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Heritage Impact Statements in Wales — Reminder

From 1 September 2017 a Heritage Impact Statement will be required to support any application for listed building or conservation area consent in Wales. The Heritage Impact Statement will replace the Design and Access Statement in the application process for listed building consent.
This requirement is set out in Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Wales) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2017 (SI 2017/638).
Guidance on preparing a Heritage Impact Statement is contained in Heritage Impact Assessment in Wales. This is aimed principally at owners and occupiers of historic assets and their agents, but it will also be useful for decision-making authorities when formulating policies and considering applications for works to historic assets.
Please note that a Design and Access Statement will still be required to support planning applications within a World Heritage Site or conservation area for one or more dwellings or the creation of a floor space of 100 square metres (gross) or more. Further guidance is available in Design and Access Statements in Wales.

Plant a Tree Charter Legacy Tree

In celebration of the launch of the new Tree Charter on 6 November 2017, 800 Legacy Trees will be planted across the UK. Your council can receive a Legacy Tree by following the links below. Please apply by the deadline of 13 October 2017.

In your application your council will need to demonstrate its commitment to its local trees. A simple way to do this is by becoming a Tree Charter Branch. As a Tree Charter Branch your council will be joining a growing network of councils helping to shape tree policy in the UK. Becoming a Charter Branch is completely free (as are Tree Charter Legacy Trees) and will in no way effect the autonomy of your council. Your level of involvement is up to you. The main activity you will be invited to get involved with is helping to gather signatures of support for The Tree Charter.

Apply to plant a Legacy Tree

Register your Local Council as a Charter Branch (simply add your local council's name and details to the boxes on the right hand side of the webpage)

Find out more about becoming a Charter Branch, by visiting the Local Councils: Becoming a Charter Branch blog

The Tree Charter is an initiative being developed by more than 70 organisations across the UK. The charter will set out how our local communities and trees can best benefit one another. It will serve as a resource which local councils across the UK can use in support of their efforts to look after the trees in their area.

Find out more about the Tree Charter - If you have any inquiries or problems, or wish for guidance on how to get your council involved with the Tree Charter, please contact:

Quarter of a billion pound boost for Wales’ rural communities

On the day before the UK Government triggers Article 50, formally signalling the start of post-EU negotiations, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs has delivered a £223million boost to Wales’ rural communities.

Lesley Griffiths today confirmed she is fully committing the remaining tranche of funding under the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020.

The funding, a combination of Welsh Government and EU money, is an investment in key areas that will help rural communities to be more resilient during the post-EU transition period. It will provide Wales’ farmers, food producers, landowners and others with a certain degree of assurance that they can start to make future plans and shape their business operations accordingly.

Full details of upcoming scheme windows under the RDP will be available on the Welsh Government website in due course.

OWL Messaging Service

In-Depth Warning of NEW Scam Phishing e mail

Dear Watch Member,
Fraudsters are turning to ‘kindness’ in an attempt to gain trust with new phishing emails which encourage the recipient to open an attachment on the false premise that they could have already fallen victim to scammers.

In the past few days the OWL WATCH office has received many reports of this scam attempt.  Action Fraud has received 226 reports from email users who have this email. The phishing email is sent from a fraudster who describes themselves a “law-abiding citizen” who has ‘accidentally received’ the email recipient’s personal details. Attached to the phishing email is a document which the fraudster claims contains the recipient’s personal details. The fraudster suggests that the  recipient’s details may have been made available to scammers and they are contacting them to try to rectify the problem. To do so the recipient must open the document to view what is on there.
These e mails are being sent to a large amount of  personal and business email addresses, pretending to come from e mail addresses which have been compromised. The email claims they are ‘disturbing; the recipient for a ‘very serious reason’. It then goes on to imply that they have a significant amount of ‘information’ on the recipient. The e mail then displays the recipients home address (or an address associated with the recipient). The sender then suggests that the recipients details may have been hacked and attaches a file, inviting the recipient to open it to view what ‘potential information’ the hackers have on them. The file is a ‘.dot ‘ usually titled with the recipients name

In reality, the attached document opens the door to malware being downloaded onto the victim’s computer. The malware attempts to obtain sensitive data from victims, such as banking credentials and passwords; this is subsequently used to take money from the victim.

