Weekly digest: June 23rd

Hello again

A lot to report this week so hope you don’t mind if I skip the idle chit-chat (!) and get straight to business…

  1. Locality grant approved
    • Our latest application for funds has been approved – which is great news! The £2,800 grant is mostly to help us produce, publish and promote our Neighbourhood Plan – due this autumn
    • Another element of the grant is to fund further consultation with members, residents and anyone else interested in our area. We will be hosting weekly drop-in sessions at our office in Oban House. The aim is to showcase the latest thoughts and ideas for policies in include in the Plan and to get your feedback. What do you like; what don’t you like; what needs to be added. We plan to start these sessions in late July/early August, so watch this space!
    • Locality have confirmed we can submit an application for further funding, so we are currently mulling over ideas for some consultancy-type activity. Let us know if you have ideas you’d like to see explored/developed
  2. HS2 Roadshow Part 3 (or is it 4?)
    • I can’t recall how many events HS2 have hosted at West Park, Long Eaton but the latest one is next Weds 27th between 2-8pm
    • HS2 have provided a couple of documents on their website. Both files are worth looking at but are pretty large, so you may want to download them first before viewing. Links to the documents are:
    • The biggest change for us is the road access to/from the station to the A52. They have replaced the initial idea to create a new roundabout (near the sewage works) with slip road access points either side and use a new roundabout on Bessell Lane to access the A52 from the north (Stapleford) side.
    • A number of us plan to go along next Weds; I’ll report back next week what we pick up.
  3. University graduation day
    • It was graduation day last Weds at University Park for the architecture students who helped us last autumn. Both Richard and myself were glad to accept invitations to go along and see their final work as well as browse the work of other undergraduates
    • It was great to meet up again with some of graduates who helped us and find out how they further developed ideas from the Barracks. In particular, an idea for a new primary school – its design and location – impressed us both.
    • We hope to build on the relationship with the University in the autumn with the next set of graduates. Perhaps to help form some detailed ideas for the Innovation Village? Any ideas/thoughts on the sorts of tasks the university could undertake on our behalf?
  4. And finally……
    • Chilwell Shell Factory Explosion Centenary events finish next week with a commemoration service at St Mary’s, Attenborough on July 1st. It may be too late to book tickets for the 2 events on the Barracks next week and the service is over-subscribed but it is worthwhile visiting St Mary’s to have a look at the exhibition. And there will probably still be be room for the 2 walks taking place next week: one on the Nature Reserve (Tues.) and one around Attenborough (Thurs.)
    • Our Heritage Assessment work on the Barracks has been confirmed for July 5th – as reported previously. However, I need to clarify a comment I made when I reported it was the DIO (Defence Infrastructure Organisation) who are preventing us from accessing buildings on the Barracks.
      In fact it is the local Base Commander who has imposed restrictions on us entering any building to undertake proper assessment. This is for ‘operational and security reasons’. I struggle to see how this applies to buildings such as the chapel and sports pavilions, but there we are.

And that’s it for now – it’s been a little rushed this week so hope you’ll forgive any typos you spot. As always, it’s good to receive your thoughts/feedback so please get in touch with comments/ideas for the Plan. Back again next week.

Kind regards

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Weekly digest: June 9

Hello again

This past week has been a little hectic with a couple of meetings + a networking event. And there are a number of events taking place over the next few weeks that will be of interest to some.

