Weekly digest: Aug 17

Hello again,

Another short update this week since – being peak holiday period – things are a little quiet at ‘Forum Towers’.  Which is welcome news as it gives us all a little break after what has been a pretty hectic period getting the Plan produced. However, we can’t afford to be too complacent as consultation sessions have now been set up and there are a couple of ancillary documents to be produced to support the Plan when it is submitted to the council.

1. Consultation Sessions

  • Dates have been agreed and venues (mostly) booked. We still need to confirm the date/time for the session planned to take place at the Cornmill. The image below contains full details (posters will be distributed at key locations over the next week or 2). So please book a date in your diary and come along to clarify any issues you may have with the Plan
    • Sat 24th Aug:     Toton Methodist Church, Stapleford Lane
    • Sat 31st Aug:     Corn Mill, Swiney Way (to be confirmed)
    • Sat 7th Sept:      Chilwell Library & Community Centre, Inham Road
    • Sat 14th Sept:    1st Chilwell and Attenborough Scout Hall, Attenborough Lane
    • Fri 20th Sept:     Toton Methodist Church, Stapleford Lane

2. Ancillary documents

  • Two additional documents need to accompany the Plan when we submit it to the Council:
    • Consultation Statement. This needs to detail all the consultation events we’ve undertaken to prove the Plan truly reflects the concerns as well as the aspirations and ambitions of the community
    • Basic Conditions Statement. This document needs to demonstrate that our policies align with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). You will no doubt have noted that Appendix III of the Plan provides a high-level match between our policies and Broxtowe’s Local Plan and the NPPF. Well, this Statement needs to flesh out the appendix across all NPPF’s policies.
  • You’ll hear more about these documents in the next few weeks as they start to take shape.

3. And finally…

  • More libraries have hard copies. Stapleford and Long Eaton also a have  copy of our Plan (+ some response forms) so if you happen to be passing a library and have some time to spare, why not pop in and browse the Plan. Opening times, for all libraries, are:
    • Toton:              Mon 2 – 6.30; Weds & Fri 9.30 – 12.30 & 2 – 5; Sat 9.30 – 1pm
    • Chilwell:           Thurs 10 – 12.30 & 2 – 4.30; Sat 9.30 – 12.30
    • Beeston:           Mon-Fri 9.00 – 6pm (at least); Sat 9.00 – 4pm
    • Stapleford:       Mon & Thurs 9.00 – 7pm; Tues, Fri & Sat 9.30 – 1pm (Weds: closed)
    • Long Eaton:      Mon-Fri 9.00 – 5pm (at least); Sat 9.00 – 4pm
  • Don’t forget your feedback! We’re starting to receive some feedback (all pretty positive), but it is fair to describe it as a trickle rather than a torrent.  So, if you’ve read the Plan and you have all the information you need, why delay? As before, if anything is unclear, get in touch and we’ll get back to you ‘tout suite’.
  • Feedback options. To reiterate from last week, there are two ways to let us have your views:

That’s all for this week and I’ll be spending a few days in Somerset next week so expect the next digest in the fortnight. I’ll be back in time for the 1st session on the 24th so hope to see you there.

Kind regards
Graham

Broxtowe Lotto: tickets available from our CTTC Forum page where you’ll find details of the scheme.

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Weekly digest: Aug 3 & 10!

Hello again,

Two for the price of one this time! I’ve no idea how I missed triggering the mailshot last week, but somehow I did. The digest was published okay on-line and on our Facebook page, but it didn’t reach your email inbox – I shall concentrate even more this week.
However, since there is not much more to add to last week, I’ll combine the two and apologise now to on-line/Facebook readers as a lot of it will be somewhat familiar. What follows is a short’ish, and snappy’ish edition covering bits of news relating to the current consultation.

1. So firstly…

  • Consultation leaflets. These have been distributed to the volunteers who kindly stepped forward to help us deliver to every home in the Area. If you haven’t received yours yet, it will probably drop through your letter box in the next week or two. 
  • Social media publicity. Details of the Plan have been posted to some local Facebook sites (Beeston Civic Society, Beeston Updated, Spotted Toton). This has generated good feedback and prompted a big spike in ‘hits’ accessing the Plan online. So, we shall repost in a couple of weeks. If you use Facebook/social media, please share/like the posts to help promote more widely.

2. And secondly…

  • Libraries have hard copies. Toton, Chilwell and Beeston (coffee bar area) libraries now have hard copy versions of the Plan so if you prefer to read a book, you now have a place to go.  Copies of the feedback forms are also available so you can complete a form and leave it behind at the same time. We will be providing Stapleford and Long Eaton libraries with a copy next week to encourage the widest possible response.
  • Library opening times are:
    • Toton: Mon 2 – 6.30; Weds & Fri 9.30 – 12.30 & 2 – 5; Sat 9.30 – 1pm
    • Chilwell: Thurs 10 – 12.30 & 2 – 4.30; Sat 9.30 – 12.30
    • Beeston: Mon-Fri 9.00 – 6pm (at least); Sat 9.00 – 4pm

