Weekly digest: Oct 20

Hello everyone

Another busy week but I shall be even succincter (is that even a word?) than last week as I don’t intend to be long-winded.

  1. Chetwynd Barracks consultation has now taken place…
    • … so, if you missed it then it’s now too late to attend a session.
    • However, all is not lost: below are links to: a) the banners on display at the event and b) the website where you can provide online feedback
      1. Display banners here
      2. Website to log ‘have your say’ comments
    • We’d urge all those who didn’t have time to attend a session to have a look at the online information and provide feedback. The more you provide the better a picture is painted.
  2. Master planning commission kicked off
    • You’ll recall we received a grant from Locality in September to fund some master planning work of our own for the Barracks area and beyond
    • We met with Peter, the ex-University student who worked with us earlier this year, and who is now a fully-fledged architect.
    • Peter will be building on the work he did for us last year by producing a detailed master plan for the Barracks site as well as producing some illustrations of street scenes and housing designs
    • We’ve asked for the illustrations to be ready for our AGM in the new year, so you will be able to see our thoughts for the area and compare them to the DIO’s ideas.
  3. HS2 consultation documents
    • As heralded last week I’ve produced a couple of condensed documents that explain the impact of HS2 on our area.
      1. Non-technical summary Ratcliffe to Long Eaton, inc. Toton. [22 pages: 1.4MB]
      2. Maps – Toton only. [15 pages: 19MB]
      3. Non-technical summary All exc. community summaries. [66 pages: 1.6MB]
      4. Community Area report Ratcliffe to Long Eaton, inc. Toton. [294 pages: 9.2MB]
    • These are huge files and d) Community Area report hasn’t been abridged at all.
    • I recommend reading a) Summary inc. Toton and b) Maps – Toton if you want to understand the impacts on our Area. Feel free to look at/skim through the others if you have trouble sleeping at night!
    • And if you are a real glutton for punishment here is the link to the government website that contains all the documents available. And there is an awful lot more to read through if you are minded.
    • We are meeting HS2 next week and hope to persuade them to host a consultation session in Toton – at the Greenwood Centre – in the next few weeks, so we all have the chance to review the current plans. More on this next time.
  4. Garden Communities fund
    • We are working closely with Broxtowe Borough Council to produce an application to this fund which is managed by Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Govt.
    • Next week we meet with consultants to explain our thoughts and aspirations for the site. If we are successful it means the Forum will have more of a say in how the Barracks is developed.
    • The application needs to be submitted in early November, so we don’t have much time to get our case produced! Fingers crossed…
  5. And finally……
    • Heritage and Character Assessment report. We’ve finally received the draft report from our consultants this week. It’s another hefty (60 page) document that we need to review and provide our comments/observations. We’ve only had time for an initial skim through, but it contains some useful stuff for our Plan. I’d expect the final version will be produced & published sometime in early Nov.
    • Local Plan Part 2 examination. Just as you thought the Council’s Local Plan was all done and dusted, we have asked to take part in the formal examination process, scheduled for early December. We are largely in agreement with the Local Plan – the council took on board several of our suggestions during the consultation phase. However, there are a couple of issues we want to raise with the examiner – not least the need to assure a decent width (we argue 50 metres) for all wildlife corridors in our area.

That’s enough for this week. More next time, which may be in a couple of weeks, as I need to get back to drafting the Plan…

Kind regards
Graham

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

Posted in Chetwynd Barracks, HS2 Hub Station, Latest News | Leave a comment

Weekly digest: Oct 13

Hello

I have a short break from producing these updates and suddenly everything takes off! There’s lots to report this week so I’ll try to be succinct – rather than ramble on and on and on as I’m told I’m sometimes prone to do. Well, that’s what my wife keeps telling me. I don’t see it myself: I like to think I produce informal, chatty updates that are laid-back and….

