply to the construction of dwellings, which must be low-carbon in construction, unobtrusive, and fit in with the surrounding landscape. The developments must be off-grid, as well as meeting a target for global footprint which is far below the national average.

The Hebron development is the brainchild of Salena Walker and Christopher Richards, originally from south Wales. The application, for ‘a low-impact smallholding on four hectares of land… which will have one dwelling and support two people, was passed by planning officers using delegated powers at the end of December.

The development was granted conditionally on the grounds that the applicants provide a detailed report annually showing how they followed the original management plan. Consistent failure to follow the plan can lead to permission being revoked.

One of the land-based businesses will be the sale of fruit and mushrooms grown on-site. They will also be marketing hand-made cosmetics made from herbs grown on-site, manufacturing raw chocolate, and teaching courses in sustainable living.

This application was passed under delegated powers. However, as The Herald reported in September, an application for a similar development was brought before the planning committee, which voted to overturn the planning officer’s recommendation and refuse permission by 10-3.

The main difference between the two developments appeared to be the strength of local opposition to the Rhiw Las development. The local member and Llanboidy Community Council both opposed the development, with the latter even going to the extent of bringing in an external consultant to assess the development.

The Hebron development received no objection from the local member, and the only letters received during the consultation were supportive. Planning applications generally have to be put before the planning committee if the local Councillor requests it, or if two or more objections are received from local residents.

Both of these criteria applied to the Rhiw Las application, which is currently at the early stages of being appealed.

Chair of the Planning Committee Councillor Alun Lenny told The Herald that “people may have difficulty reconciling the granting of permission for this type of development with the difficulty of obtaining permission for the usual type of dwelling.

“I am aware that there is resentment among members of the farming community who have had applications turned down,” he added, suggesting that the Rhiw Las development may have been ‘quite strongly coloured by local people not understanding why this type of development is allowed outside the UDP.

Rhiw Las applicant Dr Erica Thompson was encouraged by the local reaction to the latest application: “It was great to see that another One Planet Development was passed in Carmarthenshire and that it was supported by local residents as a positive contribution to the area,” she told The Herald.

“I hope it will encourage others to read up on the policy and understand more about the benefits of this kind of development.”

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Community

Carmarthenshire Archives’ new building officially opened

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ON MONDAY, November 28, Cllr Rob Evans, Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council, unveiled a specially designed plaque to commemorate the official opening of the brand new Carmarthenshire Archives building.

The official opening was attended by year 6 pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, along with their Headteacher Mr Dylan Evans, who designed the plaque by compiling various artwork and sketches that are housed at the Archives.

Established in 1959, Carmarthenshire Archives is the local authority archive service for the County of Carmarthenshire and the new building is located at St Peter’s Street, Carmarthen. 

The service is home to our extensive collection of historic documents that date from the 13th century to the present day. The collection includes archives, maps, books, photographs, videos and sound recordings. It is the Archives’ mission to preserve and make its documents available for general study and research.

Admission to Carmarthenshire Archives is free and open to anyone who wishes to use the Council’s records. Most of its services are free, but we do charge for some extra services and help.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Cllr Gareth John commented:

“Congratulations to the pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, they have designed an excellent and appropriate plaque that is inspired by the treasure troves of our archives. It was wonderful to welcome them to the official opening so that they can see their work take pride of place at a building that holds great significance to us in Carmarthenshire. 

“This is a brand new and modern building that is fit to keep and protect our county’s most precious historical documents. 

“But of course, these documents are meant to be viewed and studied by school children, students, academics and anybody who has an interest in Carmarthenshire’s rich history; and this excellent facility provides the perfect space for people to come and view these treasures.”

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Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities

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WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or Facebook.com/WWUtilities.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

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Police appeal following theft of items from Home Bargains Crosshands

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OFFICERS from Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft of items, including a Christmas Nutcracker Ornament valued at £129.99, from the Home Bargains store in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

The theft occurred at about 12:40pm on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DPP/2006/27/09/2022/02/C

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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