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Weekly digest: Feb2

Hello again

An even quicker update this week but with the same focus as last time. I can understand if you’re feeling a little short-changed with new ‘news’ at the moment and indeed becoming a tad bored of hearing about the AGM. But I won’t repeat the arguments why we feel it important for you to come along next Sunday 10th at 3pm at the Village – you well know our thoughts. So, this week I’ll merely offer a couple of further reasons…

1. AGM papers – the financial report

  • This link is to the final version of the AGM papers. At the end are 2 pages containing the financial accounts for 2018.
  • Headline numbers are:
    • Total funds brought forward from 2017: £6,817
    • Total income: £13,854: which include a couple of very welcome donations from Broxtowe Borough Council and our two County Councillors.
    • Total expenditure: £10,205: main items were consultancy and office rent
    • Total funds carried forward to 2019: £10,465
  • These accounts are unaudited at the moment. We are still looking for a person versed in bookkeeping who is willing to review the figures for us. If you know of anyone please ask them to get in touch.
  • If you have queries about the numbers in the report, please let me know and we’ll provide answers next Sunday.
  • To repeat my appeal from last week: please print off these papers if you can and bring them along with you as there will only be limited number of copies available on the day

2. Glimpses of the future?

  • Would you like a sneak preview of a couple of illustrations that will be on display next week?
    • This one shows current thoughts on the location of new/existing green infrastructure corridors. The new corridors (to the north of Cleve & Kathryn) are scaled to reflect a 50m width
    • This map shows a possible layout of a plaza/village centre located next to the Memorial Garden in the Barracks. Further illustrations showing how the shops could look will be on display
    • Finally, this one shows possible layout of new road infrastructure through our area. This design assumes the George Spencer Academy is relocated across the road somewhere. For the moment, this is an aspiration, so this design needs to be treated cautiously. We will have an alternative road layout that better reflects current expectations on display next week.
  • What do you think? We need to hear your thoughts and opinions so please come along and peruse these (along with others, inc. the new ‘concept’ map of the Toton Lane site produced by the council for the Local Plan) at your leisure. 
  • Personally speaking, I think we should be more ambitious regarding the size of green infrastructure corridors to the north of the tram line – but what do you think?

3. And finally…..

  • HS2 Ltd are coming. Don’t forget that HS2 Ltd will be attending and be willing to talk over concerns or issues you have with their latest plans. If you didn’t manage to get to our event at the Greenwood Centre before Christmas – now it the chance to catch up
  • Any questions? If you have any questions you’d like to raise during the meeting or items for the Any Other Business section, please let me have details in advance to better prepare a response for you. Likewise, if you know of any apologies, please let me know and I’ll be glad to add them to the list.
  • Streamlined registration process. If you are already registered with us (as you will be since you are reading this!) then we will only require you to let us know your house number and postcode when you sign-in to the meeting. This is so we know the split between our members (who live/work in the area) and friends (who live elsewhere). Newcomers who come along as a result of our leaflet drop will be asked for name/email address as well.  Which brings me to…..
  • ….a BIG shout out to all our volunteers. We want to thank all the volunteers who stepped forward to us deliver AGM leaflets throughout our Area. A round of applause to: Anderson, Chris, Christine, Cindy, Jean, Joan & Peter, Karren, Louise, Pauline & Stuart, and Sally & Greg.  This is the first time we’ve called for volunteers to help us ‘in anger’ with a particular task and it is fantastic to see this level of support. Many thanks to all of you!

And that’s it – I’ve finished talking about the AGM. Apart from saying the Steering Group looks forward to welcoming as many of you as possible next Sunday.

Kind regards

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

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Weekly digest: Jan 26


This week’s edition risks being a little repetitive as the focus is yet again ……. and I know you’re way ahead of me…… the forthcoming AGM.

I make no apology: it’s one thing for you to catch up with events from the various ramblings found in these digests.  But this is different. The Steering Group derives its authority from you, our members and friends, at annual meetings. It is important we formally report back to you on our activities over the last 12 months and account for the funds we have received and spent. This meeting is the most important event in our calendar. We hope you will take the time to come along to support our work and renew the ‘contract’ between members and the Steering Group.

1. Annual General Meeting: Sunday February 10 at 3pm at The Village Hotel

  • The date, time & location of the meeting has been published several times over the last month or so.  Our constitution states we give 28 days’ notice for the AGM, so we have gone a tad OTT this year to make sure you are aware.
  • This week we have produced the agenda for the meeting. This link takes you to the AGM papers (agenda + last year’s minutes). We’ll send out the financial accounts next week.
  • It will be very helpful if you can print out and bring along these papers on the 10th  We will have a limited number of copies available on the day but not enough for everyone.
  • If you have ‘Any Other Business’ or questions you’d like to raise at the meeting, please let me have details beforehand so we can properly prepare a response on the day. We will invite questions from the floor at the end of the meeting but advance notice is always helpful.