3. Next up…

  • Stakeholder invitations. Emails have now been sent to interested organisations & key individuals inviting them to take part in the consultation – total of 139 people at 89 organisations. We have already started to receive feedback, the first three being:
    • Historic England: who advised us to get in touch with the ‘historic teams’ at both local council and county council who look after the Historic Environment Record and will have details of designated heritage assets.
    • Coal Authority: who advised us that they have no specific comments as our Area doesn’t contain any surface coal resources or recorded risks from past mining activity
    • Severn Trent: who are very supportive of the Plan and offered useful advice to strengthen our key environmental objectives and policies by incorporating water mitigation measures such as SUDs features into our green corridors.
  • Richard presented Anna Soubry with a copy of the Plan during the week and it was very well received. If you don’t receive Anna’s weekly newsletter here is a link to the post and video from her website  

4. And finally…

  • Don’t forget your feedback! Whilst it’s great to get feedback from stakeholders, the Steering Group is much more interested in your views – the people who live and work in our Area. There is no need to wait until the last minute to give us your thoughts. If you’ve read the Plan and have all the information you need, then jot down your thoughts and send them in. If anything is unclear, get in touch and we will quickly provide answers.
  • Feedback options. There are two ways to let us have your views:
    • Use the response form – here is a link to the Word document – and email your response to us or
    • Use the online form on our website and here is a link to the page. The online form asks, in addition to basic details about you, three main questions (answers range from ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’):
      • Are you broadly in agreement with the approach of the Plan:
      • Are you broadly in agreement with the Vision (Section B):
      • Are you broadly in agreement with the Policies (Section C):
    • There are also some generic comment boxes where you can provide more detail.
  • The more feedback we receive the greater the weight it gives to the Plan. Which, in turn, will oblige developers to listen to us and incorporate our policies in their designs.

The Steering Group met during the week to check progress and we have agreed a number of dates for formal consultation sessions. We’ll quickly book the locations in the next few days and confirm dates and times next week. See you soon…

Kind regards
Graham

STOP PRESS: As of Friday evening 480 people have clicked on the link to the Plan. Which is great news! We now need to convert these links into responses, so please do your bit. It would be terrific is we can get over 500 responses to the consultation.

Broxtowe Lotto: tickets available from our CTTC Forum page where you’ll find details of the scheme.

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Weekly digest: Aug 3

Hello,

A shorter, snappier edition this time since all I have are a few snippety bits of news. All, of course, relating to the current consultation….

1. So firstly…

  • Consultation leaflets. These have been largely distributed to those volunteers who kindly stepped forward to help us out with the task of delivering to every home in our Area. If you haven’t received yours yet, it will probably drop through your letter box in the next week or two. 
  • Social media publicity. Details of the Plan have been posted to a couple of local Facebook sites (Beeston Civic Society, Beeston Updated, Spotted Toton). This has generated good feedback and prompted a nice spike in ‘hits’ accessing the Plan online. So, we shall probably repost in a couple of weeks. If you use Facebook/social media, please share/like the posts to help promote more widely
  • Libraries have hard copies. Both Toton and Chilwell libraries now have copies of the Plan booklet so if you prefer to read a hard copy version rather than on-screen, you now have a place to go.  Copies of the feedback forms are also available from the library so you can complete a form and leave it behind at the same time.
  • Library opening times:
    • Toton: Mon 2 – 6.30; Weds & Fri 9.30 – 12.30 & 2 – 5; Sat 9.30 – 1pm
    • Chilwell: Thurs 10 – 12.30 & 2 – 4.30; Sat 9.30 – 12.30

2. And finally…

  • Stakeholder invitations. Emails have now been sent to organisations with an interest in our Area & key individuals inviting them to take part in the consultation –  total of 139 people at 89 organisations. We have already started to receive feedback. The first three being:
    • Historic England: who advised us to get in touch with the ‘historic teams’ at both local council and county council who look after the Historic Environment Record and will have details of designated heritage assets.
    • Coal Authority: who advised us that they have no specific comments as our Area doesn’t contain any surface coal resources or recorded risks from past mining activity
    • Severn Trent: who are very supportive of the Plan and offered useful advice to strengthen our key environmental objectives and policies by incorporating water mitigation measures such as SUDs features into our green corridors.
  • Steering Group are meeting next week. We’ll be firming up details of the planned consultation sessions in September as well discussing some ad-hoc popup stalls during the latter part of August.

3. And a further finally…

  • Don’t forget your feedback! Whilst it’s great to get feedback from stakeholders, the Steering Group is much more interested in your views – the people who live and work in our Area. There is no need to wait until the last minute to give us your thoughts. If you’ve read the Plan and have all the information you need, then jot down your thoughts and send them in. If anything is unclear, get in touch and we will quickly provide answers.
  • Feedback options. There are two ways to let us have your views:
    • Use the response form – here is a link to the Word document – and email your response to us or..
    • Use the online form on our website (where you can also access the Plan) and here is a link to the page. The form asks, in addition to basic details about you, three main questions (select an answer ranging from ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’):
      • Are you broadly in agreement with the approach of the Plan:
      • Are you broadly in agreement with the Vision (Section B):
      • Are you broadly in agreement with the Policies (Section C):
    • There are also generic comment boxes where you can provide more detail on specific sections or policies.
    • The more feedback we receive the greater the weight it gives to the Plan. Which, in turn, will oblige developers to listen to us and incorporate our policies in their designs.

That’s all for now – more next time.

Kind regards
Graham

Broxtowe Lotto: tickets available from our CTTC Forum page where you’ll find details of the scheme.