  1. HS2 Environmental Assessment meeting: Toton Sidings
    • Norman Lewis and myself attended a meeting requested by HS2 consultants AECOM last Tuesday. We were invited as representatives of Friends of Toton Fields – the group in Toton who work closely with the Council to maintain & enhance the Toton Fields Local Nature Reserve.
    • This was the first of a series of meetings we intend to hold to discuss the environmental impacts the station will have on the Sidings and the wider area. At this stage AECOM are still gathering baseline data of species records and Norman agreed to help by providing the extensive records gathered by the Friends over the last 10 years. [These records will be published this summer in a ‘Wild About Toton’ book. Watch this space for more details!]
    • We were asked about initial concerns we (both the Friends and Forum are ‘as one’ in this regard) had about the station and Norman explained that two key concerns were:
      • Long term flood risks in the Sidings and Toton Fields. We suggested a useful mitigation measure would be to create some water meadows on the Reserve to act as flood plain when needed
      • Noise arising during construction phase of the station never mind ongoing noise arising when the station is operational. We said HS2 should consider planting natural sound barriers (trees) along the length of the station now to give them time to grow as effective sound barriers before construction starts.
    • We agreed to meet again in Sept/Oct when HS2’s initial environment assessment is published. We agreed to invite representatives from Long Eaton Natural History Society (LENS) so we can provide environmental perspectives from both sides of the Sidings
  2. Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) meeting: Traffic infrastructure
    • Richard, Ian Ward (the SG strand lead for Area infrastructure), and myself attended a meeting with the DIO on Friday. This is the latest in a series of meetings with the DIO and their consultants to discuss elements of their proposals for the Barracks. Previously we have discussed the Heritage Assets on the site: this time we discussed traffic implications
    • It was a wide-ranging discussion that lasted most of the morning. We explained that current traffic congestion was the critical concern for our members. This has been made clear at every consultation event and survey we have undertaken over the last 12 months or so.
    • We reiterated our view that there must be a solution to the current issues experienced daily at Swiney Way/Stapleford Lane junction. We believe the only viable solution is to create a north/south road through the Barracks. The DIO are sympathetic to this approach, but their hands are seemingly tied since they no longer own the houses at the northern edge of the site.
    • Hence, the DIO’s view that a new road from the Barracks to Stapleford Lane (opposite Woodstock Road) is needed as a secondary access point to the main entrance on Swiney Way. Their traffic surveys conclude that this option is viable and will help to alleviate pressure on the Swiney Way/Stapleford Lane junction.
    • We made clear we oppose this solution as, in our view, it only adds to current problems. However, we also have to acknowledge that the main Swiney Way entrance cannot be the only way to get in/out of the site. We therefore ‘agreed to disagree’ about a Stapleford Lane entrance for cars. We will meet again to further understand in detail the data they have used to justify their view on the viability of Stapleford Lane entrance. More on this in future editions
    • Regarding the Heritage Assessment, the DIO have set a date in early July for the site visit by our consultants. However, our visit is restricted to just an external tour of the site – we are not allowed access to any of the buildings. This is very disappointing, but we have decided to make the best of a bad job. However, we will ensure our Plan makes clear that the DIO refused to allow us to produce an effective assessment of heritage assets.
  3. Locality networking event
    • I attended a community networking event on Wednesday organised by Locality. These events can be a bit ‘hit and miss’ when it comes to effectiveness.
    • This one was hosted at Nottingham’s St Ann’s allotments, which is why I was happy to attend. I’ve always wanted to have a look around the Grade II listed site. And it didn’t disappoint. If you haven’t been to one of the allotment’s Open Days, I can recommend it – it is well worth a trip; a really fascinating place.
    • As for the workshop itself, well… I made some new contacts of community groups in the East Midlands, which will be useful. But my main ‘takeaway’ from the day was a list of potential funds and funders that we can apply for grants. I also learnt a bit about Community Asset Transfers, which provides some food for thought. So, the day ended up proving to be very worthwhile!
  4. And finally…..
    …… a selection of events that caught my eye from the Centenary Commemoration of the Shell Filling Factory disaster. Full details here.
    Remember, most events are free but some require booking in advance

    • Weds 20th Jun at 7.30pm: ‘The Chilwell Explosion 1918 revisited’. Chilwell Memorial Hall
    • Mon 25th Jun at 7pm: Canary girls on film’. St Mary’s Church
    • Thurs 28th Jun at 2.30pm: ‘No 6 NSFF 1915-1918’. Chetwynd Barracks (arrive between 1.30 at 2.00 to clear security in good time)
    • Fri 29th Jun at 7.30pm: Play – ‘Swan Canaries’. Chetwynd Barracks (arrive 6.15 to 7.00)
    • Sun 1st July at 6.30pm: Special Commemoration Service. St Mary’s Church (please be seated by 6pm)

And that’s it (more than enough) for this week – and next, since I’m away again on holiday. See you in a fortnight.

Kind regards

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Weekly digest: June 2


I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe it is now June and the start of summer.  Regular summer events are now in full swing, whether it’s the Attenborough/Beeston/Chilwell Art Trail this week or the Beeston/Chilwell Garden Trail next week. But this year, there is something extra special to note in your diary, so let’s start with that…

  1. Chilwell Explosion centenary events – coming up fast!
    • A series of events have been organised by St Mary’s Church, Attenborough starting on Weds 20th June and culminating in a special commemoration service on Sun 1st July which will include a two-minute silence at 7.10pm – the time of the explosion
    • This link takes you to St Mary’s events page where you can find full details of the various activities and exhibitions. Tickets are needed for some of the events including those based on the Barracks itself. Full details are at the bottom of the events page
    • I’m especially looking forward to the opening event on Weds 20th – a talk about the explosion by Prof John Beckett. And the highly regarded play ‘Swan Canaries’ is being performed on the Barracks on Fri 29th
    • All events are worth supporting and St Mary’s have done a great job in putting this program together. Book your tickets early!
  2. GDPR – this week’s boring (albeit important) bit
    • Like me you’ve no doubt received an overload of emails over the last few weeks about the new Data Protection regulations. The Comms sub-group have discussed this topic over the last few weeks deciding how best to address this matter – and whether it evens applies to us.
    • In the end we decided to ‘use an abundance of caution’ (a phrase pinched from another organisation uncertain of applicability) and produced the statement below.