2. ITV News at 6

  • You may have caught the ITV News at 6 on Thursday. If so, you will have seen our chairman, Richard, being interviewed regarding the HS2 meeting taking place in Westminster that day. The aim of the London meeting – attended by Midlands and Northern civic and business leaders – was to persuade the government to confirm its commitment to HS2 phase 2b – which includes the eastern leg from Birmingham to Leeds.
  • ITV News phoned Richard the day before requesting an interview and spent around an hour with him overlooking the Sidings hearing our views on HS2. Richard made clear that we too are looking for certainty that HS2 is coming to Toton.
  • This is so the Forum can properly formulate plans to ensure the community benefits from East Midlands hub station as well agreeing with HS2 Ltd how to mitigate the adverse impacts we will experience during construction.
  • It was disappointing to see Richard’s interview cut short and related only to his comments on HS2 commute times. But given the focus of the report was about the ‘certainty’ of the overall HS2 2b package, I suppose this was not too surprising.
  • However, it is good to see the Forum being acknowledged as the ‘go to’ community group when the media wants to hear local views. It’s even more important, therefore, you keep letting us know your views & opinions relating to the future development of our Area.

3. Application for further funding

  • We submitted an application last week to the BIG Lottery programme ‘Awards for All’. We are starting to plan our activities for April/May – in particular publishing our Neighbourhood Plan and formally consulting residents and stakeholders.
  • We have requested a grant of £5,600, the vast majority of which is to cover publishing costs. We want to produce a summary version of our Plan for each household in the Area – approx. 6,000 copies – to make sure every resident has the chance to review the Plan and provide comments.
  • We should hear if we have been successful with our application towards the end of March. Fingers crossed

4. And finally…..

  • More volunteers needed.  Firstly, many thanks to those who have stepped forward to help us deliver leaflets for the AGM – it is very much appreciated. But we can always do with more.  So, if you can spare an hour or two next weekend to help deliver some leaflets around your neighbourhood, please email me:
  • AGM Flyer. If you can’t wait for your AGM flyer to tumble through the letterbox, here’s a link to a flyer stored online. 

A longer than usual preamble to this week’s edition so another quick ending is in order.

Kind regards

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

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Weekly digest: Jan 19

Hello again

Another quick update as the Steering Group’s attention for the next few weeks is focused on two key topics: completing our Neighbourhood Plan and organising the AGM. So…..

1. Plan’s Progress

  • We published the first two sections of our draft Plan before Christmas. If you missed the chance to have a look at it, here is a link to the document. Your thoughts on the content (as well as details of any typos, grammatical errors) will be very welcome.
  • The final section, containing our policies and the justification for them, is still being written. The strand groups have gathered the raw data and evidence and it is now a question of collating and condensing the information into policies that will pass the examination process and – more importantly – work for us in expressing our aims and aspirations for future development.
  • I was hoping this final section would be ready by the end of the month, but it is taking longer than anticipated.  It is now likely the draft Plan will be finished & published in late spring ready for consultation with you in early summer.
  • We are still re-working exact deadlines and we’ll report more fully at the AGM.

2. Housing Design work

  • Another reason for the delay is that we await a report we commissioned last autumn regarding housing design and codes. Mark and the housing strand team have done great work to produce draft policies with strong supporting evidence. However, we lack the technical expertise when it comes to devising the correct words/phrases we need to ensure polices are watertight.
  • AECOM are producing a report to help us express our objectives in this area. We have been advised their report will be ready in mid/end February, so we are busy ‘holding their toes to the fire’ to ensure they stay on track.
  • One of our aims is to see new affordable homes built quickly and so we are keen to explore modular system techniques that might be used in our Area. Modular systems are where houses are largely ‘factory built’ and then transported to site where they can be quickly erected in a couple of weeks
  • This method is growing in popularity across the country. If you want to learn more about it, here is a link to a very interesting BBC programme: In Business – Home Truths:

3. AGM is coming

  • As reported last time, we will be showcasing ideas for some major infrastructure needed in our Area. This infrastructure will be formalised in the strategic masterplans being developed and – again as reported previously – we are taking part in this work.
  • We aim to feed in to the masterplan process our thoughts and ideas that work for us as a community. So we have commissioned some high level maps to show:
    • Green Infrastructure Corridors through and around our Area
    • Cycle routes and walkways to encourage more people out of cars
    • New road layouts to ensure smooth flow to traffic to/from HS2 stations as well as ease congestion on Stapleford Lane/Swiney Way
  • We need your thoughts on these ideas so when we take them to the Masterplanning workshops we know we represent your opinions.
  • So another great reason come along to the AGM and tell us what you think.

