Weekly digest: Aug 18th

Hello everyone

Firstly, let me say ‘thank you’ to all who responded to the Housing Positioning paper that Mark posted last week. He has provided a follow-up post – attached below – with a sample of the comments received. They are all very interesting. If you’ve not taken chance yet to respond, then Mark reminds us that we have until September. Please take time to give us your views. And if you have already responded but have had further thoughts, then please send in another response – the more the merrier!

  1. Broxtowe Lotto – now open for business!
    • You’ll recall I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that the council are launching a Lotto scheme to help support good causes here in Broxtowe. You’ll also remember that the Forum signed up early to the programme.
    • As a quick reminder; each ticket costs £1 and comprises 6 numbers. If all your numbers come up (in the right order) then you win the jackpot of £25,000. Lesser amounts are won for fewer numbers. Here’s a pdf file summary of the scheme
    • BUT.. each £1 ticket bought via our page, means we receive 50p! Soooo….
    • ….if you like a flutter on Lotto and would like some of your cash to be donated to us then please..buy your tickets from our CTTC Forum page: here’s the link!
    • First weekly draw takes place on Sat 22 Sept., so you have a few weeks to decide if you’d like to take part or not.
    • Finally, if you want more information about how the scheme works – here is a link to the main Broxtowe Lotto page where you can find full details
  2. Application for a further grant from Locality
    • This item is linked to the above really. In our ongoing quest to produce a strong, detailed Neighbourhood Plan, we need further funding. This time, we are seeking a grant to pay for a consultant to undertake some master planning for us.
    • We’ve received a quote from one of the university students who helped us out last year. He is now qualified and has expressed an interest to continue working with us and help produce further detailed master plans
    • These will help shape our ideas as well as illustrate the way both Chetwynd Barracks and the Toton Lane area could look in the future. The output will form a key part of our Plan by illustrating scenarios for the new developments
    • We’ve applied to Locality – the government sponsored body set up to support neighbourhood planning – for a further grant. Fingers crossed they will agree to fund this piece of work. Watch this space.
  3. And finally…..
    • Toton Delivery Board membership. We’ve drafted an appeal to the decision to exclude the Forum from this Board – setup to oversee development of the Growth Zone. The draft is currently being reviewed, but it will be submitted next week. Hopefully the key players on the HS2 Strategic Board will acknowledge the merit of our case and invite us to join the Delivery Board.
    • Notts County Council Meeting. Following on from above, we are meeting senior directors from Notts County Council next week. They asked us to show them around the HS2 growth zone site and to let them know our emerging views for the future. We have been asked to join the HS2 working groups (operating out of County Hall) that feed into the Toton Delivery Board. By taking part, we intend to influence and shape the plans for our area.
    • The Barracks subgroup met last week. This time the discussion focused on the environment and in particular the green spaces and corridors we want to see in the Barracks area. The subgroup was joined by both Norman and Margaret, the strand leaders for the environment, and the outcome was a good idea of the main corridors we’d like to see. These primarily cover the eastern side of the site including Hobgoblin wood, the memorial garden and the playing fields in the south east corner.

Enough from me this week, as I know you are just itching to have a look at Mark’s follow-up post below!

Kind regards
Graham

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Housing Group Position Paper Public Comment – Reminder

Hi All,

A gentle reminder for those of you who haven’t been able to read and comment on the Housing Group’s Position Paper (here) that we’d like you to read and comment by the beginning of September and to thank those of you who have read it and particularly those who have made comments.

The topics we’re particularly interested in your views can be found in last weeks post but any comments are welcomed.

A sample of the comments we’ve received follows:

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Affordable housing – We should honour whatever government guidelines suggest, but no more.

Social housing – Please keep this to a minimum

Retirement living – I believe this is a good thing and from experience of my late mother-in-laws circumstances, it seemed to work when people over 60, say, were grouped together

Environment/Sustainability – I have read a few Nottinghamshire Wildlife reports suggesting green spaces/wildlife is good for you health. Therefore I would like to see as much parkland, trees, ponds etc as possible.

Retirement village: Good but I think that you have got it right with small clusters as some would like to be just among people their own age and some would like to be mixed with the rest of the community as you say, so I think this is the way forward.