Privacy Statement:

Chetwynd: The Toton & Chilwell Neighbourhood Forum (“CTTC Forum”) regard looking after your personal data as very important.

We know many organisations have contacted you about changes in data protection regulations that came into force on 25 May 2018. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is designed to give you more control over how your data is used.

To read our privacy policy, please visit our website at http://cttcnf.org.uk/privacy-policy

We believe our subscribers find receiving information about the development of the Neighbourhood Plan helpful and relevant, so we hope you will continue to stay with us.

Do you want to continue to receive information from us by email?
“YES”. You need do nothing and we’ll continue to send you information as current. Remember, you’re free to change your mind at any time by using the unsubscribe option at the bottom of all emails.

“NO”. You can unsubscribe from all future emails by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this and all emails we send out. Please note:
1. it may take a few days to fully implement changes in preferences across all the email systems:
2. this will not affect your access to our Facebook or Twitter sites which you can unfollow independently

Many thanks to one of our members, Andy (which isn’t her real name, …or is it!) for taking the time to research this matter for us and producing the privacy policy and this statement.

  1. Forum finances
    • The Steering Group had a productive meeting last week to review funding following our unsuccessful application to Notts County Council. That application was intended to cover our core costs, such as our office, so we needed to rethink and devise a new plan.
    • As you know, we recently applied to Locality, who funded us last year. Today, we have also applied to BIG Lottery’s Awards for All programme for almost £10,000. We should hear from Locality next week and in a couple of months from BIG Lottery. Both of these applications focus on further consultation exercises so expect to hear more in due course.
    • We’ll continue to look for further funding opportunities to provide resilience. We need to focus on the production of our Plan without getting overly distracted about the outcome of any particular grant application.
  2. Meeting with Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) next Friday
    • The meeting’s prime purpose is to discuss the DIO’s traffic management plans to cover the new homes coming to Chetwynd Barracks. As you know, the DIO’s current thinking is to create a new access road from the Barracks to Stapleford Lane, joining it almost opposite Woodstock Road. This is not something we support: we need to alleviate pressure on Stapleford Lane, not add to it!
    • We’ll also chase them for a date for a site visit for our Heritage Assessment consultants. It’s time this work was completed
  3. And finally….
    • …. I don’t think I have any “and finally’s” this time so I’ll….

…. leave it there for this week. See you next time

Kind regards

Posted in Latest News | 1 Comment

Weekly digest: May 26

Hello again,

Another week has flown by and, as indicated last week, we have spent some time identifying alternative sources of funding to ensure the Forum has a secure footing going forward. A meeting of a Steering Group takes place next week to discuss current progress and agree next steps, so I’ll report more next week.

  1. Heritage Assessment work has started
    • AECOM have been in touch to say they have started their assessment of heritage assets & ‘character’ in our Area. We have provided them with further information relating to possible non-Barracks assets and that is their current focus
    • Clearly, the Barracks site is of particular interest to us all, and Barracks personnel have been in touch to clarify our requirement and ask for details of site attendees.
    • Hopefully, the site visit will take place in the next few weeks. As you know, we were hoping to undertake the visit during May, but MoD bureaucracy is a little slow.
  2. HS2 events taking place in June
    • Whilst the Barracks is important to us, we mustn’t forget that we have another significant development planned for Toton. HS2 Ltd have been in touch with a leaflet detailing their next set of ‘roadshow’ events. Here is a link to the leaflet
    • The key dates for your diary are:
      • Friday 22nd June (2pm-8pm): Trowell Parish Hall, Stapleford Road, Trowell NG9 3QA
      • Weds 27th June (2pm-8pm): West Park Leisure Centre, Long Eaton NG10 4AA
    • The leaflet also states: “If you are unable to attend either of these dates, new information on the evolving design will be available at hs2.org.uk from Monday 4th June”. We’ll check the site at the due time to make sure the information is there and re-post the link again.
  3. Toton Sidings ecology and landscaping review
    • Earlier this week another branch of AECOM (this time, the HS2 team) got in touch with myself and Norman Lewis who, as well as being a member of the Forum’s Steering Group, is the Chairman of Friends of Toton Fields
    • They have requested a meeting in the first week of June to discuss the ecology and landscape of the Sidings. Of course, we have readily agreed, and it is great to see HS2 being proactive in seeking out our (in truth, Norman’s) views when it comes to assessing the ecology of the site and how best to mitigate disruption to the wildlife in the area
    • It is vitally important that we retain as much of the wildlife as we can in the Sidings, but we need to acknowledge that the Forum has no direct ‘control’ over what takes place there. Despite that, we will do all we can to protect of Toton Fields LNR and exert as much influence as possible protect the wider area of the Sidings.
  4. And finally…….
  • We haven’t forgotten about GDPR. I know, I know – we are all sick to the back teeth with the avalanche of emails about this topic. But we need to be sure the Forum is compliant as well. For us it means ensuring we have a data protection & privacy policy published on our website and then making sure to give you a link to view it. More on this next week as well as our official GDPR notice to you.
  • A HS2 Strategy Board meeting takes place next Tuesday. We had been hoping to see a subsidiary ‘Toton Delivery Board’ set up and running before now. However, there have been some wrangling behind the scenes between Nott’m City Council and Notts County Council on the exact shape/make-up of the Delivery Board. Tuesday’s meeting will be presented with a final proposal and hopefully a way forward will be agreed. It is high time the HS2 East Midlands Strategy paper (published last autumn) was taken forward to the next stage. We need to give detailed focus to how it can be implemented in the area surrounding the Hub Station. Watch this space – as they say – but don’t hold your breath!