  1. Chetwynd Barracks consultations taking place next weekend!
    • The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) – part of the MOD – are selling the site and have commissioned 3 consultation sessions undertaken by external consultants. The dates and locations are:
      • Thurs 18th 2pm – 8pm: Village Hotel, Chilwell NG9 6DL
      • Fri 19th 2pm – 8pm: Scout Hall, 1 Attenborough Lane, Chilwell NG9 5JN
      • Sat 20th 1pm – 6pm: Tesco Extra Community Room, Toton, NG9 6QX
    • A leaflet drop to households in the area has been arranged. However, delivery seems to have been patchy: I know of several people (myself included) who haven’t received one. If you haven’t received a copy, please let me know – we are interested to know how effective the distribution has been.
    • Here’s a link to the flyer if you haven’t received one.
    • We encourage everyone to attend one/more of these sessions and provide feedback. We’ve not had a preview of the exhibition, so we are as curious as you to know their thoughts. Please attend and let them know your views!
  2. HS2 Ltd announce the next series of consultations
    • And hot on the heels of the DIO sessions comes the next set of HS2 sessions. You may have seen the local news items over the last couple of days referring to the published Environmental Assessment for HS2 Phase 2b and the adverse impacts for Toton (as well as further afield).
    • I’ve downloaded all the relevant files published by the government and will produce a condensed version – applicable to just our area – ready for next week’s digest.
    • Here’s a link to the government website if you want direct access to the files. Be warned there are some huge files e.g. the summary document is 250-odd pages!
    • For now, you may want to note the dates of the meetings held in our area:
      • Fri 2nd Nov 2pm -8pm: Trowell Parish Hall, NG9 3QA
      • Fri 7th Dec 2pm – 8pm: West Park Leisure Centre, Long Eaton NG10 4AA
    • We are looking to arrange a further session in Toton, ideally at the Greenwood Centre, so more local people can attend. We’ll keep you updated on progress.
  3. Anna Soubry visit
    • Our MP, Anna Soubry, made time this afternoon (Friday) to call in at our office in Oban House. The invitation to Anna followed on from the meeting with Ruth Hyde, Chief Exec of Borough Council. We are keen to meet all key influencers to explain current progress with our Plan.
    • Anna is very interested in our work and offered her support whenever required. We discussed the recent announcement at the Conservative Party conference by Philip Hammond regarding the creation of a new ‘development body’ for Toton. [Link here if you haven’t seen it.] Anna confirmed she has already asked for the Forum to be closely involved with this body when it is set up. She also agreed to intercede on our behalf with the Minister for Housing, in the next few weeks. More on this in future editions.
    • Overall, it was a very useful & productive meeting and we hope to invite her back in 6 months or so to provide further a further update.
    • We are now planning to invite our ward councillors to the office to brief them on our work and progress with the Plan.
  4. Toton Strategic Planning Group
    • This is the new working group set up by Notts County Council, chaired by David Hughes, Director of Investment and Growth. The Group supports the Toton Hub Station Delivery Board – the offshoot of the HS2 Strategic Board set up to deliver the HS2 Growth Strategy for the Station area.
    • The Group met for the first time a couple of weeks ago and we are a member. Other members include key officers of local authorities (County, City and Borough) as well as reps from Dept of Communities/ Local Govt, Dept of Transport, HS2 Ltd, Highways England. The meeting was primarily a ‘get to know you’ session and agreed the terms of reference.
  5. A reader writes in…..
    • …expressing concern about air quality especially around traffic on Stapleford Lane in particular and Toton generally. She asks if others are concerned and whether monitoring is taking place.
    • I’m pleased to report that another of our members takes a strong interest in this matter and keeps us updated with latest monitoring results that take place in our Area. I’ll respond to the specific enquiry separately but in case anyone else is interested in air quality
    • Average air quality readings for Stapleford Lane, Toton for 2017 are:
      • Toton corner / Manor pub = 29
      • Toton Branch Surgery 2 Banks Road = 21
      • 1 Katherine Drive = 26
      • 269 Stapleford Lane (nr Cleve Ave) = 29
      • Toton Lane (other side of Electric substation) = 25
      • Geo Spencer (Toton side) = 34
      • Geo Spencer (Stapleford side) = 26
      • 209 Toton Lane (Stapleford side) = 29
    • The threshold for action to be triggered is a reading of ‘40’ so at this stage we are within acceptable limits. But we are keeping a close watch!
    • If you have any queries like this that you’d like to raise with the Forum, please get in touch. We’ll be glad to take on board concerns you have.
  6. Broxtowe Lotto – the results are in!
    • The local lotto scheme is now up and running and I’d like to thank all of you who have taken part and are supporting us as a ‘good cause’. I know some of our supporters are already winners, with some additional free entries; fingers crossed we’ll soon have cash winners.
    • We have received our first ‘dividend’ payment of £25. Whilst some might regard this amount as being modest, we are absolutely delighted to receive this contribution to our funds.
    • Our number of supporters have been steadily growing and we are now forecast to receive almost £800 over a 12-month period – a fantastic total!
    • Am I being greedy in hoping we can reach £1,000 per annum? It’s not too late to join the scheme if you are minded – details can be found below. And if we do happen to reach this magic figure, I’ll commit to stop badgering you (so much!).
  7. And finally….
    • Housing designs coming your way soon. Our Housing strand and Barracks subgroup have been collating various designs/styles of dwellings that we might like to see built in our area. We aim to produce a file we can share with you to get your views – so watch this space.
    • Future Notts: local government re-organisation in Nottinghamshire. The Forum is explicitly non-partisan when it comes to politics, but I wanted to share this link to the Notts County Council consultation regarding the future of local government. Specifically, whether we should abolish Borough/District councils and centralise all local government to County Hall and parish/town councils.
      Wherever you ‘sit’ on the political spectrum, I think it’s important we all take part in this consultation. The consultation closes at the end of this month