With regard to Affordability, I think it is sensible to adopt the BBC definition since they will simply apply this when they are making planning decisions.  I do wonder though how we could innovate in this respect.  I’ve long held the view that if someone can reliably pay rent for 5 years then they can be trusted to reliably pay a mortgage to the same monthly cost.  I wonder if some sort of accreditation scheme with investment companies could work where for the first 5 years you rent and build up your “rating” and then at the end you get a choice to flip to a mortgage on the property you are in, or qualify for a mortgage you can take to another property. I hear so many people who are paying high rents but can’t get a mortgage and this seems ludicrous to me. Our area could be an innovator in that respect with a rent-to-mortgage scheme.  The idea would be simple to establish by designating certain new properties to the scheme during the initial build phase, then as the stock matures and people start to move you make it so that any property can be brought into the scheme for people who have never had a mortgage but want to get on the property ladder.

For Social Housing it’s important to get the balance right.  When done well it helps raise people up, when done badly it brings an area down.  I was born and raised in an area (in York) where there was a crescent of social housing among a large privately owned housing area.  This worked really well – many of my childhood friends lived there, we all went to the same schools.  I think streets like Alexandra Crescent in Beeston work really well as an example of this locally.  But if you grow much beyond this then it starts to fail.

For Retirement Living it’s simply important to get the right blend so there is choice and affordability.  Pockets of bungalows like the ones on Attenborough Lane near the Havelli restaurant are great and add to the character of the area. I think that fits really well with your concept of “small pockets” used for unique developments amongst the standard builds.  It needs to work across the spectrum of affordability and disability though.  My elderly in-laws would love nothing better than to be in a smaller single storey property with a small shared/community garden and warden assistance (mother-in-law is disabled with arthritis).  They live in a terraced house, so this sort of housing is a step up for them and would need to be affordable.  My mum on the other hand lives in a large semi and would love to downsize, but in York the bungalows cost more than the semis.  So finding a way to offer this mobility to the ones who can afford it is also part of the conundrum.

For Environment/Sustainability I think the language should be really definitive and robust that we are building for the 21st century here and sustainable features MUST be standard in all new buildings (residential and business).  It is a false economy not to include solar panels, battery storage, ground source heat, grey water storage/reuse and charging points for electric vehicles, and developers should not be allowed to cut these corners to shave a few pounds off the build costs to increase their profits. As an absolute minimum we should insist that all affordable and social housing has the maximum possible with regard to these features since they all make living day-to-day cheaper.

We should also make sure there are more community centres. There is a dearth of affordable spaces to rent for relatively small sums to be able to run things like yoga, zumba, ballroom dancing, aerobics, social and community gatherings.  These help build community.  We’ve made many new friends dancing at the Christ Church Hall in Beeston on Wednesday evenings, but as a facility it is very tired and not quite fit for purpose.  The area would benefit hughely from more such facilites.

Just a brief specific comment on housing matters. You will be aware of the serious problems caused in many residential areas by cars and vans parking in residential areas. So many households have 2 and more vehicles thus inevitably causing parking issues. I would suggest that any housing proposals give serious consideration to this matter. It may be that severe requirements are placed on future developers through the planning rules of the local authority requiring parkiing provision for at least 2 vehicles. Developers always want high density housing so are not keen on providing good parking at or very close to individual houses.

I was born is a village in Hampshire in 1939 and so have become accustomed to village life. After studying in cities I went to Nothampton to work and lived for over 25 years in a village. Whilst I now appeciate life in Chilwell with its good transport links I also find a form of village life here where people know each other and there is a mixed community. With this background i am a beleiver in mixed housing rather than the boring “executive” houses filling the land and I would hate to live in a retirement village because I like to socialise with all ages and origins.

There is a painful shortage of affordable homes and the renting scene is a disgrace to the nation. If you go to mainland Europs it is common to rent for life. We should not be hamstrung by short term lets.

I also value open space to walk and keep tolerarbly fit and active. We need plenty of trees to clean the air. Look at Bramcote Hills park. I get enormous pleasure looking at the scenery whilst walking.