Enough I think for this week. More next time.

Kind regards

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Weekly digest: May 19th

Hello again

Well, I’m not sure what happened to last week’s edition – or rather I do, but only when it was too late to correct. I posted last week’s digest a day late and as such missed our scheduled ‘slot’ for the automated mail services we’ve recently set-up. I’d hoped to overcome the missed deadline by labelling the edition as a ‘newsflash’ rather than the standard ‘latest news’ which should send out messages on a daily basis. Unfortunately, that didn’t work as expected. The glitch has now been sorted but it means last week’s digest has now been included this time. So, you are getting two for the price of one! Sounds like a good deal……but best not repeated.  Normal service resumes next week.

  1. Funding news #1: Outlook a little gloomy
    • It has to be said that this week hasn’t been the greatest one we had. We received formal confirmation late yesterday (Friday 18th) that we were unsuccessful with a bid we submitted to Notts County Council for a grant to fund, primarily, our ongoing admin costs.
    • We submitted the bid late in January for 3 years’ worth of revenue funds that would have sorted out our day-to-day costs. The aim was to give us the head room to focus our fund-raising efforts to cover the one-off costs needed to produce our Plan, publicise our work, and consult with residents.
    • At the time we submitted our application our sponsors gave us firm indications that our bid was strong and would be successful. But, hey-ho, sometimes even the firmest of indications can prove worthless.
    • So, we need look elsewhere for office funding. This is not as straight forward as it sounds since most funding bodies award grants to one-off projects rather than cover ongoing admin costs.
    • It does mean that SG effort has to be redoubled onto fundraising so a couple of us will, unfortunately, suspend working directly on producing the Plan so we can provide support to Denise, our Treasurer, to find alternative sources of funds and submit applications
  2. Funding news #2: But every cloud has a …… 
    • It’s not all doom and gloom on the funding front. Whilst the news from Notts County Council was a blow, we have had some good news relating to our funding application to Locality
    • You may recall that we applied to Locality for a £9,000 grant to cover the costs of producing and distributing our Plan.
    • They have come back to us this week agreeing to fund a good portion of our submission but have a query about the costs we included for some consultancy. Once we have clarified those costs (a query on the day rates) we are pretty confident they will approve the grant
    • However….this time, let’s be a little cautious and avoid counting too many chickens before they come home to roost (to completely mangle metaphors!). Fingers crossed, we hope for some good news in a couple of weeks
  3. And finally……
    • You may have seen the item on BBC local news last week that the DIO (Defence Infrastructure Organisation) have agreed that they will ensure the WW1 memorial on the Barracks will be properly cleaned in time for the commemoration events at the end of June. Whilst this is good news, I remain sceptical that cleaning may not be enough to ensure all the names & inscriptions are fully legible. We’ll see what transpires – hopefully my fears will prove unfounded.
    • Those of you who receive Anna Soubry’s weekly update may have been surprised by the item on HS2. It mentions a meeting held in Nuthall last week with HS2 representatives, who said it was possible to tunnel the entire route through Broxtowe including Long Eaton. Anna intends to raise the matter with the Transport Minister as it was thought this option was ‘out of the question’. Personally, I think a tunnel solution will be prohibitively expensive although I can understand why Long Eaton and Nuthall residents will appreciate the chance to re-open the option.