4. And finally….

  • Web site re-vamp.  The communications sub-group have been discussing changes to our web site to reflect current priorities and in particular to make it easy to find all documents relating to the Neighbourhood Plan, when it is formally published. Expect to see these changes take place over the next few weeks.
  • Volunteers needed.  We will be delivering leaflets to publicise the AGM to every household in our Area in the week leading up to Sunday Feb 10. We are looking for volunteers who can spare an hour or two to help us deliver some of these leaflets around your neighbourhood. If you are able to help, please email me:

More next time

Kind regards

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

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Weekly digest: Jan 12

Hello everyone

Welcome back! And let me start by wishing you all a Happy New Year!  I think I can still get away with it as it’s not yet half way through the month. I was intending to restart these digests last week, but I picked up a heavy dose of ‘man flu’ which knocked me back. As I write this my wife is rolling her eyes and muttering “imp!” or something like, but I don’t see the connection or relevance. Be that as it may, I’m now fully recovered and back in the saddle. A quick update this week…

1. Chetwynd, Toton and Chilwell Community Interest Company (CIC) is now fully fledged

  • It’s been a long gestation, but I’m pleased to report that our CIC has now been set up. You will recall we reported our intention to create a separate company last year to help ensure longevity of the Forum and provide the mechanism to oversee the delivery of our Plan once it is adopted.
  • There are five directors of the CIC – all members of the Steering Group – and their first task is to meet and set up the priorities and immediate tasks for the company.
  • They intend to do this before the end of the month and will report on their initial thoughts at the AGM next month – Sunday February 10 at 3pm at the Village Hotel. See below for more info…
  • If you are interested in finding out more CICs and how they work, here is a link to a government website that provides an introduction via some leaflets.

2. Local Plan follow-up workshop

  • We attended a workshop hosted by Broxtowe Council earlier in the week to discuss a strategic masterplan for the Strategic Growth Area (SGA) zone – the land either side of Toton Lane (albeit south of the tram line on the east side).
  • Besides the Borough council and ourselves there were representatives from Notts County Council and Peveril, the land owners.
  • I reported before Christmas that Peveril are keen to start building new homes on the southern part of the SGA. A key output from the workshop was to confirm that the northern edge of the southern part (if that makes sense) will be the footpath that runs from Toton Lane, next to the substation, down the field towards Bessel Lane farm.
  • There is still further refinement needed but Broxtowe have enough to meet the requirements the Independent Examiner put to them at December’s hearings.

3. County Council Traffic meeting

  • Members of the Steering Group’s Infrastructure strand also met with the County Council’s traffic team during the week. We have been angling to meet them for quite a while so we can:
    • Get hold of information relating to traffic volumes on our key roads, in particular Stapleford Lane and Swiney Way and
    • Provide input to the design of the new road infrastructure planned for the A52/Bardills Island area to cope with access to/from HS2 station as well as the north/south road through the Barracks.
  • It is early days, but it is good to have established a working relationship with the traffic planners and we look forward to contributing our ideas for the new roads.

4. AGM – Sunday February 10th at 3pm at the Village Hotel

  • I’ve mentioned this before, and you’ll hear more about it in future digests. But I would ask you to note the date in your diary now.
  • We had a fantastic turnout last year – over 300 – so we have a lot to live up to. And we would love to match last year if not exceed it! We know we have to get smarter at registration and we will streamline that process.
  • HS2 Ltd have already agreed to have a stall again and we will be inviting the Defence Infrastructure Organisation to come along with part of their display, in case you missed it last autumn
  • In addition, we are aiming to showcase our own ideas for the plaza/’village centre’ in the Barracks as well as provide other maps illustrating our thoughts for green corridors and cycle routes.
  • So, there will be a lot to see and comment on.  More on this as and when plans firm up.