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Comments can be made by emailing me direct at mark.cttcnf@gmail.com or by completing the form below

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Weekly digest: Aug 11th

Hello again

This week’s edition a little different than usual – actually it’s quite a lot different! Up to now you’ve patiently ‘listened’ to me providing updates each week. But we’re now at the stage where Steering Group subgroups are documenting thoughts & ideas for the Plan. And we need your input to help shape/refine these ideas. Which means less from me this week..

  1. So, firstly……. some snippets
    • Heritage & Landscape workshop was held on Thursday. This was run by our consultants AECOM as part of their overall assessment they are producing for us. The workshop was very positive, and they took away lots of ideas we gave them about what we believe is valuable in our area. We look forward to their report in early September.
    • SG Plan workshop was also held last Thursday. This replaced our normal monthly meeting (due to peak holiday commitments) so a subset of the full Group met to discuss and agree the overall shape and structure of our Plan. We agreed to use the Thame Town Council Plan as our blueprint as it was well received by the examiners when first published for its effective style and ‘readability’. Here’s a link to the Thame Plan – please have a look and let us know your thoughts on the look/feel.
    • We received a welcome donation from Cllr Richard Jackson – one of our county councillors. This donation (allied to an earlier donation from Cllr Eric Kerry) will be put to good use to help us run some consultation sessions. We are grateful to both for their ongoing support of our activities.
  1. And finally…..your Housing subgroup needs you!…
    • … to comment on the Position Paper that Mark and his team have put together outlining our current thoughts about new housing in our area
    • Mark sets out the context for the Paper, along with some key ‘asks’ we want you to consider, in his post below.
    • The paper (follow the link to the document) summarises the key considerations for new housing in the area. It contains details of the feedback from the consultations we held last spring as well as providing the statistics we need to justify our ideas going forward
    • But this is a positioning paper, so it doesn’t contain firm policies – that will be the next stage, once you have had the chance to review and comment.
    • Please, please, please take the time to have a look at the Paper and provide comments, either directly to Mark via email or online. Both options are explained at the end of his post.

You will see more of these requests over the coming weeks as the other strands formulate their ideas. But housing is a ‘biggie’ and your views are crucial. We need to know we are properly capturing and reflecting your views.

This week’s edition marks another ‘first’ for us. The first time we’ve tried to bring together 2 separate posts into one e-newsletter, so fingers crossed it works okay and Mark’s post follows this one.

Kind regards
Graham

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Housing Group Position Paper for Public Comment

Hi All,

As we promised after our first meeting, the Housing Group now feel ready to publish our Position Paper. You will find it if you follow this link. Its a relatively short document and we would appreciate it if you would take the time to read it and comment.

Whilst we largely had consensus on the position paper, there are four things that we would especially like your comments on:

  1. Affordability: We have adopted the Broxtowe Borough Council definition of Affordability (and hence the Government’s definition). However, we are interested in your opinion on the quantity of Affordable Housing to be included in any developments;
  2. Social Housing: Similarly we are interested in your views on how much social housing should be included in any new developments (we presently have 11.5% of all housing as social housing); (Note we distinguish between Social Housing and Affordable Housing in that anybody can have access to Affordable Housing but Social Housing is available to those with a social need).
  3. Retirement Living: We had long debates as to whether there should be a “Retirement Village” or whether the elderly should be mixed in amongst the rest of the community. Our compromise was that we felt there should be “small clusters” of similar housing to encourage some mixing but also some isolation. We would appreciate your views; and finally
  4. Environment/Sustainability: We have identified some ways in which the housing in the area could be more environmentally friendly and sustainable. Do you have any other things you would like included.

There are two ways to comment, either you can email me at mark.cttcnf@gmail.com or complete the comments form at the end of this post.

Please comment by the beginning of September so we can review comments at our next meeting.

 

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Weekly digest: Aug 4th

Hello everyone

Another week goes by and, before you know it, it’s the start of a new month. The Forum is now engrossed in drafting up policies for our Area so you’ll start to notice more and more updates about this key element of our work over the next couple of months. But for now, let me finish a task started last week.