In order to protect yourself from malware, having up-to-date virus protection is essential; however it will not always prevent you from becoming infected.

Protect yourself

• Don’t click on links or open any attachments you receive in unsolicited emails or SMS messages. Remember that fraudsters can ‘spoof’ an email address to make it look like one used by someone you trust. If you are unsure, check the email header to identify the true source of communication.
• Do not enable macros in downloads, enabling the macro will allow the malware to be installed onto your device
• Always install software updates as soon as they become available. Whether you are updating the operating system or an application, the update will often include fixes for critical security vulnerabilities.
• Create regular backups of your important files to an external hard drive, memory stick or online storage provider. It’s important that the device to which you back up isn’t left connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that too.
• If you think your bank details have been compromised, you should immediately contact your bank.

The sheer number of reports that have been received over the past three days is concerning and reports continue to be made. We are warning the public to be vigilant and not click on links or attachments from unknown recipients or in unsolicited emails
If you have been affected by this, or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by visiting

OWL V042465 - appeal for information - Wrexham murder

Following the arrest of a  25 year old Wrexham man for the murder of Nicholas Anthony Churton, police are renewing their appeal for information to assist their investigation.

Officers were called at 8.23am on Monday, March 27 to an address in Crescent Close, Wrexham where the body of Mr Churton, aged 67 was found.

Suspect, Jordan James Lee Davidson, 25 was arrested in Flint in the early hours of March 29. He is currently in custody in St Asaph.

Det Supt Iestyn Davies, who is leading the investigation said; “Mr Churton who lived alone and was a vulnerable, partially disabled man, died in horrific circumstances.

Police thank the public for their support but are now appealing again for as much information as we can get from the public to help us with their investigation.

Police believe that Mr Churton was killed sometime between 2.45pm on Thursday and midnight on Friday March 24. Police are keen to hear from anyone who heard or witnessed a disturbance in Crescent Close in that time.

Meanwhile a 35 year old man and a 27 year old woman, both from Old Colwyn, arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

A 27 year old man from Wrexham arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender remains in police custody.

A 19 year old woman and 51 year old man from Wrexham arrested along with Davidson in Flint remain in custody on suspicion of a robbery committed against a man in the Chester area last night, for which Davidson has also been arrested.

Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting reference OWL.V042465.

OWL CYMRU/1375 Selling items – Please be Careful

We have received a call from a resident who responded to a notice in a supermarket offering to buy jewellery. The resident telephoned and spoke with a person, who said they would buy from them for cash. The resident then gave their full name and address, receiving a call back from them to book a time/date to call at their home to potentially purchase the jewellery. The trader then asked approximately  how much cash they needed to bring if they were to purchase the items, to which the resident responded saying ‘thousands’. The trader never arrived at the arranged date and time to look at and purchase the items.  There is now concern as to whether this was a ruse to establish what properties have substantial jewellery within.

Enquiries are ongoing and the residents are being supported, and assisted via our partner agencies  having reported the matter  to us at OWL WATCH. This serves as a useful reminder to be wary of passing your details, or making appointments in your home,   in response to a flier without thoroughly checking, through all available channels, as to whether the company is reputable and  genuine or not.

In regards to selling jewellery the advice is do not to respond to notices and or leaflets, visit your local jewellers or other reputable outlet. If unsure seek advice from your local Trading Standards Office.

Cold Callers

There have been reports of  cold callers in the Cefn Y Bedd area, offering to sell mattresses. They were also overheard trying to purchase a caravan that was in a driveway, from a resident. They were in a  silver dreams van.

This is a useful reminder to be wary of opportunistic rogue traders knocking on doors offering to do work or make repairs.

Cold callers can be difficult to contact in the event something goes wrong with the service or product you have purchased.