5. And finally…..

  • No space for any “and finally’s” this time. I promised a quick update to gently ease you back into these digests so I won’t disappoint

See you next week

Kind regards

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

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Weekly digest: Dec 15

Hello again

This week the digest is closer to the standard short, snappy summary rather than last week’s expansive exposition. It’s also the last edition before the new year; we all deserve some time to focus on festivities with family and friends. [And no more abysmal alliterations……]

1. Broxtowe Local Plan Part 2: the reprise

  • Last week was all about the number of houses we may see on the Barracks and Strategic Growth Area (SGA: either side of Toton Lane & the Sidings)
  • This week’s sessions concentrated on generic policy matters such as: Green Belt, Green Spaces/Infrastructure, & Designated Heritage Assets.
  • We attended the sessions covering these matters and in summary:
    • Total land being taken out of Green Belt designation across the Borough is 250 hectares (ha). Our Area is losing the most: 154 ha taken out by SGA
    • Green Spaces and Green Infrastructure Corridors (GICs) are important features that are used mitigate the loss of Green Belt
    • We argued for the Memorial Garden in the Barracks to be recorded as a ‘Prominent Area for Special Protection’. The council agreed to include it in their list
    • The council also agreed with our suggestion that heritage assets on the Barracks need to be formally assessed and added to the council’s register in due course.
  • You’ll know from previous digests that we are keen to ensure all features important to our community, especially GICs, are protected and enhanced. The sessions made clear that Neighbourhood Plans are the best mechanism to identify green spaces, corridors, (as well as heritage assets) so we’re content the Borough’s policies covering these matters are sufficiently worded to support the ideas we’ll include in our Plan.

2. HS2 Consultation: a final call to action

  • The latest HS2 consultation phase closes next Friday 21st at 11:45pm, so (if you haven’t done so already) you have less than a week to submit your views on the latest proposals.
  • So, please, no more delays, no more procrastination. Now is the time! Here’s a reminder of key issues and links:
  • I’ve mentioned this before (& I make no apology) but the more we, as individuals, respond to this consultation, the more powerful the message HS2 will hear! Many thanks for taking the time to respond. Your comments count!

3. Our Neighbourhood Plan: an initial viewing.

  • For all those looking for something to fill some time over the Christmas period, I may have just the thing for you…..….a first sight of our emerging Neighbourhood Plan! I know, I know, you can hardly contain your excitement.
  • The link takes you to the first two sections of the Plan. Section 1 provides background information about our Area and describes the key features. Section 2 explains our vision and key objectives, all of which derive from the consultation sessions we’ve held over the last 15 months or so – but especially those last spring.
  • The final, most important section will detail our policies along with the associated justification and evidence.  But it still needs to be written – we have most of the material to hand, it just needs collating and organising.
  • So, whilst this draft is incomplete (and also being refined), we thought it worth sharing with you so you can at least see our vision and objectives. Do you agree with them? Have we missed anything important?
  • We aim to publish the complete Plan next spring and formal consultation will take place soon after so there is no need for you to respond now. But if you have early comments/ideas to strengthen it, please let me know. 

4. And finally…..

  • Broxtowe Local Plan: a reprise of the reprise. Just to finish this topic for a while: the next steps are for Council to respond to issues raised by the Examiner at the hearings and for her to be satisfied with their answers. This will inevitably take time. We don’t expect the final version will be published for at least 3 months – possibly as much as 6. If any radical changes are made that affect us, we’ll let you know.
  • A date for your diary: actually more of a location. As reported previously the Forum’s AGM is on Sunday 10th February 2019 starting at 3pm. However, I can now confirm it will be held at the Village Hotel,Chilwell. More details on what we plan to showcase in future editions, but I’m pleased to say that HS2Ltd have agreed to come along again to answer any queries
  • Apologies for the poor formatting of last week’s edition. WordPress released a new version of software and – idiot that I am – I ran the upgrade just prior to posting last week’s digest. The result, entirely predictable, was me unsuccessfully scrabbling around trying to figure out how things worked. Ah well…..

A reminder; the next edition is in the new year.  So, on behalf of the Steering Group, we’d like to thank you all for your ongoing support over the last year – it means a lot to us.
We hope you enjoy the festivities over the next couple of weeks and that you have a peaceful, prosperous and productive New Year!  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist alittle alliteration to finish.)

Merry Christmas!

Kind regards

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

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Weekly Digest: Dec 8

Hello again

I was going to start this week with another ‘Wow!’ moment but held back because:

  1. I’ve never yet started with a ‘Wow!’ two weeks running and, to be honest,
  2. ‘Wow!’ doesn’t begin to describe the ‘Oh Wow!’factor of this week’s update

Given the scale of the news, this is a long report. And immediately following is a separate post from Mark concerning the latest HS2 consultations so please carry on down to that post. However, my contribution (which, given its importance, has been reviewed and added to by Richard – our Chair- and others) is solely focused on:

Broxtowe Council Local Plan Part 2: The Examination Hearings

  1. A Brief History of the Local Plan Part 2: a recap for old and new readers…
    1. A draft Plan went out to consultation last autumn and you may recall the Forum undertook a series of consultations in Toton and Chilwell to gather your views and provide feedback. And the Council largely incorporated our recommendations – the most important being the need for a new north / south road through the area to relieve congestion onStapleford Lane.
    2. The only bone of contention remaining between us (it’s too strong to call it a ‘disagreement’) relates to the importance of wildlife corridors and the widths these corridors need to be to accommodate wildlife, footpaths & cycleways. The Plan is the key document that sets the policy requirements for all building development in the Borough. All developers (inc householders wanting extensions etc) must comply with the Plan to obtain planning permission.
    3. It has taken well over 2 years to produce this version and it builds on the Aligned Core Strategy (produced in 2014) which stated that Broxtowe needs a total of 6,150 new homes during the Plan period – up to 2028.
    4. The final version of the Plan was signed-off by the Council in July and it is now being reviewed by a government appointed Examiner to take final submissions from stakeholders – mostly landowners and developers.

  2. Impact of the Plan on our Area
    1. There are two Plan policies that directly affect our patch:
      1. Policy 3.1: Chetwynd Barracks: here’s a link
      2. Policy 3.2: Toton Strategic Growth Area (SGA): here’s a link
        The Steering Group were pretty comfortable with both of these policies as published but see information below from the hearings
    2. We are also interested in Policy 28, Green Infrastructure Assets, which covers Green Infrastructure Corridors.  We want to see this policy strengthened to ensure corridors are wide enough to cater for wildlife. This hearing takes place next week so I’ll report again on this.

  3. Policy 3.1 Chetwynd Barracks
    1. The hearing took place on Thursday morning and went well. A couple of issues arose but overall, we agree with the main component: that the site can deliver 500 in the Plan period (by 2028) with the capacity for 1,500 homes overall.
    2. The figure 1,500 sounds a lot but given the size of the MoD owned site is 75 hectares (ha), it means an average density of 20 homes per ha. This is pretty low figure (traditional estates are circa 30 per ha) so it means a garden village type feel can be created. Even more importantly, it means we can protect and enhance the decent tracts of green space on the site such as Hobgoblin Wood, the Memorial Gardens, the sports field at the south-east corner as well as other pockets of green space
    3. The big surprise from the morning was that the DIO are considering (note: ‘considering’) releasing the land to the west of the site before 2021 to allow fast build-out of the green area behind the Army Reserve Centre
    4. The DIO said they will have completely left the site by 2021 but the possible earlier release of some of the land is interesting.
    5. It was also agreed that a strategic masterplan of the whole site –  indeed the whole area including Toton Strategic Growth Area (SGA) – was needed before individual bits, such as the first 500 homes, were given planning permission.

  4. Policy 3.2 Toton Strategic Growth Area: the proposal for site capacity
    1. It was this hearing (Thurs afternoon) that released the bombshell.
    2. And – to get quickly to the point – the bombshell concerns the overall number of homes that both Borough and County councils believes the SGA can accommodate:
      1. Broxtowe Borough believe it has a capacity for 3,000 dwellings
      2. Notts County believes the capacity could be as much as 3,500
    3. Added to the Barracks figure of 1,500 and the overall number is up to 5,000 for our Area
    4. Okay, these are big numbers – huge in fact – but there are some caveats that need to be made clear:
      1. The SGA site includes the land to the west of HS2, i.e. between the station and the River Erewash. So, the overall size is 154 ha
      2. Broxtowe’s calculation is based on a density 20 dwellings per ha (20*154 = 3,000).  Average estate density is 30 dwellings per ha, so there should be plenty of room for green space, roads and other infrastructure
      3. Notts County believe the advent of the HS2 Station will naturally result in an uplift of circa 500 more dwellings. This is based on experience elsewhere, and York was quoted as an example
      4. To re-iterate: this is site capacity being assessed. It is not policy and it certainly doesn’t mean these numbers will actually be built.
      5. Final caveat; it is acknowledged it will take time to complete the build out of whatever number is finally agreed – up to 2043 is the County’s estimate.  So, there is plenty for time to discuss the final mix of dwellings alongside (lest we forget) the commercial properties in the Innovation Village.

  5. Policy 3.2 Toton Strategic Growth Area: Peveril’s existing planning permission
    1. The other main outcome from the afternoon session was that Peveril are keen to build houses asap on the Toton Lane site and Broxtowe is keen to see 500 homes built
    2. It looks as though agreement will be reached for some (but less than the number in the current planning consent) to be built towards the southern part of the site and (and this is new) some on a portion of the land east of Toton Lane. We knew the east side would be developed sometime, but it looks as though it will be sooner rather than later.
    3. We remain adamant we expect to see a decent green infrastructure corridor created immediately to the north of housing on Cleve Ave / Katherine Drive. And, to be fair, the Council fully support this objective, stating this ‘corridor along the southern boundary [of the SGA site] remains fundamental to the whole allocation.’