  1. Local Plan Part 2: the review (part 2)
    • I mentioned last week that we were pleased with the council’s response to the representations we submitted last week regarding policies about the Barracks site and HS2 site.
    • This week I’ll finish with a summary of the remaining representations we submitted regarding other, generic, policies.
      • Policy 17: Place-making, design and amenity. An unwieldy name but it covers the overall amenities of a development such as safe streets, good access to public transport etc. We asked for this section to specifically include good design for walking and cycling and we are very pleased to see it has been adopted.
      • Policy 23: Proposals affecting designated assets. The original version mentioned that the council would seek to work with ‘established civic societies’. We asked to broaden it out to include neighbourhood forums as well. Again, we are pleased to report our suggestion was adopted as it now references ‘established voluntary groups including Civic and Local History Societies’.
      • Policy 26: Travel Plans. The council have also incorporated our suggestion that travel plans will be expected to include ‘how developments will encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport’.
      • It wasn’t all positive news. The council decided not to adopt our suggestions to: a) include all-weather sports pitches within policy 25 Sports & Tourism; b) to specify the width of green corridors (50 metres we advised) within policy 28 Green Infrastructure. There were a couple of other minor suggestions we made that didn’t get included, but these were more of a ‘could’ rather than ‘should’ adopt so we’re not too surprised they were left out.
    • Overall, we are very pleased to see the Forum’s representations were all considered, with the most significant ones being adopted. This demonstrates that the council takes the Forum seriously. And that is down to your support and your input to the consultations we host.
      So, a big ‘THANK YOU’ from the Steering Group for your ongoing support!

  2. Funding applications – an update
    • I reported a while ago that we had applied for a grant to the lottery programme ‘Awards for All’. Unfortunately, we heard a couple of weeks ago that we were turned down, due to including an element to fund our own traffic survey of the Area.
    • They felt this element was more appropriately carried by a statutory authority – either the Borough or County Council.
    • Despite this, they advised us to resubmit and focus more on community engagement, so that is what we are doing. We want to undertake some ‘micro-consultations’ where we target a specific set of streets in a key area. Such as those roads in Toton closest to the proposed HS2 station, or Stapleford Lane residents that back onto the Barracks, where proposed development of new houses will likely start. We think it important to engage directly with residents in key areas to get their views on development that will take place next to them. More news on this application in due course.
  3. Neighbourhood Plan – revised timetable
    • The Steering Group spent some time at our last meeting discussing our overall schedule to produce our Plan.
    • We are now aiming to complete the drafting of policies ideally by the end of September (ambitious) but no later than end of October
    • We will be asking you to review some/all of these policies before they are included in our draft Plan which we intend to complete by Christmas.
    • Early in the New Year (we are targeting our AGM) we plan launch the Plan for formal consultation with residents before undertaking final revisions and submission to the council before Easter 2019.
    • We then expect the process to take a further 3 or 4 months for the council’s formal review & examination before finally being presented to all residents in our Area to vote on in a referendum.
    • Based on this timeline, it will be another 12 months before our Plan is formally adopted as an authorised document. It sounds a long time but in planning terms, this is a relatively fast process. So, to coin a phrase, we all need to ‘keep on keeping on…’
  4. And finally….
    • ….well, unusually for me, I don’t think I have any more updates this week. Nothing that can’t wait for another time anyway.

So, I’ll see you all next time around – that is, next week!

Kind regards
Graham

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Weekly digest: Jul 28th

Hello again

After a short summer recess, albeit being busy in our Area, the digest resumes normal service with updates on current activities. And we’re in another period where there’s a lot to report on, so…….