And since you’ve had a double dose of me this week, I’ll say again:
“That’s all for this week folks. See you next week”

Kind regards

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Weekly digest: May 13th

Hello everyone

A couple of days late this week; no real reason apart from being a tad busy in the garden the last couple of days. But I promised a shorter edition this week to make up for last week’s protracted report. This week I’ve spent time summarising the final elements of the consultation we undertook back in February ….

  1. Consultation feedback: flip chart summary: background/brief recap
  • You’ll recall that our community consultation comprised 2 strands: an online (and physical) survey asking for your views – from strongly agree to strongly disagree – against a series of statements about our Area
  • We had almost 180 responses to that survey and I published the results a few weeks ago at the end of March. In case you’ve mislaid the report here’s another link, so you can have a look at the top priorities
  • However, as well as the survey we also gathered views on a series of flip charts posted up at each of the 4 consultation events we held – at the Village (AGM) and subsequently at Chilwell, Toton, and back at the Village for a 2nd event
  • There were 4 main flip charts headed up to stimulate ideas:
    • ‘What do you love about where you live?’
    • ‘What don’t you like about where you live?’
    • ‘What would you change about this place?’
    • ‘Do you have ideas for making this place even better?’
  1. Consultation feedback: flip chart summary: the results
  • In total, 214 thoughts/ideas were captured on these flips. Some of the thoughts were duplicates in that if someone agreed with a previously captured comment, they merely placed a tick next to it to indicate endorsement.
  • Despite some duplication we had a terrific range of thoughts and suggestions. To make sense of it all, I categorised the comments into 7 broad themes:
    • Transport/Infrastructure (with 72 comments)
    • Sense of Community (46 comments)
    • Personal wellbeing (34 comments)
    • Greenspace (29 comments
    • Housing (21 comments)
    • Retail/Other (12 & 8 respectively)
  • The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted that the comments in total come to 222. That is because a few applied across more than 1 theme e.g. ‘install power points to charge electric cars’ applies equally to new housing as well as retail areas/car parks
  • As you can see Transport/Infrastructure topped the list. There were 13 comments liking/praising the good transport connections & links to Nott’m/Derby/M1 etc as well as access to Attenborough station for rail connections and good ‘bus & tram service’
    However there were 34 comments disliking the current state of ‘traffic’, ‘congestion’, ‘speed bumps’, ‘poor public transport’.
  • When it came to Sense of Community, the main comments centred around the lack of a ‘community focal point’, ‘misses a village hall/community centre’.
  • The main themes that have emerged will clearly play a key role in determining the main objectives for our Plan. We always knew (or at least strongly suspected) that transport/infrastructure would be a dominant theme in the Plan along with Greenspace/environment. But I was tad – albeit pleasantly – surprised to see the depth of feeling on the lack of a heart/centre for the area.
  • I’ll produce a summary file of all the comments along, so you can review and let me know if I’ve missed a key theme.
  1. And finally……
  • The SG held a very useful meeting last week. We agreed the objectives and main activities (to raise funds for the Forum) of the CIC we’re are creating. We will now complete the application forms and send them off in the next week or two.
  • Good progress was reported across all fronts in developing our Neighbourhood Plan. The Housing strand have a draft proposal in place that only needs a little more polishing before it is ready for peer review by the rest of the SG. And some of the other groups aren’t far behind.
  • I’m afraid we have little to report regarding the DIO plans to restore the memorial. Despite pressing them for a response we’ve been effectively stonewalled by being told the matter now rests with the DIO parliamentary team who will decide when and who will receive the update. We’ve briefed Anna Soubry about this development and so for the moment we are all waiting their plans. Not at all a satisfactory situation….

That’s all for this week folks. See you next week – back at normal publication time as well!

Kind regards

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Weekly digest: May 5th

Hello everyone

Picking up from last week’s digest I said I’d like to spend time this week providing updates on the various meetings we’ve attended recently.