Also, remember identity cards may not be genuine. If you have someone at your door claiming to be from the Council, or saying they are from one of your service providers, check they are genuine  by phoning a number obtained from a trusted source, not one provided by the cold caller

If you have any suspicions regarding cold callers North Wales Police can be contacted by dialling 101 (non emergency number). In an emergency, dial 999

Caravan Security packs and other useful security resources can be purchased from our online shop . We can be contacted on 01352 708118 or email

Email purporting to be from BT

We have received numerous reports this week of a scam e mail, purporting to be from BT. This alert is being circulated to try and prevent anyone falling victim to this latest scam attempt.

The e mail appears genuine, but it  is not. It is titled ‘Your monthly payment (gives a series of numbers) was recently declined’ The email says that the decline could be due to insufficient funds, card expired etc. It then goes on to say that ‘since you haven’t provided us with new billing information yet, we thought we would remind you’ It then goes on to ask for updated billing information to avoid any billing problems with the account. There is then a link for recipients to click on. BT have confirmed this is a scam/phishing e mail. Please see advice from BT below for assistance in dealing with fraudulent e mails.

Theft of Number Plates

Free crime pack and a set of number plates screws are available at £1.50 per set. Offer for residents of Flintshire & Wrexham only.

Contact Eastern Community Safety 01352 702145 or 01978 348197 quoting OWL.

Tips to help keep your dog safe

  • Think twice before leaving your dog tied up outside a shop. You will make them a vulnerable and tempting target for opportunist thieves.
  • Don’t leave your dog alone in the car, even for a few minutes. Thieves can easily break into your car to steal your precious pet. If you would like one of our Dog Watch Car stickers please contact us.
  • Make sure your dog is microchipped and that you keep your contact details up-to-date, especially if you move house or change your telephone number.
  • Your dog should always wear a collar and ID tag with your name and address on it. This is a legal requirement when your dog is in a public place. Avoid putting your dog’s     name on the disc.
  • Take clear photographs of your dog from various angles, and update them regularly. Make a note of any distinguishing features.
  • Have lots of photographs of yourself with your dog, to help you to prove ownership if needed. Train your dog to come back when called, and never let him off the lead if you are not sure he will come back to you. If in doubt, use an     extending lead, especially if you are in an unfamiliar area where your dog may get lost more easily.
  • Take care when choosing someone to care for your dog if you are going away from home or need a dog walker     whilst you go to work. Use a reputable company or boarding kennels and check references for people who provide dog or house-sitting services.
  • At home, make sure your garden is secure and fit a bell to the gate so you hear if anyone opens it.
  • Keep your dog in view in the garden, don’t just leave him outside unsupervised.
  • If you breed puppies for sale, take great care when inviting people in to view; ideally have someone else present and limit the numbers of people you allow in at a time. Show the     puppies in one secure area.
  • Decide who owns the dog in your household. Discuss who would own the dog in the event of bereavement or break up and draw up documentation to this effect. This may seem     unnecessary, but pets can become the centre of ownership disputes in these circumstances.

Prevent your dog being stolen while out walking

  • Beware of strangers asking you questions about your dog.
  • Vary your times of walks and routes; some dogs are actually targeted and snatched during walks.
  • Dog walker safety packs are available from OWL Watch

If the worst happens and your dog is stolen

  • If your dog is lost or suspected stolen, it is important to act quickly.
  • Report the loss to your local council’s Dog Warden and those in all other neighbouring local authorities.
  • Visit places where dog walkers go such as local parks and public places and talk to people, asking them to keep an eye open for your dog.
  • If you believe your pet has been stolen, report it to the police and insist it is recorded as a theft and not a lost animal.
  • Report the loss/theft to the microchip database, this will ensure that if anyone tries to re-register the chip number, you will be informed.
  • Make posters and display them in areas local to your home and also in relevant places such as vets, local parks etc. The poster should include a clear photograph and details of the     circumstances.
  • Make sure local vets are aware in case someone takes your dog in for treatment.
  • Report the loss on as many as possible of the missing animal’s websites – there is no single national missing animal’s database, so you will have to place the same information on all of them to ensure a widespread appeal.
  • Contact local animal shelters and rescue charities and send them posters to display.

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