A ridiculously long missive this week so hope you’ve managed to stay with me. I’ve held over some important of stuff for next time to avoid overload. If there is one thing we’d like you to focus on this week it is the Chetwynd Barracks consultation sessions.  Please do all you can to take part.

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

 

Posted in Chetwynd Barracks, HS2 Hub Station, Latest News | Leave a comment

Housing Style Ideas

Over the weeks and months that we’ve been working as the Neighbourhood Forum, we’ve collected lots of ideas about what the housing in the Area could look like. We’d like your comments. So here is a set of pictures of different housing styles and what we’d like you to do is to look at them and decide your favourite five styles and your least favourite five styles. Given enough input we may be able to rank them in some way.

They are deliberately not in any particular order but just list your choices in the form below. If you click on the thumbnail image, you will get a larger version.

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Weekly digest: Sept 22

Hello again

This week’s edition is a little shorter than usual and the next one will be 3 weeks’ time. Reason being…. I’ve reported over the last few weeks about the hard work going on behind the scenes by a number of our Steering Group members in putting down on paper the policies we need to include in our Neighbourhood Plan. As you know, producing the Plan is the prime purpose of our Group and I need to start pulling my weight in the drafting process. To that end, I’ve spent time last week (and need to spend more over the next few weeks) in writing up my part of the Plan – the background story of the Forum and our Area.

So, I hope you’ll understand why I need scale back my time in producing these digests. For the next couple of months, I aim to send one out every 2 or 3 weeks. I reckon it will take 8 weeks or so to write my bits after which I’ll let you have a sneak preview of the content, so you can see how it is all taking shape.

In the meantime, a couple of quick updates

  1. Broxtowe Lotto starts this weekend!
    • Many thanks to all those who have signed up to the Broxtowe Lotto scheme.
    • As of today, a total of 22 tickets have been purchased by Forum supporters. Which means we will receive almost £600 a year!
    • This total means we’ll cover sundry office expenses such as paper, printer toner, stationery items etc. It will also help cover printing costs for posters and leaflets when we need to advertise future consultations and events
    • So, again, many thanks for your support! And GOOD LUCK in the weekly draws!
    • I’ve tagged details of our Broxtowe Lotto page below for those who would like to join in. Dare we hope to raise £1,000 a year from this scheme?
  2. HS2 Toton Hub Station Strategic Planning Group
    • It’s a bit of a mouthful, but this Group meets for the 1st time next week. I’ve mentioned before the Toton Station Delivery Board has been set up as a subsidiary board underneath the overarching HS2 Strategic Board. Our hope was to be a member but, as explained, it looks like the Toton Board is elected councillors only
    • However, this Planning Group comprises council officers, civil servants (from Dept Transport etc) and other stakeholders and will produce the detailed papers and recommendations sent to the Toton Board to review and approve.
    • We are a member of the Group, so will attend next week to contribute our ideas to the proposals for the Station and the wider Strategic Growth Zone.
    • I’ll provide an update next time
  3. And finally…… a couple of closing snippets this week
    • Those who attended the Wild About Toton event at the beginning of the month will remember there was a chain-saw sculptor who started work to produce a couple of wildlife sculptures. He has now finished – it took a number of days spread over a couple of weeks. Here is a picture of the finished works. They are terrific, aren’t they? They are located close to the Greenwood Community Centre if you want a 1st hand look.
    • The Beeston & District Local History Society are holding a talk on Weds October 17th. The topic is ‘Inham Nook – farmland to estate’. Here’s a link to a poster so, if you’d like to learn more about the background to Inham Nook, then this is the event for you. Hope to see you there!