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Weekly digest: Jul 27

Hello everyone,

Let’s talk about something different this week. I’ve been banging on about the Plan for several weeks now and I sense you are getting a tad weary. I know you know the importance the Plan to the neighbourhood, and you know I know I’ll come back to it again in future editions. But for now, some other news…

1. Broxtowe Lotto funding

  • I promised a couple of weeks ago to provide an update on this funding stream. To quickly recap, we joined the scheme as a ‘good cause’ when the Council first launched it last September. Everyone who signs up to the scheme can select a ‘good cause’ and for each £1 ticket purchased, the good cause receives 50p with the remaining 50p divided up between cash prizes, the council’s own ‘good cause’ scheme and admin costs.
  • Since it started a total of 23 people joined the scheme and nominated the Forum as their ‘good cause’. Unsurprisingly a few have subsequently dropped out and we now have 15 supporters who regularly buy a total of 37 tickets. We’d like to say “A HUGE THANK YOU” to each and every one of our supporters – we appreciate you digging into your pockets each week to provide tangible support to our work.
  • Regarding the tangibleness (is that even a word?) of that support: as at the 1st of July we have received total payments of £692.50! This is a fantastic amount which helps cover the costs of run-of-the-mill items such as room bookings and office supplies.
  • Back in the spring I mentioned in one of these updates that I was hoping we might end up with over £1,000 for the full year. I don’t think we will manage that now, unless we get a sudden rush of joiners. Nevertheless, getting close to £1,000 for the year is still a terrific achievement – thanks again if you are/have been a supporter.
  • And if anyone would like to join up and support us, the link to the website is below. It is well worth having a look at the scheme – there are several very worthy good causes to choose from, but naturally I hope you will consider supporting your ‘local’ community.

2. Stapleford Neighbourhood Plan

  • Despite being the last Forum in Broxtowe to get organised, it looks as though we will be one of the first to submit our Plan to the council. Out of a total of 10 groups in the Borough, we believe only Nuthall and Bramcote have submitted their Plans to the Council. Indeed Nuthall is the only one to have completed the whole process having their Plan ‘made’ just before Christmas last year.
  • We have liaised over the last couple of years with both our neighbouring ‘forums’, Bramcote Forum and Stapleford Town Council. We’ve known for a while Stapleford have struggled to make decent headway with their Plan and we have previously offered to help them if they felt it useful.
  • Last week we happened to bump into the Stapleford Neighbourhood Planning chair (and Town Councillor) Si Frost and we again offered to help them with their Plan. Si agreed it would be useful if we were to meet the Stapleford Planning team, so we hope to get a date in the diary very soon.
  • It is clearly sensible to be fully ‘joined-up’ with Stapleford (and Sandiacre, come to that) given the proximity of the Bessell Lane access route to the Hub Station and Innovation Campus.

3. Meeting with the new chair of Jobs and Economy (J&E) committee

  • Following changes to make-up of Council committees, we were pleased to host the new chair of the J&E committee, Cllr Tim Hallam, to our office last week. This was a follow-up to the meeting we hosted a couple of weeks ago with the previous chair and vice-chair.
  • Tim is very supportive of our Plan and the work we have undertaken thus far. Tim lives in Stapleford and represents the town as both a Borough and Town councillor. Not surprisingly, therefore, Tim is very interested in our ideas along the A52 ‘corridor’ and in particular our proposed new road layout and our ideas to relocate both the George Spencer Academy and the South Broxtowe Leisure Centre to somewhere close to the Toton Lane tram terminus.
  • Tim warned us there are strong feelings in Bramcote that the Leisure Centre needs to stay at its current location. This wasn’t a big surprise as our friends in the Bramcote Forum have told us they intend to keep the Leisure Centre. So, we expect the location of the new centre will generate significant debate in the council in due course. Be assured we intend to make a compelling case for it to move to our Area.

4. And finally….

  • Plan publicity and promotion. Well… you didn’t really expect me to avoid all mention of the Plan did you? We have received both the leaflets and books this week.  Here is a link to the leaflet you can expect through your letterbox in the next few weeks (you may need to zoom in to read it – the leaflet is printed on A3 page folded a couple of times – hence the strange layout with one page ‘chopped’ in half).  
  • Copies of the books will be deposited at each library (to read only, not taken away) next week along with copies of the response forms. So, pop along if you’d like to read a hard copy. However, if you’d like a personal copy (“yours for only a fiver guv’, at this price it’s a steal”) please let me know and I’ll arrange a hand-over. Below is an image of the front cover of the book. This is the first time I’ve tried to embed an image in one of these updates so not sure if it will work or not – fingers crossed.
    Plan cover
  • Updated Plan stats. Since we announced the publication of the Plan, we’ve seen almost 250 people accessing the Plan itself – which is great news. I’m sure we shall see lots more access it as the leaflets are delivered and as our stakeholders respond to the personal invitations sent to them. But… please keep on spreading the word to friends and neighbours – every little helps!

And that’s all for this week folks – more next time

Kind regards
Graham

Broxtowe Lotto: tickets available from our CTTC Forum page where you’ll find details of the scheme.