  1. Summat about Meeting #1: Blueprint
    • Blueprint is a developer, based in Nottingham, that specialises in regenerating brown field sites and developing low energy, sustainable homes. We met the CEO Nick Ebbs a couple of weeks ago to find out more about their ideas in designing sustainability into new homes. We want to incorporate sustainability into our housing policies in our Neighbourhood Plan
    • We had a look around their current development site at Trent Basin in Nottingham and Nick explained their solution to storing solar energy in giant batteries before being ‘drawn-down’ by individual dwellings registered to the scheme. Here’s a link to the project.  If you are interested in this scheme, there is an Open Day next Sat 12th at Trent Basin
    • Nick also told us about a radical new development taking place near Bicester: an eco-town. He suggested we have a look at their ideas for development. Here’s a link to the website and it does look interesting. A couple of us plan to have a trip down there over the summer to have a closer look.
    • We agreed to stay in touch with Nick whilst we develop our ideas and convert them into workable, practical policies. Nick was interested in our Area and thought the Barracks site lends itself very well to exploiting sustainable solutions.
  2. Summat ab…. Meeting #2: Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO):
    • We met with the DIO (sellers of the Barracks on behalf of the MoD) on Monday. The aim was to update each other on recent activities with a focus on master planning for the site. In particular we were interested in their thoughts on the ideas presented to us by the university students. And the verdict was largely complimentary, albeit they pointed out that some of the ideas were a little ‘left field’.
    • Overall it was a productive meeting. We met a consultant who has been tasked with undertaking a consultation exercise on behalf of the DIO. We arranged to meet with him to share the work we have done thus far and help where we can with his plans. At this stage the thinking is there will be a series of exhibitions over the summer period (July/August). We’ll keep you updated as things develop but expect to be asked more questions about your thoughts for the Barracks.
    • We talked about the work – a Heritage Character Assessment – we have commissioned from AECOM. Given the history of the Barracks a lot of the work will naturally focus on the site, so we wanted to ensure the DIO were geared up to allow access to our consultants. We hope the assessment will take place over the next 3 or 4 weeks so watch this space….
    • Further meetings with the DIO are planned so we can talk through the research underpinning their idea that the site is capable of 1500 dwellings. In particular we want to focus on road/traffic infrastructure. That is a key concern raised in our consultation exercise
  3. Summa……… Meeting #3: Locality/AECOM
    • Not a meeting but a telephone conference with AECOM last Tuesday to talk over our request for further technical support to help us develop our Plan. We have requested assistance in 2 key areas:
      • Evidence gathering and policy development. The help we need here is how best to formulate key policies in our Plan. There are a number of policies that need to be tightly worded and justified with strong evidence to ensure they pass through the examination process unaltered. For instance, we believe a new road is needed that runs up through the Barracks (exiting near the tram terminus) to help relieve congestion on Stapleford Lane. How do we phrase a policy (with supporting evidence) to ensure this road is built?
      • Housing design and design codes. The assistance we are looking for here builds on the sustainability point noted above with Blueprint. How can we encourage developers to design sustainable (and affordable) solutions into new dwellings in our Area?
    • We made good progress on this call and AECOM are now going back to government to get approval to fund these tasks for us. They said this is (normally) a formality, and they hope to assign consultants to us in the next few weeks.
  4. Su…………… Meeting #4: Broxtowe Borough Council
    • On Wednesday we met with the Head of Planning at Broxtowe Council. Again, this is one of a series of meetings we have to keep abreast of latest thinking and activities.
    • The main output this time was to get ready for the publication of the Local Plan Part 2. You will recall we consulted on this last autumn and submitted our ideas to the council for consideration. We were told that the majority of our ideas have been accepted but there are a couple where there remains a difference between us. We have the opportunity to comment on the final Plan before it is formally submitted to external examination, but we don’t believe there will be any ‘show stoppers’.
    • It was explained the rough timetable going forward for the Local Plan is:
      • Late June: Plan published and reviewed by Jobs and Economy committee
      • Jul: Plan discussed and approved at Full Council
      • Aug: Plan submitted to government for external examination
      • Sept- Dec: External Examination takes place and recommended changes published (there are always recommended changes!).
      • Jan-Mar 2019: Depending on scale/severity of recommendations, further consultation may be required. Recommendations discussed, and modifications made.
      • Apr-Jun 2019: Local Plan Part 2 finally agreed and adopted.
    • This schedule spookily follows a similar timeline we expect our Neighbourhood Plan to take. We expect our Plan to be submitted by the end of 2018; examined in spring 2019, before final changes and adoption in summer 2019.
    • We will attend the Jobs and Economy Committee in June so will report back then on the final form of the Local Plan and what it means for our Area
  5. ………………… Meeting #5: Peveril Homes
    • Later that afternoon (Weds) we met up with James Smith, a director at Peveril Homes. This meeting formed part of our plan to meet and engage with all major landowners in our Area. It follows on from our meetings with Heart Church and UKPP (Toton) Ltd
    • James reiterated Peveril’s position that they have planning permission for 282 houses on the land to the west of Toton Lane and they are looking to start work on site in the next few months. They do not view the advent of the HS2 station as a ‘given’; that it may be stopped before it receives Royal Assent – expected in 2022. Peveril cannot afford a ‘wait and see’ stance since their current permission expires before then. Hence their focus to start work on building houses
    • This position is not surprising and reinforces the views expressed by both Heart Church and UKPP(Toton) Ltd. Our view remains the same: that discussions need to take place to ensure current landowners are not disadvantaged by waiting for the HS2 decision and, if it receives Royal Assent, the subsequent impact on development in our area.
    • We agreed to stay in touch with James as we develop our Plan. We next plan to meet with Oxalis Planning, who act as an agent for some land around Wheatgrass farm – both north and south of the tram line bordering Field Lane/Inham Road
  6. And finally…
    • You may have seen Richard and Anna Soubry on local BBC EMT news last week (Thurs 3rd) talking about our concerns over the poor state of the memorial on the Barracks. We are not prepared to let this matter quietly drop and we are still pressing the DIO to confirm they will properly restore the memorial and not just clean it. We are grateful for Anna’s support and fingers crossed the DIO will see sense.
    • The Steering Group is meets again next Thursday (10th) and the main item is to finalise preparations for the formation of the new CIC (Community Interest Company). If you have any matter you’d like raised at the meeting, please let me know.