  6. And finally…..the good news:
    1. The Forum participated (Richard represented us) in both of these examinations. We reviewed the hearing papers and raised a number of issues for review and clarification during the round-table discussions. The Examiner acknowledged our contributions were interesting and valuable – including raising useful points she was unaware of. 
    2. More importantly the Examiner asked the council to review elements of the policies relating to the Barracks and SGA and recommended the following:
      1. An overarching Strategic Master Plan is required to encompass both the Barracks and the SGA before any new houses are built.  All stakeholders need to be involved in this work: the Forum was explicitly included.
      2. Regarding the Barracks, she wanted the Borough Council to meet with the DIO and the Forum to collectively iron out remaining areas of contention in Policy 3.1. Any item not resolved at this meeting will be adjudicated by the Examiner
      3. Regarding the SGA, the same approach will be adopted i.e. the Council, Forum and landowners (or their agents) will quickly meet to resolve outstanding issues in Policy 3.2. Again, the Examiner will adjudicate on items that remain unresolvable.
    3. These may sound small points, but they are significant. The Examiner acknowledged the Forum is a relevant stakeholder and that we must participate in these discussions / workshops.
    4. Don’t forget, the Local Plan runs until 2028 and 1,000 new dwellings are expected in our Area. All numbers over and above that will need to be fully discussed and consulted on, before going through standard planning process.

These are the headlines that came out last Thursday. We knew the 3,500 figure was going to be released as the councils briefed us a week ago, but we didn’t know the basis for their calculations until now.

Clearly, we need time to absorb the long-term numbers. As a Forum – as a community – it is good to have these numbers out in the open, so we can work together and endeavour to ensure appropriate infrastructure (roads, schools etc.) is built in advance.

But, when all is said and done, 5,000 remains a gobsmackingly huge number!

Kind regards

This has been a long report and I’m glad you’ve managed to make it to the end! Don’t forget to read Mark’s HS2 consultation post below.

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, Toton Lane East, Toton Lane West, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Weekly digest:Dec 1

Hello again

It’s another ‘Wow!’ moment to start this week’s edition. A fantastic number of people came along to our HS2 information session at the Greenwood Centre last week. We are never quite sure how these events will go, but we quietly thought the latest information from HS2 would strike a chord with local residents. And, boy, what a resounding chord we heard! Over 280 people came to learn more of HS2’s current plans; in particular their plans to demolish the Greenwood Centre and take out a large chunk of the Toton Fields Nature Reserve during the 6+ year construction period.

Thanks to all of you who came to see the plans and ask questions. ITV news came along as well, and I know of a couple of late-comers who came late-on after seeing their report on the early evening news. Who says publicity doesn’t pay?  However, the job is only half-done…..

  1. The next steps: consultation feedback…
  • The official HS2 consultation session for our area is next Friday 7th Dec from 2pm at West Park Leisure Centre, Long Eaton NG10 4AA. If you missed last week (or have more questions), then pop along to talk to HS2 staff who should be able to answer your questions.
  • The Forum’s Top Ten list of concerns/issues are here. But let us know if we have missed anything important to you. We want to compile as complete a list of issues as possible.
  • We have one further ask. Please, please respond to the consultation by 21st Dec, personally by using this HS2 on-line link. The link provides details to send in your views via email or post if you’d prefer.
  • As we emphasised at Greenwood, it sends a much more powerful message to HS2 if we all provide individual responses. The Forum will, of course, be sending in a response on behalf of residents, but all of us on the Steering Group will also be responding individually.
  • If you’d like to a reminder of the HS2 source material here are the links again:
    1. Non-technical summary (includes Hub Station) [1.4MB]
    2. Maps – Toton only. [19MB]
    3. Community Area report Ratcliffe to Long Eaton, inc. Toton. [9.2MB]
  • We have also set up a dedicated email address ( Please use this address to send us a copy of the questions/queries you provide to HS2 as part of your response – it helps us gather the ‘big picture’
  1. Broxtowe Council Local Plan Part 2 hearings
    • I’ve mentioned these hearings before, but you might like to know they start next week at the Town Hall on Foster Avenue, Beeston. Anyone can turn up and observe these sessions. Details of dates/times of  individual sessions are here:
    • The key sessions for our Area both take place next Thursday 6 December:
      1. Morning session – starts 10am: Chetwynd Barracks
      2. Afternoon session – starts 2pm: Toton Strategic Growth Area
    • Richard – our chairman – is participating at both on our behalf. I’ll also be there to support & observe. If you have time, why not come along and see local democratic process in action?
  2. The Neighbourhood Plan – an update
  • I’ve mentioned before (more than once, I know) how busy the SG have been drafting up our Neighbourhood Plan. There is still a lot more work to be done but I wanted to give you a brief update. After all, the production of the Plan is the prime purpose of the Forum.
  • Well… the Plan will comprise 3 main sections:
    1. an introduction to our Area – its history, main geographic features and characteristics
    2. the vision and objectives for the future of our Area. How we’d like to see the Barracks and the Strategic Growth Area developed – based on your feedback from consultation sessions held over the last 12 months.
    3. the specific policies that reflects/delivers our objectives and which developers will need to comply with when building new homes/offices.
  • The first section has now been completed and has been reviewed by the Steering Group. So, I think it is ready to be shared with you to review and let us know your thoughts. I’ll discuss this with the SG at our meeting next week to check I have received all their input first. But expect to see a draft of ‘Section 1’ soon
  • The 2nd section is almost ready to be reviewed by the SG but that will take a few more weeks to collate and incorporate their feedback before sharing more widely with you.
  • The final, most important, section – the one containing the policies (with supporting justification) – will take longer to complete and won’t be ready until the new year.