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Weekly digest: Jul 20

Hello again,

Well, that was the week that was! After last week’s launch of the Plan, this week will be quieter as we get our feet back on the ground. The Steering Group will be taking a short break following the hectic activity over the last few weeks – but not quite yet……

1. Promoting the Plan – residents

  • We had a good response to last week’s edition with a number of people responding congratulating the Steering Group for finally getting it published. Initial statistics from our website show there have been over 70 unique clicks to the Plan (‘unique’ means excluding those accessing the Plan several times).
  • But…we can do better than that, can’t we? So, if you didn’t have time last week to follow it up, here is the link to our website where you can find further details including links to the Plan itself and the Response form. If you prefer you can provide your response directly online on the same page.
  • We’ve commissioned the printing of 7,000 leaflets – one for every home in our Area plus a few more for consultation sessions. Expect one through your door in the next few weeks.
    • Some people offered to help last week, but more are needed to help spread the workload. If you can spare an hour or so to assist with deliveries, please get in touch
  • Finally, we’ve agreed to have 50 booklets printed at a cost price of £6.60 each. So, we will have copies available to buy.  If you’d like one (and I’ve already started a list from last week) please let me know, price £5.

2. Promoting the Plan – stakeholders

  • Besides consulting with the most important (in our view) group of people – those who live and work in our Area – we also need to consult with official stakeholders. These are mostly organisations (including statutory) who have a direct interest in our Area. These include:
    • all relevant local authorities (County, Borough and Town/Parish level),
    • statutory organisations (Historic England, Natural England, Environment Agency),
    • landowners (Peveril, Ministry of Defence, Heart Church),
    • major businesses (HS2 Ltd, Network Rail, Severn Trent, Trent Barton)
    • regional/county-wide organisations (the new Development Corporation, D2N2, Notts Police, Notts Wildlife Trust),
    • local community organisations (churches, libraries, schools)
    • voluntary groups (ramblers, scouts/brownies, PEDALS, sports clubs)
  • Besides organisations there are key individuals we wanted to invite to comment. These include our MP Anna Soubry, and our county/ward councillors.
  • As you can see, there are a lot of interested parties apart from residents. So far, we have sent invitations to 85 contact points within 42 organisations – and there’s more to be sent next week! If interested, here is a link to the stakeholder flyer which accompanied the invitations.

3. and…. Promoting those who contributed to the Plan.

  • I said last week I wanted to give a ‘shout out’ to all those who helped bring the Plan together. There isn’t space to list everyone, but the main players (all Steering Group unless otherwise noted) are:
    • A Sense of History: Gill (from the Beeston and District History Society)
    • Core Objectives and Policies:
      • Environment: Norman, Margaret, and Ben
      • Infrastructure: Ian W, Ian C, Richard, and Anderson (a Forum member)
      • Housing & Urban Design: Mark, Chris and Karen (latter two are both Forum members)
      • Leisure, Heritage & Community: Pamela, Teresa, Helen, Steve, David and Jim
      • Barracks section: Steve, David, Jim, DeVonne, Karren, Owen, and Teresa (the Barracks subgroup)
    • Plan review and corrections: Mark, Steve, David, Norman, Margaret and Christine (a Forum member who provided in-depth proof-reading report)
    • Admin, comms, publicity, and website: Katie, Mark, Denise and Ian W
    • And, of course, our chairman Richard who has constantly encouraged us to take the opportunity to ‘dream big’ with our ideas, visions and objectives.  He also made sure we stayed focused on the task and made sure the Plan is as strong as possible.
    • It is great to have such a dedicated Steering Group that have put in many hours of work to get the Plan produced. Effective teamwork made the task so much easier.
    • We are also grateful to our consultants: University of Nott’m, Kefa Design and AECOM for their invaluable reports and designs that helped shape our ideas and thoughts and provided the maps and illustrations to bring them to life.
    • Finally we mustn’t forget our sponsors, who have funded our work. These range from:
      • Broxtowe Council who have been very supportive throughout both financially and, more importantly, with sound advice and guidance.
      • Our two county councillors – Cllrs Richard Jackson and Eric Kerry – who have donated generously to help fund consultations and office supplies.
      • National funders Locality – who have provided the bulk of our funds (£17k) plus funded the production of our three AECOM reports.
      • And not forgetting our wonderful supporters who selected the Forum as a ‘good cause’ from Broxtowe Lotto (see more below).

No space for any ‘And finally’s….’ this week, although I do want to say a huge ‘THANK YOU!’ to the generous member and supporter, who donated her winnings from the Broxtowe Lotto to the Forum. It is very much appreciated – funding is never far from the forefront of Steering Group discussions. Contributions such as these make a big difference. It reminds me that I need to report back to you on the results of our involvement with Lotto in the next couple of weeks. If you wish to join our Lotto supporters, it’s never too late – please click on the link to the CTTC Forum page below.

Kind regards
Graham

Broxtowe Lotto: tickets available from our CTTC Forum page where you’ll find details of the scheme.

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DIGEST SPECIAL: The Plan has landed!

Hello everyone,

Yes! The Plan has finally landed.  It is done, completed, finished and – at long last – published!

We want everyone who lives, works or has any sort of interest in our Area to read, review and comment. It needs to be reviewed by key stakeholders; landowners, statutory authorities (Environment Agency, Natural England etc.), local councils and organisations with an interest in the area (HS2, Wildlife Trusts, schools, voluntary groups etc.).

It is particularly ready for our weekly readers, who have stayed the course and supported the Steering Group through thick and thin for well over 2 years. So… you get to see it first by following the links below.