  1. Tesco Toton Fete
    • We had a great time last Saturday on Manor Park. Weather was v hot and sunny, but there was a good turnout. Lots of people took the time to visit us and give us their views on the latest ideas from HS2 as well as their thoughts on some outline ideas we have for the Barracks
    • We registered a further 25 people with the Forum who will now be receiving these weekly ramblings. I’ve done a quick summary of our numbers and we now have:
      • Total people registered with Forum: 804
      • Number of members (live/work in Area): 720
      • Number receiving weekly digest: 699
      • Overall, numbers are steadily increasing & it’s great to have so many stay in touch via the digests. I can’t wait to break the 1,000 mark!
    • A further positive outcome from the fete was that Toton Churches has kindly shared the results of their ‘Listening to you…’ questionnaire undertaken on the day. A number of the issues captured resonate with our own findings such as: traffic generally; speeding on Swiney Way; poor public transport (no easy link to Long Eaton) etc. It is good to feed these issues into our Neighbourhood Plan
  2. Local Plan Part 2: the review (part 1)
    • I promised a couple of weeks ago to provide an update on the Plan once we had chance to review it. We’ve now done that and overall, we are pretty pleased with the results
    • It is clear the council listened to and acted on a number of our representations made last autumn after the series of consultations we held in the area. In particular the council have now included in the Barracks policy:
      • A key requirement to ‘facilitate’ a north/south road to link to the Tram Park through the top of the site. This is a major win for the Forum as we were the first to raise this matter as an essential improvement to the area.
      • Another key requirement is to ensure there is a green corridor around the northern & eastern part of the site that links to the playing field at the south east. Another significant win for us as it takes our idea to create a ‘horse shoe green corridor’ that will link up with Toton Fields Local Nature Reserve
      • Developers must look to retain and re-use existing buildings where possible. This will help protect the heritage assets on the site
      • An assurance that the site must be treated as ‘one entity’ – which means developers will not be allowed to parcel up chunks of land and develop them independently of each other.
    • Regarding the land around the HS2 station, the council have incorporated (as a Key Requirement) our ideas to develop a ‘significant [green] corridor in the area’ along the southern boundary. We had asked for a ’50 metre’ wide corridor so we are a little disappointed they were unable to commit to a definitive width. Nevertheless, this is a welcome improvement to previous wording and we can still present our case for 50 meters during the examination process.
    • I’ll hold off comments on the rest of Plan until next week to avoid overload….
  3. Broxtowe Lotto – coming your way in the next couple of weeks!
    • Yes, the Steering Group is always looking for ways to raise cash to help fund our activities and so we are pleased to be one of the first to sign up to this scheme launched by Broxtowe Council a couple of weeks ago
    • Basically, it works on the basis of customers signing up for 1 (or more!) weekly tickets costing a £1 each. For that you’ll get 6 numbers that are entered into the draw each week. You’ll win the 1st prize of £25,000 if all your 6 numbers are drawn in the correct order. Lesser prizes are based on 5, 4, 3, or 2 number matches in the correct order
    • For our part the important bit is that when customers sign up for their ticket(s), they can choose a ‘good cause’ they wish to support. Each ‘good cause’ chosen will directly receive 50p out of every £1 ticket purchased
    • So, naturally, the CTTC Forum has registered with the scheme as a ‘good cause’. This means if 100 people selected the Forum as their ‘good cause’, we would receive £50! And if these people regularly played the Lotto (and the expectation is for people to sign up on a regular basis via Direct Debit) then that would be a windfall of £2,500 for the year!
    • I’ll come back to this again in a couple of weeks (and again after that no doubt!) as we do believe this is a simple & effective way for our supporters to help fund the activities we need to undertake to develop a strong and credible Plan for our Area.
    • Please have a think and see if you are willing to help in this way. Here is a link to more details of the scheme on the council’s website. And here’s a link to the actual Lotto site, although you cannot buy tickets yet.
  4. And finally……
    • Heritage Assessment report – entering the home straight! We are holding a workshop with our consultants (Aecom) in a couple of weeks to tell them about the important assets we have in our Area. Aecom have undertaken a number of site visits so are well on the way to finalising their report to us. We will be flagging up to them our key assets, but if there is anything you’d like us to raise with them, now is the time to let us know (via a comment online).
    • HS2 Strategy Board. We attended the latest Board meeting last Monday. They have now finalised plans for the Toton Delivery Board – both terms of reference and proposed membership. At this stage, the Forum hasn’t been nominated to sit on the Delivery Board. However, we have been invited to write to the Strategy Board chair/vice-chair to argue our case that we should be a member. More on this in future editions.

I think that is more than enough for this week. More next week with further feedback on the Local Plan, plus updates on current funding applications and details of our workplan for the next quarter. Stayed tuned!

Kind regards
Graham

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Weekly digest: July 14th

Hello again

I thought I’d spend this week introducing you to some more of our subgroups who are working on different elements of our Neighbourhood Plan. Last week I covered the Barracks and Housing subgroups.  Two more subgroups working on the Plan cover: a) Environment; and b) Infrastructure. Some initial approaches and thoughts from these groups are shared below. If you have any comments about these workstreams or wish to get involved, please get in touch!