Phew, a long edition this week, the longest ever I think. But there was a lot to catch up on relating to these meetings, so I hope you’ll understand. I’ll make sure it is back to normal length next week!

Kind regards

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Weekly digest: April 28th

Hello again

It’s only been a couple of weeks since the last edition, but quite a lot has happened, so without further ado….

  1. WWI Shell Filling Factory explosion memorial – Part 1
    • You will recall that we are concerned about the state of the memorial located on Chetwynd Barracks and that we sent a strongly worded letter to the DIO (Defence Infrastructure Organisation) requesting details of planned activities
    • Well, unfortunately, the DIO didn’t respond to our email so we issued a press release late last week to local media outlets – including regional TV stations & the Nottingham Post.
    • The Post published an article last Weds (25th April) – and here is a link. The Post asked for a comment from the DIO, but they repeated their intention was to undertake “sensitive cleaning of the stone bearing the names…”
    • We don’t believe that cleaning the memorial is sufficient and as our Chairman, Richard, noted: ‘…maybe it’s time the community took over the responsibility of the site in perpetuity’
    • What are your thoughts? Please leave a comment on our website or feel free to email me.
  2. WWI Shell Filling Factory explosion memorial – Part 2
    • As well as issuing the press release to local media we also briefed our MP, Anna Soubry, and asked for her support
    • Anna agreed with us that the MoD must quickly take action. She raised a question about the condition of the memorial in Parliament last Monday (23rd April), here is a link to her question. Anna has also written a letter to the Secretary of State for Defence (Gavin Williamson) requesting assurances that the memorial will be restored in time for the commemoration events starting in late June
    • We’d like to thank Anna for responding so quickly to our request for help. Hopefully her intervention will make the DIO rethink their plans to clean the memorial and ensure it is properly restored. As always, we’ll keep you updated…
  3. Application submitted for a further grant from Locality
    • Denise, our Treasurer, as submitted our follow-up application to Locality for a £9,000 grant to help us cover the costs of producing our Neighbourhood Plan.
    • We also requested free consultancy covering two key areas for us: a) gathering evidence and developing policies and b) producing bespoke urban design guides and codes (particularly relating to the Barracks)
    • Locality previously agreed to provide a consultant to undertake a Heritage Character Assessment for our area and that work should be starting in the next few weeks
    • Whilst it’s a little early to expect our application to be approved, the signs are looking good as they have asked for more details about the consultancy work we have requested. We will be speaking to them next week.
  4. Plan strands taking off…
    • Our Housing strand/group met for the first time a couple of weeks ago and its lead, Mark, sent out an update to you via MailChimp last week and letting you know we will be asking for your input/critique in due course
    • Most of our groups are now getting stuck in to the task to gather evidence to help formulate policies for the Neighbourhood Plan so expect more updates like this, either direct from group leads or else via me in these digests.
    • If you want more details about these groups, and especially if you would like to get involved, please let me know. We have had some people join us to help with this work, but more are always welcome.
  5. And finally…
    • We met with Peter (university student) who has refined his ideas on a masterplan for the Barracks area. It is now looking pretty close to what we think it could look like. There are still some minor tweaks that could be made (there always are) but it provides a great starting point of how the site could be taken forward.
    • The Comms group held a meeting last week and a key topic was the new data protection regulations (GDPR). We are working to ensure we are compliant which means producing and publishing a privacy policy – more on this in a future edition.
    • We met with Blueprint a couple of weeks ago (as reported last time) and are hoping to meet with Peveril this coming week to discuss their current plans for the land they own at Toton Lane. We are also meeting the DIO on Monday to discuss their ideas for the development of the Barracks. Again, more on all these meetings next time

So, as I said at the beginning, a lot is happening at the moment. But that’s enough I think for this week. Lots more next time!

Kind regards

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Housing Group – First Meeting

We had the first meeting of the Housing Group this week. The purpose of the Housing Group is to create the Housing Development Planning Policies for the Chetwynd Neighbourhood Plan.