4. And finally,……

  • Welcome to the 90 new recipients of this digest! Thank you again for signing up with us last Saturday. If you have queries about these items (and I often refer to previous editions), please get in touch. I’ll be very happy to provide background information to bring you up to speed. If, at any time, you want to unsubscribe from these digests, please use the unsubscribe facility at the bottom of this email.
  • A plea to help save the Attenborough-Long Eaton footpath. This item is slightly ‘off-topic’ as it doesn’t directly relate to our Area. However, we know how important the environment and green spaces are to a lot of you. We have been asked to publicise this campaign to save the path that runs from Barton Lane, Attenborough to Trent Meadows, Long Eaton following the main railway line past the sailing club. If you value this path (I use it almost weekly) then please use this link to a Facebook page to find details how to help. Many thanks

And that’s all folks for now.  Back again next week.

Kind regards

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

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Weekly digest: Nov 23

Hello everyone,

Our focus this week, as you might guess, is the HS2 event taking place tomorrow at the Greenwood Centre. With this edition being published (unusually) on Friday, I’m not able to provide feedback on how it went. So, I’m afraid you’ll need to bate your breath until next week to find out how it went.  In the meantime, some snippets for you.

  1. Lotto bonanza – the £1,000 pa barrier smashed!
    • The Broxtowe Lotto scheme was only launched in mid-September and I last reported on this 6 weeks ago. At that time, I wrote (somewhat optimistically I thought) about our hopes to attract enough supporters to raise £1,000 towards our activities.
    • And guess what! The latest report tells us that we are on track to raise almost £1,100 a year!
    • Members and friends now buy over 40 tickets on our behalf each week and we thank each and every one of you for supporting the Forum. It is a huge boost to the Steering Group to know that you believe in our work to the extent of digging in your pockets to help us.
    • We only hope some of you have won prizes along the way. If you have, please let us know; it will be good to know we have actual winners as well as being a ‘winner’ of the scheme ourselves.
    • I’ll keep the link to our page below in case other supporters would like to step forward. But, as promised, I won’t be badgering you so much now!
  2. Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) meeting
    • As notified last time, we had a meeting with the DIO earlier this week to discuss our approach to the Local Plan examination process.
    • It’s fair to say (and unsurprising, really) we have different views on how the Barracks should be developed in the long term. So, the meeting became a little heated at times as we discussed our different thoughts concerning the site.
    • However, it is important to report that the Forum is completely aligned with the DIO’s key requirement – the site is capable of delivering a total of 1,500 homes. The DIO want this figure to be formally allocated before they move to the next stage of their overall plan – to develop a masterplan – before then considering how best to dispose of the site.
    • We believe the site is capable of accommodating 1,500 homes: our caveat is the deadline of delivering the first 500 dwellings by 2028, the end date of the Council’s Local Plan. Given historical precedent in the Borough, we don’t believe homes can be built at a rate of 100 per annum, starting in 2023, as predicated in the Plan’s housing trajectory.
    • But this is a relatively minor niggle compared to the ‘big picture’ perspective of the overall allocated figure. So, I’m confident the outcome of this particular hearing will be a win-win for all parties.
  3. Commissioned reports update
    • We have three reports being undertaken on our behalf by AECOM consultants – which are being funded separately by the government. A quick update on each of them:
      1. Heritage and Landscape report. We are eager to publish this report. We have seen the draft and made our suggested amendments. AECOM have accepted all our comments and the report is now with Locality (the agency handling these technical packages) to review and sign-off on behalf of the government.
        Fingers crossed we can finally release it in the next week or so.
      2. Policy Definition and Evidence Gathering report. We have held a series of teleconferences and AECOM have already provided us with useful advice on providing evidence to justify our draft policies. This report – when produced in the spring – will undoubtedly strengthen our Plan and help make it watertight when presented for examination.
      3. Design Codes report. This piece of work will help shape our housing policies. We are keen to reflect comments arising from our consultation sessions last spring to: i) move away from standard ‘red-brick’ estates, and ii) to build energy efficient and environmentally friendly dwellings.
        Again, we expect to get the report sometime late next March, so it will be a welcome late addition to our Plan policies.
  1. And finally…..
    • Toton and Chilwell Meadows CAT (Community Action Team) meeting is being held next Thurs 29th Nov at 7.15pm at Toton Methodist Church, Stapleford Lane.
    • Clean and Green on Toton Fields. I mentioned this event a couple of weeks ago and it was held last Sunday 18th. It was very successful, and I’d like to thank all who took part – it was a lovely morning to be out and about on the reserve. The council have produced a press release about the event and you can read all about it here