1. The Plan – a brief introduction

  • It is a big document at 83 pages + appendices, however we have included several maps, diagrams and pictures to help break up the text.  We are going to see huge changes in our community with development taking several years hence our decision to adopt a strategic, twenty-year timeframe for the Plan. So, no apologies I’m afraid for the size of the Plan – we have to be prepared.  
  • The document is broken down into 5 sections:
    • Section A is the introduction to our Area. There is a brief history of Toton and Chilwell to help set the scene before going on to cover the main geographic characteristics of the area.
    • Section B details our Vision and Core Objectives. It explains the huge challenges facing us – the sale of Chetwynd Barracks and the plans for the Strategic Location for Growth zone, which includes the advent of the HS2 East Midlands Hub Station. It reports on the outcomes arising from the Forum’s consultation sessions held throughout the autumn and spring of 2017/2018 which led directly to the formulation of our objectives
    • Section C describes the policies we devised to help deliver our objectives. We identified a total of forty-seven policies and provide evidence and justification for each of them. Forty-seven sounds a lot and it may well prove to be too many. But better to prune back from having too many rather than risk omitting something important.
    • Section D is exclusively about the Barracks. We want to ensure the community has a strong ‘voice’ in how the Barracks is developed, so we commissioned consultants with experience of other ex-MoD sites being redeveloped to provide specialist advice. The section provides a framework for future development – the key component being the awareness of the much bigger development taking place in our Area and therefore not treating the Barracks as an isolated site in itself.
    • Section E contains 4 appendices comprising: i) a glossary, ii) a list of valued assets in our area, iii) how our policies are ‘in compliance’ with council and national policies and regulations, and iv) our evidence base – the wealth of supporting documents that explain and justify our objectives and policies.
  • The key sections are B and C our vision, objectives and policies. These are the areas to focus on and provide your comments and suggestions during this consultation phase. After consultation we will then make modifications to the Plan, based on the feedback we receive. We then submit the revised Plan to the council for them to continue along the path to formal adoption.

2. Pre-submission consultation process

  • This phase must last for a minimum of 6 weeks. Given we are entering peak holiday season, the Steering Group agreed to extend the period to ensure everyone has plenty of time to respond. Therefore, the closing date of consultation is Friday September 20th – a full 10 weeks from today’s launch.
  • However even though we launch this weekend to digest readers, we are not quite ready for the wider community. The Steering Group have agreed the content and layout of the publicity leaflets, and we are now getting quotes from printers. We expect to have leaflets produced in the next week or two and we aim to deliver them to every household by early August.
  • We are also obtaining quotes to print booklets of the Plan At the moment we are hoping to print 50-100 copies. These will be circulated to the two libraries in our Area as well as issued to key stakeholders to ensure they have a copy. We are hoping to have a supply for residents to purchase as we recognise domestic printers may not easily cope with a large document containing lots of pictures and diagrams. At this stage we don’t know how much they might cost, but £5-£10 is a ball-park figure.  At this price are you interested in buying a copy? If so let me know and I’ll collate a list.
  • We also agreed to organise 3 consultation sessions to take place in early September to give people the chance to come along and ask questions. In addition, we hope to host some drop-in sessions at our office in Beeston as well as some ad hoc pop-up stalls at key locations such as Toton Tesco and Chilwell Local Sainsbury’s. More on that in the coming weeks.
  • But don’t wait until September for your questions. If you have any queries, send me an email and I’ll get an answer to you asap.

3. Next Steps. Some ‘asks’ of you….

  • Please read the Plan and here is a link to the document. Let us know what you think. We need your views – all views – on the contents, the more feedback the better. There is no need to rush, you have until Sept 20th to complete a Response form & here is a link to the form.
  • Please spread the word of the Plan widely to friends and neighbours. It is fantastic to note that over 1,000 people receive the digest each time, but there are many, many more residents in our Area who don’t get these updates.
    • Please forward this email (or just send my email address) to all your contacts who live/work or who are just interested in the Area. Persuade them to get involved.
    • Development of the Area affects us all so, this Plan simply must be for all of us, not just our regular readers.
  • We are looking for volunteers again to help deliver our leaflets to every household in the Area. Are you willing to help? Each ‘walk’ is designed to take approx. 1 hour so if you can spare a couple of hours to help it will be much appreciated. We expect the leaflets to be ready from Monday 29th We had a wonderful response the last time we asked for help so it will be great if even more people are able to stick up a hand this time. Please get in touch with details where you live, and I’ll arrange a walk nearby.

The publication of the Plan is a significant milestone for us in the Forum. It represents the culmination of a lot of hard work (over a long time) by a lot of people both on the Steering Group and beyond. I’ll take time next week to ‘name check’ these people as they deserve to be recognised for their contribution. We are all pleased with the document, it is strong and covers all the bases. We hope you will be pleased too!

Kind regards
Graham

Broxtowe Lotto: tickets available from our CTTC Forum page where you’ll find details of the scheme.

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Weekly digest: Jul 6

Hello again,

Our prime focus this past week has, yet again, been the Plan and sorting out the last-minute ‘gremlins’ that emerged only when we started to print some hard copies – more on this below. We have also attended a couple of interesting meetings and it’s worth providing a brief summary of these as well.