That’s all I have this week. Expect the next digest in 3 weeks.  Besides working on the Plan, I’m on holiday in the first week of October – a cottage in Dorset. Here’s hoping it stays dry.

Kind regards
Graham

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

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

Weekly digest: Sept 15th

Hello everyone

Yesss!  I’ve managed to get back on track and post this week’s edition on Saturday. Which means you’ll receive it in your inbox 1st thing on Sunday morning. Sometimes it’s the little ‘wins’ that gives me as much pleasure as the bigger wins that come our way. And this week, we have another huge win to report….

  1. Application to Locality has been approved!
    • I reported a month ago (Aug 18th) that we applied to Locality for a grant of £7,000 to fund some master planning work
    • I’m pleased to report that it has been approved. We are currently going through standard due diligence process, but we expect to receive the funds in our bank account in the next 10 days
    • Next step is to produce a brief detailing the specific work packages to be undertaken. The aim, as you’ll recall, is to produce a series of visuals to illustrate some key ideas we need to build into our Plan. These will include possible street layouts, housing designs, the ‘plaza’ concept we’d like to see to generate a village-centre feel on the Barracks
    • We’re also keen to explore road layout options at Toton Lane / Bardills island to see how our idea for a major road up through the Barracks could be merged within an overall scheme to provide access to HS2 station
    • We’d like to have illustrations ready for our next AGM early in the New Year. However, until we formally commission the work, we can’t be certain when we’ll have something to share with you.
  2. HS2 Hub Station: community consultation coming your way
    • HS2 Ltd have been in touch to explain they are planning to undertake in-depth community consultation relating to the Hub Station in our area in a few weeks.
    • They have asked us to be involved in the activity and we are currently working on suitable dates to meet up to discuss how we can help in more detail
    • At this stage we’re not sure when consultation will take place. It is likely to be late Oct/early Nov but expect more news about this in the coming weeks.
  3. Is there an accountant in the house?
    • We need some help, please. At our last AGM we appointed one of our members to undertake an audit of our financial accounts. However, I’ve received a letter this week informing me that, unfortunately, he is now unable to undertake this task.
    • So, is anyone willing to stick their hand up and help the Forum in this matter? The workload is minimal. Our turnover will be under £15k and comprise income of grants/donations to fund some pretty predictable expense items – the sort needed to consult, research, and promote/publicise our Plan.
    • Ideally, we would like another Forum member/friend to step forward and be willing to audit the accounts on a pro-bono basis. Am I being overly optimistic?
    • Here is a link to last year’s accounts to give an idea of the scale of the task. As can be seen, it is all pretty simple and straight forward.
  4. And finally……
    • …. Nope, sorry, no time for closing snippets this week. Not if I’m going to post this edition today (Saturday)!

More next week

Kind regards
Graham

Posted in Chetwynd Barracks, HS2 Hub Station, Latest News | Leave a comment

Weekly digest: Sept 9th

Hello again

Another week flashes by.  And, for us, it’s been another week of positive action with good outcomes. So let me quickly get down to business