  1. Environment
    • The Lawton Review took place over 10 years ago. This was a government sponsored enquiry into the state of the natural environment and its report, “Making Space for Nature”, was published in 2010. It has since become the blueprint for environmental actions by both the government and environmental organisations/charities.
    • The report identified the need for more, bigger, better and joined ecological networks and the Forum has adopted its five key principles:
      • Improve the quality of current sites by better habitat management.
      • Increase the size of current wildlife sites & avoid further fragmentation.
      • Enhance connections between sites, either through physical corridors, or utilising ‘stepping stones’.
      • Create new sites.
      • Reduce pressures on wildlife by improving the wider environment.
    • The subgroup’s main objectives are:
      • To protect and manage the natural environment in our Area in order to achieve sustainable development
      • Create new green infrastructure to enhance human and natural environment connectivity and thus provide social and economic as well as environmental benefits.
      • Our Area will be a clean and green place, an attractive area in which to live, work and play and where the environment (in the broadest sense) is cared for and respected.
    • The main thrust of the subgroup is to develop the idea of a new ‘horse shoe’ environmental corridor linking Toton Fields LNR in the west and Hobgoblin Wood in the east.
  2. Infrastructure
    • Areas of scope
      • There are currently 3 points of access to our Area: north (Bardills island); west (from Long Eaton) and east (from Attenborough). Clearly, we experience bottle necks at all points at the moment. It will only get worse without significant modifications
      • How do we encourage people out of cars?
      • Bus service. How to improve local services and what new services will be required to meet demand from Barracks development and HS2 hub station?
      • Cycle ways and pedestrian footpaths. Examine ways to encourage more cycling and walking – especially through the Barracks and to/from the HS2 site
      • Assess on-street parking to stop kerb parking and loss of pavement.
      • Electricity substation – possibly remove the one at top of Stapleford lane. Sink all electric cables below ground (Remove pylons)
      • Superfast broadband / Provision of fibre optic to door
    • Key to road infrastructure for the Area is the review/redesign of Bardills Island. Projects that impact on this are:
      • A52 between Nottingham and M1/Derby. Redesign of this route, around M1 junction 25, is being planned by Highways England
      • Traffic to HS2 hub station inc. the classic rail services that will operate there
      • Traffic to west of Toton Lane – Innovation Village + housing.
      • George Spencer School traffic drop off / collect
      • Tram Park and Ride site
      • Access to Garden Centre itself
  3. And finally….
    • Broxtowe Local Plan. I briefly mentioned last week that the final version has been published. The relevant committee (Jobs and Economy) meet this Monday 16th to discuss. We haven’t finished reviewing the Plan, but what we’ve seen so far is encouraging. The council have incorporated a number of the suggestions we made following the consultation phase. I’ll share a more detailed review in a future edition. In the meantime, I’ve managed to break out from the overall Plan the 2 key sections that affect our Area:
    • Toton Fete. Takes place next Saturday 21st on Manor Park, Toton. We will be there with a stall showing latest ideas both for the Barracks and the HS2 station. Please come along and have a chat – it will be great to see you.

With the fete taking place next week, a number of us are involved in planning, setting up and running the stall – which is a roundabout way of saying there won’t be a digest published next week!

And, as last week, there now another footie match about to start on the telly. Not quite the final but – hey –  3rd place is something no-one believed possible only a few weeks ago. So, time to don the scarf and dust down the rattle again.  ‘ere we go, ‘ere we go, ‘ere we go…..

Kind regards
Graham

Post match script: Ah well! 4th is still a great place to be……

Posted in Chetwynd Barracks, Green Belt, HS2 Hub Station, Latest News | 2 Comments

Weekly digest: July 7th

Hi everyone

A short edition this week as there’s some sort of footie match taking place later on this afternoon. And with the weather staying hot, it’s not the time to be stuck in a corner slaving over a computer. After all, whilst I enjoy penning these weekly missives, sometimes there’s more important things to be doing…. C’mon England!

So, a quick update on a couple of the subgroups we have in the Forum. More about other subgroups in future editions.