1. Plan back on the final approach path

  • We are very close to resolving the niggling issues that printing has caused.  It has meant we had to ‘open up’ the document to make some tweaks:
    • A couple of the location maps are darker than appears on screen, when printed (‘murky’ is a better description).  So, we have removed them, and this has led to some re-arrangement of the layout and re-ordering page numbers in a couple of cases.
    • A couple of diagrams are fuzzy with some of the text being small and a little indistinct. These diagrams were produced by the university graduates and provide useful background information. It would be a shame not to use them so one of our SG members has taken them away to see if he can enlarge (or sharpen) some of the text to improve readability. If it works, great: if not, we will still probably use them, but advise readers they’ll need to peer closely to read it all.
    • The colour scheme is less of a problem than first feared. Our office printer is clearly not up to the task in accurately replicating colours but when using a decent printer everything looks fine. Printing in b/w is also okay – some text colours come out looking greyish, but it is all clearly readable and that’s the main thing.
  • So….. we are just awaiting some magic to be performed on the fuzzy diagrams and we are good to go. Which means the next edition of the digest will definitely see the launch of the Plan. Hopefully that will be next weekend but if not the week after – I don’t intend to ‘fall over’ again….

2. D2N2 Growth Hub meeting

  • We (Richard and myself) joined some of our CIC directors in meeting a representative of the D2N2 Growth Hub last week. The meeting was arranged so the CIC (Community Interest Company) could explore how best to ‘activate’ the organisation.
  • As you know the Forum established the CIC last year with the intention for it to become the organisation that oversees the implementation of the Plan. A further goal is to identify and exploit opportunities that might arise for the community to actively engage (with partners) in delivering elements of the Plan – such as the Barracks, if the Garden Communities bid is approved.
  • The meeting was to introduce ourselves to D2N2 and ask for their support and advice in helping the CIC properly establish itself. We had a very useful discussion and the main outcome was that D2N2 will sound out local experts in corporate finance and ask one of them to work with us as a mentor.
  • This is a positive start as we begin to think about life after the Plan is adopted and the Forum, as a voluntary organisation, winds itself down. You will hear more and more about the CIC as we go forward. 

3. Council Jobs and Economy (J&E) committee meeting

  • As a follow-up to meeting key committee members at Oban House, I went along to observe the first J&E meeting at the Town Hall. It was good to assess the group and see how constructively they work together. These are early days and further changes to the make-up are expected next month, but it was a positive start with members clearly taking a keen interest in the tasks facing them.
  • Part of the meeting provided an update on the Local Plan and our Forum was complemented (by the chair, Cllr Pat Lally) on the work we are doing with our Neighbourhood Plan. Which, on behalf of all of us, was nice to hear.
  • The main topic under discussion concerned the growing numbers of HIMO (houses in multiple occupation). A concern of some residents particularly in Beeston (but also elsewhere) are the numbers of houses being converted to flats for students. Some of the roads near to the University seem to comprise mostly houses for students and the negative impact on local families is being keenly felt. The committee agreed to undertake work to understand the scale of the problem and assess what steps need to be/can be taken to avoid parts of Beeston becoming ‘student town’. I exaggerate (‘Student town’ are my words, not the council’s), but local concerns are real and growing.
  •  The reason to mention it here is that one idea being explored is for local universities to become key partners in the development of the Innovation Campus, next to the Hub Station. A concern of the Steering Group is the risk the university sector will come to dominate the campus with the concomitant risk of the area becoming overly student-based.
  • We would prefer to see a more diverse commercial development that encourages a true, long lasting community to live in our area rather than a largely transitory student population. I don’t intend to set hares running with this, perhaps unfounded, fear but it is something to be aware of and we’ll be keeping a watchful eye on emerging development strategies.

4. And finally….

  • The Steering Group meets next week. The main topic on the agenda is discussing the Plan’s consultation phase over the next few weeks. We’ll be finalising ideas for locations and dates for sessions where you can come along to ask questions and learn more about the Plan. We’ll also be finalising the stakeholder list, so we are confident they all get a copy of the Plan and are given the opportunity to comment. We also need to agree the publicity leaflets and the number of hard copies we can produce – more on this next time.

That’s all for now. Brace yourself for the landing….

Kind regards
Graham

Broxtowe Lotto: tickets available from our CTTC Forum page where you’ll find details of the scheme.

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Weekly digest: Jun 29

Hello again,

Last week I headlined a section saying the ‘Plan was landing’ and that the next edition would prove to be a ‘momentous moment’ when we published the Plan. Well, to further stretch the aircraft metaphor, I’m afraid our Plan has been held up in a ‘stack’ and is currently circling the airfield. We hope to finally guide it down in a couple of weeks – more below.

In the meantime, this edition does provide a ‘momentous moment’ of sorts as it is our 75th edition! We started the digest pretty much 2 years ago (early July 2017) and I little imagined I’d still be providing these updates. I’d assumed we would have finished the Plan well before now but – hey ho – it just goes to show how much time and effort is needed to produce a worthwhile Plan designed to stand the test of time. So, here’s to the next 75 editions, although I’ve no idea what I’ll be rabbiting on about then…..