  1. Broxtowe Borough Council meeting
    • As trailed last week, we met with Ruth Hyde (Chief Executive, Broxtowe Council) on Monday to brief her on our organisation, the steps we have taken so far, and our emerging vision for the future. Steffan Saunders (Head of Planning at the Council) also came along to hear our views
    • It was a very positive meeting with both Ruth and Steffan responding favourable to our thoughts for the shape of development. They provided useful input to help refine our ideas. Version 2 is now taking shape and we will shortly have something to share with you via a future digest and further consultation sessions
    • We intend to meet with our County & Borough councillors (and, hopefully, our MP) in the next few weeks to brief them. We want to ensure all ‘stakeholders’ have a chance to review and comment on our vision prior to putting it into our draft Plan.
    • Watch this space for more details on the consultations. I’d like to see some sessions take place in late Oct/early Nov
  2. Council grant
    • We are very pleased to report that Broxtowe Council have made a generous grant to the Forum to help fund our core costs – office rent and supplies.
    • You will know from past editions that we spend considerable time scratching around for funds to cover basic office costs and that funders are loath to provide grants for this sort of expenditure.
    • It is good news that Ruth was able to confirm a small council grant sufficient to cover our office costs for the next 12 months. For our part, we helped reduce these costs by agreeing to share our office – to the benefit of both parties. A win-win for all of us
    • So, I’d like, on behalf of the Steering Group, to thank the council for this grant. It demonstrates the value of building a close partnership to develop a future that works for all of us.
  3. Chetwynd Garden Village – part 2
    • Again as trailed in previous digests, the Steering Group discussed the detail of this opportunity at its meeting last week. Here’s another link to the garden communities programme
    • The Steering Group believes we should take this forward with the council. We briefly discussed it with Ruth and Steffan earlier in the week and they were supportive but wanted the chance to explore in more detail before providing any sort of commitment. It will have to be the council who submits the application – if it is decided to proceed.
    • Richard and Ian W agreed to sketch out a proposal for the council to build on before possibly being submitted as a formal application. We plan to meet with Ruth and other members of her team (Econ Development) by early Oct to see if the idea is worth taking forward.
    • Still early days, and I don’t want to set hares running, but I for one am excited by the possibilities presented. We’d like to hear your thoughts about this idea so please get in touch.
  4. Anyone for Lotto?
    • Many thanks to those of you who have already subscribed to our Lotto page on the Broxtowe Lotto website.
    • The game goes ‘live’ in a couple of weeks on Sept 22nd so there is still time for you to buy some tickets and support us. As the old saying goes, you have to be ‘innit to winnit’
    • A quick reminder of the scheme; 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
    • For every £1 ticket bought via our page, we receive 50p! So, if you are minded to have a flutter 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
    • In the spirit of impartiality, I will add: “other good causes are available” to support on the website. Have a browse and see if there is something else you’d like to support (along us, of course!).
    • I won’t harp on about this scheme too often – I’ll probably add a link to it in the footer area of the digest. However, as I’m sure you can appreciate, the more cash we generate for ourselves, the more we will spend on: a) research for our Plan and, b) consultations to obtain your views and endorsements.
  5. And finally…
    • Affordable housing. As you know Mark is currently drafting up policies for our housing strand following your feedback on the consultation we did a couple of weeks ago. We came across this link to a Sunday Times sponsored housing competition for terrace house design. All designs on the short list are interesting, including one called ‘The Hundred House’ which (supposedly) costs £100k to build and can be erected in less than 100 hours. Perhaps some (all?) designs such as this could be used in our area? What do you think?
    • Wild About Toton event a couple of weeks ago received positive press coverage. In case you missed it here’s a link on the Broxtowe Council website. Thanks again to all who came along to our stall to have a chat – it’s always good to meet residents and friends and gather views.

Enough for this week. Published -again! –  a day later than normal due to being busy yesterday (Saturday) but I intend to get back on track next week. More next time.

Kind regards
Graham

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Weekly digest: 2nd Sep

Hello

This week is a milestone for the Digest.  50 up! and still going strong. Yes, I can’t quite believe it myself, but we have reached the half century of digest editions. We started sending them out late July last year following feedback from the general meeting we’d held in June. Looking back at the first edition (sad, isn’t it, that I’ve saved them all!) I wrote:

“Please let us know your thoughts on the usefulness (or otherwise) of these digests. Some weeks will be busier than others – some weeks may not generate enough information to send anything out.  We’ll see how things develop”.

