Digest 2 Aug 5th 2017

Well, a week has quickly flown by, so time for our 2nd edition of our new digest. Feedback from last week’s edition was all positive so hopefully we are on the right track with these updates, but as before, please let us know your thoughts so we can look to improve. Now, straight to business:

1. Chetwynd Barracks: meeting with Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO)

  • A small group were invited to meet with the DIO on Chetwynd Barracks in early July to hear initial thoughts about the sale. The DIO is an operating arm of the MoD and is responsible for the sale of MoD land and buildings.
  • Overall the meeting was open, positive and productive and held with the ‘right’ people i.e. at a senior level. We left feeling we made an encouraging start and that they were open to ongoing discussions and engagement.
  • It was made clear during our meeting that certain assets would be protected from development which include:
    • Playing fields and pavilion (at south-east corner of the site)
    • Memorial site, the surrounding garden and a couple of nearby buildings, one of which is an old WW1 Nurses Infirmary
    • Officers Mess (part only as there are bits added that aren’t worth preserving)
    • Hobgoblin Wood – along with all significant trees on the site
    • Shell factory ‘footprint’ (an 8-acre building) will be retained and featured in new development
  • The DIO said there were parts of the site that will be excluded from the sale – specifically:
    • the 200-odd houses at the top of the site that are owned by a 3rd party, Annington Homes. [The MoD sold all their housing stock to Annington approx 20 years ago.]
    • the new Army Reserve Centre (opposite Tesco).
  • Current thinking is for the sale to be completed by 2021 and the site available for development soon after. However, this date is not confirmed so needs to be treated cautiously for now.
  • The council have indicated they want to see 500 homes built on the site before 2028 (the duration of the next Local Plan) and more thereafter.
  • Further meetings will be held with the DIO in due course where we will provide our thoughts and ideas to help shape overall plans. The Barracks sub group will be leading on this work for us so watch out for updates from them.

2. Grant Application to Locality
  • We have applied for a grant to Locality – an organisation set up by the government to help neighbourhood planning teams fund the activities needed to develop a Neighbourhood Plan.
  • Our Forum is deemed to be ‘complex’ due to the number of homes expected to be built in our Area over the next 10 years so we can access grants up to £15,000.
  • We’ve asked for almost £8,000 for the next 6 months to enable us to undertake some in depth consultations with residents and businesses to gather views and ideas about the future of our Area.
  • As a complex Forum we are also entitled to free technical consultancy so we are initially asking for help in identifying and assessing potential sites for development in the Area. The aim is to get independent advice on whether housing numbers and locations in the Local Plan are reasonable.
  • We hope to hear if we have been successful with our application in the next week or two, so expect to hear more on this.

3. Peveril Application for Toton Lane: consultation meeting next Weds August 9th

  • As a follow up from last week, I’ve received feedback from 3 or 4 people relating to the current application. Based on that I think it will be useful to hold a meeting to allow those who are interested to express their views so they can be reflected in our response to the council
  • The deadline for responses is August 15th so I suggest next Wednesday August 9th at 6.30pm at Tesco Costa Coffee
  • I’ll bring some copies of the site plans but I won’t be able to bring everything that has been submitted. So, if you are planning to some along, can you please ensure you have had a look at the application beforehand, especially the Design and Access statement.
  • Following this meeting, I’ll draft up a response on behalf of the Forum and circulate to attendees for comment prior to final submission early the following week.

4. SGM feedback: response to the query on the legal position of our original Area

  • Again, as a follow up from last week, we have now produced a response to the query raised at the SGM relating to the legal issues the Forum might have faced had we stuck to the boundaries of our original Area
  • We have sent the full explanation to the person who raised the query but it is lengthy so I don’t intend to add it below as an appendix this week. To summarise:
  • The council can refuse to designate an area if it considers that the specified area is not appropriate. They only need to make a well-reasoned decision, considering the relevant facts, and it is likely the decision will be lawful.
  • Their decision relating to our original Area is based on 2 facts:
    • HS2 is a national project and so the ‘safeguarded’ zone on the Sidings is protected from local planning authorities and from the Forum; we have no jurisdiction over development in the zone
    • The land to the west of the HS2 site is not connected to our Area and no-one lives there.
  • For the Forum to challenge this decision will mean a judicial review which will  cost money that the Forum simply cannot afford.
  • If you would like to see the full explanation, please let me know and I’ll send out a copy of the document.

5. Chilwell Play Day: August 14th

  • Finally I’m afraid we missed the boat when it comes to organising a stall at the Chilwell Play Day on the 14th. I phoned Liberty Leisure hoping to book a stall but was informed we were too late – we needed to have booked in early July. Ah well – a lesson for us to think earlier about bookings.
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