1. Can’t keep my eyes from the circling sky…

  • The reason we’ve delayed publication is that we have realised – a tad late in the day – that when the document is printed, the colour scheme is not rendered accurately, and a number of diagrams look distinctly fuzzy and unfocussed.
  • This is something I should have checked before trumpeting last week about publication. I’d assumed the old adage ‘what you see is what you get’ would apply to the Plan. However, when I look at what is (I think) a very tasteful sage green colour on screen, what gets printed out is a dark’ish blue colour.
  • We have asked the printer for a full copy of the Plan (from a decent printer) and we will go through it again to see if corrections are needed. I’m less troubled by the colour scheme (all printers are different) – as long as the text is easily readable – but the fuzzy diagrams may result in some changes to the layout if they need to be re-sized/re-located to be easily read and understood.
  • We are hoping this will only be a short delay. We are now aiming for a mid-July publication but I’m reluctant to tell you this in case I’m setting myself up for another ‘fall’.

2. Local Plan Main Modifications Consultation

  • As reported last week, we have now been through the Council’s Main Modifications proposals and drafted up our response. Overall, we are pleased with these changes; the Council has clearly listened to our representations made last winter and have incorporated our key ‘asks’ – most notably the need to produce an overarching Strategic Masterplan for the whole area.
  • This Strategic Masterplan is vital – it provides the key to ensuring a coherent vision for the development of our area. In addition, we are explicitly included as a member of the group tasked with providing input to the masterplan. [In fact, as previously reported, we have already held our first meeting with the consultants.]
  • As a result, we don’t believe we need to arrange separate consultations with you to discuss our response. If you strongly disagree with our conclusions, please feel free to get in touch so we can have a chat to understand your concerns.
  • Here are some links for you if you’d like to have a look at our response and some background material to it:
    • This document is a draft of our response to the Council. [The draft is subject to endorsement by the Steering Group planned to take place next week.]
    • This document contains extracts of the Modifications document as it pertains to our Area i.e. Policy 3.1 Chetwynd Barracks and Policy 3.2 Toton Strategic Location for Growth. I’ve extracted the bits that we either requested directly to see included or else the changes added that we strongly support.
    • This document is the Main Modifications document as published by the Council, so you assess the source material.
    • This document is the feedback form in case you would like to submit your own individual response to the Council. The consultation closes on Tuesday July 9th, so you don’t have long.

3. And finally….

  • Meeting the councillors. We had a very useful meeting with senior councillors of the J&E committee last week. It was good to speak to Cllrs Pat and Lynda Lally and Cllr Richard MacRae and introduce them to our Neighbourhood Plan. They were very supportive of the work we’ve done thus far and our ambitions for the Area. They reported there are changes afoot in the make-up of the J&E committee following the result of the Stapleford by-election. Furthermore, they advised us to invite the leader of the council, Cllr Milan Radulovic, to Oban House so we can appraise him of our Plan. We have followed up on this advice and extended the invitation to the deputy leader, Cllr Steve Carr, as well as the new chair of the J&E, Cllr Tim Hallam.
  • A snippet from the Birmingham Post. You may be interested to read that Ashfield Council are commissioning a report to assess the viability of re-opening and upgrading a freight-only line to allow passenger trains to run between Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Selston, Ilkeston and the HS2 station at Toton.

And that’s all folks for now. More next time.

Kind regards
Graham

Broxtowe Lotto: tickets available from our CTTC Forum page where you’ll find details of the scheme.

Posted in Latest News, Neighbourhood Plan | Tagged | Leave a comment

Weekly digest: Jun 22

Hello everyone,

A shorter edition this time following a quiet’ish week where the main focus has been on the final tweaks to the Plan and the design of the leaflet to publicise the consultation we will soon be running.

1. The Plan is landing…

  • We’ve now completed all text changes/amendments to the Plan. The final typo has been terminated and the last full stop has been, errrr… stopped!
  • No doubt a few rogue mistakes still litter the document – in which case, the mistakes are all mine. If, when you get to read the Plan, you happen to come across any, there is no need to rush to let me know!
  • Let me take a moment to thank all the very many people who have taken the time to review the various drafts and point out the corrections needed. This naturally includes all of the Steering Group and members of our subgroups – especially the Barracks team.
  • However, I’d like to give a special SHOUT OUT to Christine, one of our members, who kindly took the time to review our Plan and provided an 18-page (yes, eighteen pages!) report detailing the numerous typos as well as a large number of grammatical and formatting errors as well as pointing out several inconsistencies. Which has slightly punctured my (clearly) over-inflated belief that I was someone who could put together a couple of sentences without speling mistakes! Ah well… 
  • Many thanks, Christine, for your time. The document is much stronger as a result of your unstinting effort and especially your sharp eye for detail.
  • One of the remaining tasks is to insert the final artwork for the front/back covers and the section pages. I’ve received these pages from the printer yesterday so will add them in early next week. After that, one final read-through to make sure no gremlins have crept in following this editing phase and next week…… it will be published here to give you the chance to look at it first.

2. Local Plan Part 2 Modifications review

  • I mentioned this consultation by the Council a couple of weeks ago. The Steering Group are reviewing the Modifications as we speak, and we will produce our draft response by next week. I’ll publish that draft here so you can have a look and provide us with your thoughts/ observations.
  • All responses need to be submitted to the Council by Tuesday 9th July, so we don’t have a lot of time to discuss any issues arising.
  • To be honest, I’ve had a decent look through the modifications and apart from a couple of minor points of clarification, I don’t believe there is anything untoward from our perspective.
  • In fact, it is very heartening to report that several changes have been made to the Plan as a direct result of our representations at the hearings last winter. Which proves the Council does listen to us and demonstrates the strong partnership we have built up over these last few years….