Overall, the feedback has been positive. I receive regular feedback from readers commenting on the updates and we know (since we started automating the distribution) that approx. 50% of you regularly read it!  It’s good to document our activities and share with you the work of the Steering Group that goes on behind the scenes in producing our Plan. Talking of which…

  1. Plan’s Progress Part 1
    • You already know that Mark is well advanced with putting in place the Housing strand of the Plan. He’s taken your input from the positioning paper and is now drafting up specific policies to reflect our thoughts and your views
    • Norman and Margaret are working on our Green Infrastructure strand and we have developed a draft map illustrating where we believe the main green infrastructure corridors should be located. We took this to the Wild About Toton event yesterday and it received positive feedback. We’ll refine it in the next week or so and I’ll look to publish it here for you to have a look and provide your thoughts
    • Richard, Ian & I have been working on our overall vision. We need to summarise our view on how we’d like to see the area – as a whole – developed. We are at the draft stage and we need to discuss these ideas at the Steering Group before further refining and then asking for your views.
    • Overall, it’s great we are finally putting on paper the ideas and thoughts captured at our various consultation events and feedback sessions. It’s getting into the ‘nitty gritty’ part of our work and, to be honest, it’s exciting to see the early drafts of our Plan beginning to take shape!
  2. DIO meeting update
    • We met with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) last week to catch up on matters relating to the Barracks. They told us they’re about to submit a new technical note to the council this week. This note relates to our critique of the traffic report they produced to back up their initial thoughts to develop the site. So, it will be interesting to see how they have responded to our feedback.
    • We raised with them that we think their ecology report for the site contains a number of weaknesses. Not least of which was that their consultants undertook a site investigation in January! Not the best time of year to get an accurate picture of the richness & diversity of flora and fauna in an area.
    • We’ve asked if Norman and Margaret can undertake our own ecological site survey and we are aiming for a visit before the end of September.
  3. Reflections arising from a 50th edition
    • It’s got me thinking – this milestone digest – on how far we have come over the last 2 years. I thought you might like to see the highlights. [It also helps me to summarise activities for inclusion in the Plan!]
      • Sep ’16: initial meeting to set-up the Forum, with an interim Steering Group
      • Nov ’16: inaugural general meeting – interim Steering Group confirmed
      • Mar ’17: officially confirmed (‘designated’) as a Forum by Broxtowe Council
      • Jun ’17: special general meeting to authorise designated Forum Area – less than we originally hoped for due to HS2 safeguarding zone
      • Sep – Oct ’17: consulted with residents on Broxtowe’s draft Local Plan part 2. We submitted our representations in early November
      • Sep ‘17 – Apr ’18: worked with Nott’m University architecture students to produce ideas/plans for the area
      • Jan ’18: our first AGM with well over 300 people attending – a truly staggering level of support that still blows me away just thinking about it
      • Jan – Mar ’18: hosted a series community consultation events to capture residents’ thoughts and views major current issues and on how best our area can be improved
      • Apr – Jun ’18: SG strand groups formed and started to work on 4 key areas identified for our Plan. Namely: traffic, environment, housing, & community facilities
      • Jun – Aug ’18: undertaking our own Heritage & Landscape Character Assessment to document a clear idea of what is important to us.
      • And running all the way through these last 2 years has been
        1. attending community events (fetes, school events)
        2. meeting and building relationships with key stakeholders (Broxtowe Council, HS2 Ltd) and landowners (DIO) and
        3. joining relevant boards (such as HS2 Strategic Board) to make sure our voice is heard
      • Just jotting down the list brings home how far we have come in what has been a relatively short time.
      • It’s also a reminder that there is more to be done over the next 12 months. So, none of us are feeling complacent.
  1. And finally…..
    • A couple of interesting articles in local papers that caught our eye over the last couple of weeks
    • Our next Steering Group meeting takes place next Thursday. If you have anything you’d like to raise, please get in touch and I’ll make sure it is discussed
    • We are meeting Ruth Hyde, Chief Executive of Broxtowe Council, next week to brief her on the progress we’ve made so far and thank her for the support we’ve received from the Council. As explained before, the council is a key stakeholder for us and it is good to get the chance to engage at the highest level.

And that is more than enough for this week.  Published a day later than normal due to our attendance at the Wild About Toton event on Saturday – which had a great turnout. We talked to lots of folk: some old friends, some new members. So, if you are a new member, a warm welcome to the digest!