  1. Barracks subgroup
    • The Barracks team sole focus is to look at the MoD site and come up with a plan for how we’d like to see this area redeveloped. They have adopted a twin-track approach to help shape their views:
      1. They have taken the lead to examine the Defence Infrastructure Organisation’s (DIO) submissions to the council. These documents lay out the DIO’s views for the site and provide a useful starting position
      2. The subgroup also use the proverbial blank sheet of paper and imagine what residents would like to see in an ideal world.
    • At their meeting last week, they documented some ‘blue sky’ ideas for the specific area surrounding the memorial garden. We think this part of the site could become a great ‘heart’ for the whole area so we are thinking how best to encourage development around the garden that will attract both residents and visitors to the garden.
    • A good start has been made but there is more to be ‘fleshed’ out.
  2. Housing subgroup
    • This group have a specific task to look at our current housing stock and decide what we’d like to see in the future. For instance, would we like to see:
      1. more 5 bed houses or something smaller?
      2. more detached houses or more flats/apartments?
      3. more affordable homes or more private rented?
    • Whatever we decide we want to see in our Area, we have to ensure we have the evidence that justifies our ‘wants’. And we may not be able to be too prescriptive in how we set policies e.g. the no. of affordable dwellings or no. of private rented.
    • However, the group have done a lot of research to gather data for our Area including future projections of population growth. One of the more compelling stats (to me at least) was the projection that there will be a lot more single person households in the future and that smaller-sized dwellings is going to be in demand
    • The group are finalising their proposals for housing in the next week or two and then we will want to share this with you to get your views. So, expect to see a future digest focus solely on this key topic.
  1. And finally….a couple of snippets
    • Our consultants (AECOM) carried out a site visit on the Barracks last Thursday. They were impressed by what they saw but disappointed not to have chance to look inside any of the buildings (apart from the church). Next step is for them to write up a draft of their assessment and then have a workshop with members of the Steering Group to talk through draft conclusions. This will hopefully take place late Jul/early Aug
    • The Forum managed to rescue the display boards used at the exhibition (in St Mary’s Church) commemorating the centenary of the Shell Factory explosion. These display boards were too good to be dismantled and disposed of. We hope to store them long term and use them at future events and – who knows – perhaps as part of a new museum on the Barracks once it has been sold!
    • The Borough Council’s Local Plan has finally been published. We’ve not had chance to review it yet, but here is a link to the document if you want to have a look. Be warned it comprises a hefty 250+ pages. This document is important to us as it provides the framework for our Neighbourhood Plan.
    • Our next Steering Group meeting takes place Thursday. If you would like to come along or have any matter you like to see raised, please let me know and I’ll send more details

And now there is less than an hour to go to kick off, so I’ll stop now and get prepared. *Clears throat*  “three lions on a shirt, Jules Rimet still gleaming, thirty years of hurt”…

Kind regards
Graham

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Weekly digest: June 30th

Hi everyone

Another busy week for the Forum this week with most of this edition taken up with the HS2 roadshow. But there is other news as well, so without further ado…..