3. Council meetings next week

  • …. which leads neatly on to this next item. We are meeting with Steffan Saunders, Head of Planning, early next week to brief him on our progress and in particular to:
    • agree the timelines for the consultation period and the next steps afterwards
    • confirm the statutory organisations we need to consult with regarding the Plan
    • understand the additional documents we need to produce before formally submitting the Plan to the Council
  • We are also looking forward to welcoming leading councillors of the Jobs and Economy committee to our office in Oban House. As reported in a previous digest we are keen to develop close relationships with the new committee as it plays a key role in overseeing the implementation of the Plan and the development of our area as a whole.

4. And finally…

  • No… I could briefly mention that we are pushing the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) for a catch-up meeting as it’s been a while since we met. They are proving hard to get hold of at the moment which is a little concerning – when things go quiet, we get a little nervous. So we shall keep pressing for a meeting.
  • Or… I could also mention that we are looking to meet up again with HS2 to understand more about their revised thoughts and plans for the Hub Station (following on from their session at Trowell recently).
  • But these are secondary issues when compared to our prime focus – the Plan – so I won’t bore you with more of this…

Look out for next week’s edition – it will be a momentous moment as we reach a significant milestone in our work. We will be asking you all to become involved – to spread the word, to encourage friends and neighbours to take part in the consultation. More on that over the next few weeks.

Kind regards
Graham

Broxtowe Lotto: tickets available from our CTTC Forum page where you’ll find details of the scheme

Posted in Latest News, Neighbourhood Plan, Steering Group | Leave a comment

Weekly digest: Jun 15

Hello again,

A busy couple of weeks since the last edition so I’ll quickly get started and update you with the outcomes of a series of meetings.

1. Toton Churches.

  • We’ve had a long-standing invitation to meet with Toton Churches for a while but pressure of the Plan meant coordinating diaries were tricky on our side. So we were glad to meet up with Rev Colin Bourne and the leadership team a week or so ago.
  • It was a very useful meeting where we shared our views and visions for the future, especially the options for community buildings and spaces we expect to see developed on the Barracks site.
  • The Leadership team made clear they would welcome the opportunity to become actively engaged in running/operating community facilities. For our part, we are keen to engage with local partners to demonstrate to developers the strength of local commitment to see something truly special created in the heart of our area.
  • We intend to build on this initial meeting as we now start to think how best to oversee and implement our Plan once it is formally adopted.

2. Strategic Masterplan meeting

  • A couple of us had an initial meeting with Arup early last week. Arup are the consultants appointed by Notts County Council to undertake a couple pieces of work contributing to the overall masterplan for the area.
  • This first piece of work is focused on the HS2 Hub Station and the links to it from our Area. We were pleased to host them at our office in Oban House where we showed them a couple of maps detailing our thoughts for the green infrastructure corridors (including footpaths and cycle lanes) as well our ideas for road links and the tram route down to the Hub Station and Innovation Campus.
  • We spent a good couple of hours with them and agreed to send then copies of the maps detailing our proposals so they can consider at length and discuss with other stakeholders.
  • Again, we look forward to building on this initial meeting and work with them again on this piece in the overall ‘jigsaw’ as well as other elements that are needed to bring together the overall masterplan.

3. Steering Group sign-off.

  • As mentioned last time, the Steering Group met last week to formally review and sign-off the Plan. There are one or two last-minute adjustments but nothing more that switching a couple of photos here and there and amending slightly the text on the front cover.
  • We then spent time discussing:
    • the shape and style of a summary leaflet we’ll be producing to help publicise the Plan – one will hit your doormat over the next few weeks
    • the timeframe for our consultation phase – which we have now agreed will run from mid-July to the end of September.  The slight delay to the start of the consultation is to ensure we get both the full Plan (a few hard copies for libraries etc) and summary leaflet produced and printed in good time for the launch date.
  • An electronic copy of the Plan will be ready in a couple of weeks and will be published here first for you have a look prior to the formal launch of consultation.

4. And finally…

  • HS2 consultation report. HS2 have published a report detailing their findings from the consultation sessions held last autumn. As reported previously we are due to meet with them shortly to discuss the feedback from our area. A quick scan of the report is encouraging: a quote from the Forum suggesting the Station is moved northwards towards Stapleford is included in the report. If you are interested in reading the report as it affects our Area – here is a link to an extract containing – after the contents and introduction chapter – our section (LA05: Ratcliffe to Long Eaton) and the next one (LA06: Stapleford northwards). A link to the full report and further information can be found on this HS2 website
  • Local Plan Modifications feedback. The Steering Group discussed our approach to providing our feedback to this latest Council consultation of the Local Plan. We agreed to draft our response to the proposed modifications by the end of June. We will then publish our draft here for you to review and provide comments – and host a meeting if there is enough interest – before submitting our response back to the council by the July 9th deadline. So time is tight – watch this space.

And that’s it for this week folks. More next time.

Kind regards
Graham

Broxtowe Lotto: tickets available from our CTTC Forum page where you’ll find details of the scheme.

Posted in HS2 Hub Station, Latest News, Neighbourhood Plan, Uncategorized | Leave a comment