Kind regards
Graham

Posted in Latest News, Neighbourhood Plan, Past Events | Leave a comment

Weekly digest: Aug 25th

Hello again

And…. I’m late sitting down to write this week’s edition. I normally produce a draft version on Friday evenings and then spend a little time ‘polishing’ it on Saturday afternoons. I then post it to our website later that day so you receive it Sunday morning.  But this week I was out gallivanting on Friday evening & it’s now 3pm Saturday & I’m a little rushed. So straight to business…

  1. Notts County Council meeting – plus an update on HS2 Toton Delivery Board
    • We were pleased to welcome three senior officers from Notts CC to our patch on Thursday afternoon. Adrian Smith (Corporate Director, Place); David Hughes (Service Director, Investment & Growth) along with Ken Harrison (HS2 Programme Director) wanted to meet with us and asked us to show them around the area – in particular Toton Sidings and either side of Toton Lane.
    • These are major figures at County Hall and have a key role in the working groups being set up to support the HS2 Toton Delivery Board. They welcome our involvement in the working groups and look forward to collaborating with us in formulating ideas and plans for the strategic growth zone.
    • We explained that we expected to be part of the Board as well, but we have now been told the make-up of the Board will only comprise elected councillors. An exception will be representation from D2N2 enterprise board.
    • This means the grounds to appeal our exclusion from the Delivery Board has been weakened. However, given that Adrian confirmed will be ‘embedded’ in the working groups, we are satisfied the Forum will have meaningful input to the papers sent to the Board to review/approve. We also intend to be observers at Board meetings, so we can gauge the mood of councillors as development plans are taken forward.
    • Overall, we were very pleased with the outcomes of the meeting with the three of them, and very much look forward to working with them in the future.
  2. Wild About Toton – next Saturday 1st Sept from 2pm
    • I don’t normally stray from Forum related matters in these digests, so hope you will forgive me this time for giving a ‘shout out’ to the Wild About Toton event taking place next Saturday at the Greenwood Centre.
    • This has been organised by the Friends of Toton Fields – in conjunction with Broxtowe Borough Council and Notts County Council. A key member of our Steering Group, Norman Lewis, is the co-founder of the Friends group and this event is to launch a book about Toton wildlife recorded by Norman and his colleagues over the last 10 years or so.
    • There are fun events for all the family – including ‘meet the hedgehog’ – as well as guided tours of Toton Fields nature reserve explaining why it is such an important site.
    • The Forum will have a stall at the event so please come along a have a look at our latest plans – including a map of our ideas for the green corridors we want to see in our area. We of course intend to make sure Toton Fields is protected for many years to come.
  3. Chetwynd Garden Village?
    • We’ve picked up on an announcement made by the government over the last few weeks. A new garden communities programme has been launched and the criteria to apply – for a village status – is 1500 new homes.
    • With the council’s submitted Local Plan stating an expectation for the Barracks to eventually accommodate 1500 dwellings, it does mean that perhaps the site qualifies for this status.
    • We’ve still to discuss the implications of this programme at Steering Group but we are scheduled to meet (separately) both the Defence Infrastructure Organisation and Broxtowe Council’s Chief Executive over the next couple of weeks. So, we will ask the question of both of them.
    • Meanwhile, we’d be interested in your views as well. Here is a link to the prospectus that invites applications from local authorities
  4. And finally……..
    • Housing Position Paper – final call to action. Thanks again to all those who have already responded to Mark’s request for feedback. This is the last chance to provide comments, so if you have still to let us have your thoughts, NOW is the time!
    • Cake Makers Wanted! This relates to next Saturday’s Wild About Toton event. I’m also part of the Beeston Community Growers and we’ve agreed to look after refreshments next Saturday. We’d like to provide you with lots of cake to have alongside your tea and coffee. So, I’ll be busy baking a cake or two next week BUT if you enjoy baking cakes and want to donate them to a great cause, please bring them along next Saturday. Or else get in touch beforehand and I’ll be glad to pick them up.
    • Stapleford Town Council’s Neighbourhood Plan has recently been produced. You can access a copy here. The council is keen to receive feedback and are asking for comments between the dates of the formal consultation period – 10 September and 19 October.

 Hope the lack of ‘polish’ isn’t too noticeable this week.
Whaddya mean, it never looks polished?!! 😉  More next time.

Kind regards
Graham

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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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