  1. HS2 Roadshow: West Park, Long Eaton
    • The latest HS2 event took place last Weds. There is further development to their thinking for the Sidings although the HS2 team emphasised the Hub Station area is still ‘work in progress’.
    • A number of us from the Steering Group attended and the main changes noted from the previous can be summarised as:
      • Station Hub footprint has increased in size due the car park and has extended down the track toward Long Eaton.
      • All platforms are now above ground level to accommodate the drop from the viaduct through Long Eaton. This includes ‘classic’ Network Rail train platforms. Projected height of platforms is circa 10m above ground level with top canopies roughly 15m above ground level
      • The north/south position of the platforms roughly align with the length of Lonsdale Drive. So, it’s difficult to see how the escarpment at Banks Rd will mask the car park and station light pollution and noise – unless substantial ground works are undertaken.
      • An underground car park is being contemplated but they are awaiting final projections for car park capacity before deciding if they need to dig down and/or build up (i.e. multi-storey).
      • Access to the main station concourse allows for footpaths/cycle ways from Banks Rd direction. The concourse/plaza shopping area is at ground level and passes under the station towards Long Eaton – although routes on Erewash side of station are still unclear. New ‘public rights of way’ will be created to facilitate the above.
      • NET Tram connection has not yet been included!
    • We took a couple of photos of the latest artist impressions they had on display – as always with these illustrations, they are designed to look ‘attractive’. Here’s the links:
    • The next key event on the HS2 timeline is the publication of the Environmental Impact Assessment – due Sept/Oct time. This document will start to ‘harden’ thoughts and turn them into actual proposals.
    • We have arranged to meet with the HS2 lead engineer of the Hub Station in the next few weeks to provide our thoughts and ideas for the station, including better flood mitigation solutions to their current thoughts. As always, we’ll keep you posted
  1. Chilwell Shell Factory explosion events
    • I know I’ve been going on about these events over the last couple of weeks, but they have provided great insight into our local history at the time when Toton wasn’t much more than farmland and Chilwell hardly more than a village.
    • A number of us went to the talk last Thursday on Chilwell Barracks to hear about the factory during WW1 and the incredible efforts to get the factory up and running in barely 6 months.
      • Jim (from our Barracks group) has provided a link to a film: ‘A day in the life of a munition worker’ held on the Imperial War Museum website. It’s a fascinating film that shows the work involved, and it’s of surprisingly good quality considering it was made over 100 years ago.
    • And, of course, we heard about the terrible explosion that took place exactly 100 years ago to the day (if you’re reading this on Sun 1st).
    • We had a look at the memorial since it was cleaned and it’s fair to say that we were underwhelmed. Basically, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation ‘wuz robbed’ if they think they obtained value for money for the clean. Of course, we didn’t see the specification so we’ve no idea what the contractors were asked to do. Nevertheless, apart from the main ‘face’, the rest of it is pretty substandard work. More on this in due course.
    • On our way back to the car park we met someone with a strong interest in the Barracks and he forwarded a couple of WW2 aerial photos of the Barracks. Very interesting to see the area prior to all the development in the last 70+ years. So, I thought I’d share these as well:
  1. Office Outreach in Chilwell…
    • As reported previously, our grant from Locality provides us with the chance to run some regular drop-in sessions. To that end we met with Cllr Graham Harvey up at the Library / Community Centre on Inham Road.
    • Initially we went thinking there might be suitable space for the Forum to use as our office. Unfortunately, it didn’t prove suitable primarily due to security concerns since the room isn’t lockable.
    • However, we realised it would make an ideal space to run regular drop-in sessions for residents in the Inham Nook area. So, we will discuss at a future SG meeting how to set up the space as a semi-permanent display area showcasing maps/ideas for the area. Hopefully we can get something up and running by the end of July.
  2. And finally……
    • Some more dates for your diary…
      • Toton and Chilwell Meadows CAT meeting is taking place next Thursday 5th July at 7.30pm at Toton Methodist Church on Stapleford Lane.
      • Eskdale Summer Fayre on Friday 6th July between 5-7pm at Eskdale Junior School, Chilwell. The Forum is attending with maps & we’ll be happy to explain current ideas.
      • Tesco Toton Fete on Saturday 21st July on Manor Park, Toton. The Forum will have a stall to showcase our latest maps – including latest HS2 maps/pictures.
    • Local Plan Part 2 – publication delayed. Some of you may be wondering why I haven’t mentioned the Plan, which was due to be published this week. The council’s committee meeting has been postponed until Mon July 16th We understand the councillors on the committee requested more time to absorb the contents before discussing it. Considering the importance of the document, I’m not surprised – there is a lot to take in.
    • Beeston North Neighbourhood Forum. We may soon be joined by another Neighbourhood Forum in our neck of the woods. Beeston North ward (either side of the A52 between Bramcote ward and the city boundary) is looking to set up their own Neighbourhood Forum, to shape planning in their part of the Borough. I’ve already extend the offer of help as it is good to see local communities coming together to help shape local planning matters

And I’ve fast run out of space, so I’ll quickly say ‘bye’ and see you next week!

Kind regards
Graham

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Rare Footage of the Chilwell Munitions Factory

This is a link to the BBC and 30 seconds of footage taken inside the Chilwell Munitions Factory on the Barracks taken a couple of years before the explosion.

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