It was a constructive meeting with a number of topics brought up for discussion some of which we all agreed on, others of which had a number of diverse opinions.

However, what we did agree upon was a process by which we will create the Planning Polices for the Neighbourhood Plan which will then go out for Consultation.

We plan to meet three or four times to create a Draft Position Paper which describes the Chetwynd Neighbourhood today, how we foresee it changing over the period of the Plan and how we would like the Forum to influence those changes.

We will circulate the Draft Paper to the Forum membership through the website for your comments, particularly about things that are important to you but we’ve forgotten about.

So, the purpose of this post is to warn you that this will be coming your way and that we will need your comments relatively quickly so that we can create the Planning Policies for further Consultation

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Weekly digest: April 14th


A shorter edition this week, and a little rushed, as I’m off again later today (Saturday) to the south west for another family engagement tomorrow.  So, straight to business….

  1. CIC starting the formation of a company
    • We discussed the formation of a Community Interest Company (CIC) at our Steering Group meeting last Thursday. You will recall the AGM approved the recommendation to form a separate company to assure the long-term oversight of developments in our Area once the Forum wraps up. [Neighbourhood Forums are only designated to run for 5 years before being wound-up.]
    • The Steering Group discussed various elements that need to be in place. We agreed to form a separate company to sit alongside the Forum. We also agreed the prime aim of the CIC will be to support the Forum by applying for funds only available to incorporated organisations.
    • There remain a couple of wrinkles to be ironed out relating to the number of company shares to issue as well as the number of directors we want in place. The sub-group will look into these technical elements for us and report back next month with final recommendations.
    • The other main item on the agenda was updates on tasks needed to shape policies for the Neighbourhood Plan. A good start has been made but, naturally enough, a lot more work is in front of us.
  2. WWI Shell Filling Factory explosion memorial
    • The centenary of the WWI explosion that took place on the Barracks is barely 10 weeks away on July 1st. Organisers from St Mary’s Church Attenborough are taking the lead on the events to commemorate the occasion; details can be found here on their website
    • We have been supporting St Mary’s when it comes to the actual memorial located inside the Barracks. We pointed out to the DIO (Defence Infrastructure Organisation) who manage all MoD estates the poor state of repair of the memorial back in January. Some of the names of those who lost their lives are illegible and many more are barely readable. We requested remedial works were needed to fully restore the memorial so that all names and inscriptions are fully legible.
    • It was roughly 10 weeks ago when we first raised the matter with them and there are 10 weeks or so left to July 1st. It is disappointing to report that not much activity has been undertaken – apart from a fresh lick of paint to the shells and chain bordering the memorial and attempts to source some fund for cleaning!.
    • We therefore sent a stiffly worded email to the DIO requesting details of planned activities over the next 10 weeks and suggested that the proposal to clean the memorial rather than restore it would not be acceptable. Unless we are satisfied with the response, we will look to escalate this as we believe it is imperative the memorial is in a pristine condition for the commemoration events. I’ll keep you posted on developments…
  3. A blue Monday coming up
    • On Monday a couple of us are visiting Blueprint to talk to them about building sustainable homes. Blueprint are a Nottingham based company (part-owned by the City Council) who are innovators when it comes to regenerating brown field sites and developing leading-edge sustainable buildings – both commercial and domestic.
    • They are the organisation behind the University Science Park (off University Boulevard) and are currently redeveloping Trent Basin in Nottingham (off Daleside Road).
    • We are keen to pick their brains regarding the design of sustainable homes for the Barracks. As you know the Barracks is south facing on a slope so should be a prime site for energy efficient housing whether via solar energy or ground source heating.
    • I won’t say any more for the moment – I’m already getting out of my depth by mentioning ‘ground source heating’ – but sustainability is clearly of great interest to a number of those who commented at our consultation events and I’m looking forward to learning more.
  4. And finally…
    • I said last week I’d provide further thoughts on the comments provided at our consultation events. I confess I’ve not yet had time however, here is a link to a file containing the raw transcriptions of comments summarised by topic/event. If you are interested have a look: I will get around to properly analysing them in the next few weeks and will then report back.
    • A big ‘shout out’ to those people who have offered us help over the last couple of weeks. Both Chris and Anderson have kindly agreed to help develop policies for our Plan. And David came back with some useful suggestions for sources of funds. Thank you all.
      If anyone else is able to provide help or advice, please get in touch

That’s all for this week and the next edition will be in a fortnight.  I know, I know…I’m away this afternoon for a jaunt to the south west (to attend a birthday celebration) but, somewhat shamefacedly, I have to admit we are back down there again next weekend for yet another family event – this time a 40th wedding anniversary. But enough of my tribulations…. see you in a fortnight!

Kind regards

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