 More next time, he said, finishing succinctly (still my favourite ‘word of the moment’) ….

Kind regards

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

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

Weekly digest: Nov 17

Hello again

Wow! What a momentous week! And no, I’m not talking about Brexit (you’ll be glad to know). No, what I am talking about are the 3 Forum events that have taken up virtually all our time this week.

  1. HS2@Toton: Greenwood Centre, next Sat 24th from 1pm
    • This is our final ‘call to action’. We are hosting an event at the Greenwood Centre to explain the latest information from HS2. We’ve been out leafletting every house to the west of Stapleford Lane to encourage nearby residents who will be most affected to come along. If you live elsewhere, here is a link to the flyer for info.
    • Next Saturday isn’t really a consultation exercise: more an information share of HS2 proposals. We have identified some major issues /concerns and we want to explain them to you. We also want to listen to your views. Have we captured your key issues about the Hub station?
    • Our ‘call to action’ is for you to respond personally to HS2 with your thoughts and views. The Forum will submit its own response, based on all the views we’ve gathered. BUT feedback is much more effective – i.e. HS2 will more likely listen – if the community submit personal feedback
    • Here is a link to, in our view, the Top Ten facts and issues we’ve captured so far. Please come along next Saturday and we will be glad to explain our concerns in more detail. We’ll be providing a link to the HS2 feedback site in a future digest.
    • To save a search for links from previous digests here are 3 important documents:
      1. Non-technical summary (includes Hub Station) [1.4MB]
      2. Maps – Toton only. [19MB]
      3. Community Area report Ratcliffe to Long Eaton, inc. Toton. [9.2MB]
    • Unfortunately, HS2 personnel decided not to attend on Saturday but we have been supplied with a small number of maps and reports that can be viewed on the day.
      See you next week.
  2. Garden Communities Bid
    • As promised last time, here is a link to the final version of the application made by Broxtowe Council to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government. The submission was finally completed on Tuesday (the deadline had been extended)
    • It was great to receive strong letters of support from Anna Soubry (as mentioned last week) but also from a host of key stakeholders inc Notts County Council, Derbys County Council, and Erewash Borough Council. The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) also supplied a supporting letter which was very welcome given they had expressed a number of reservations at a meeting to discuss the bid.
    • The bid is to designate Chetwynd Barracks as a ‘garden village’ and provide government support for us to develop the site quickly and in a way that meets both ours and council objectives. It is a strong application and, if successful, it will prove to be a game changer for the Forum and our area. Fingers crossed.
  3. Local Plan Part 2: Examination hearings are nigh
    • The Council’s Local Plan Part 2 has reached the ‘end game’ stage. It is with an Independent Examiner to review and take final submissions from stakeholders before being approved and adopted. This is when landowners and developers (mostly) plead their case to build more/less houses on this patch of land, or to include/exclude that patch of land in the overall allocation.
    • Our own plea is that the Local Plan needs to clearly define the widths of green infrastructure corridors. At the moment it merely states that the width of green corridors should be ‘significant’. Our view is that ‘significant’ is too vague a term and is wide open to interpretation. It will almost certainly let developers off the hook and allow them to squeeze the widths of corridors to build more or bigger houses.
    • We must, simply must, make space for nature! So, we will be going in front of the Examiner and asking her to get the council to sharpen up the terminology in the Plan. Our preference is a statement along the lines of: ‘green corridors must be 50 meters wide for 80% of the length’ or something similar.
    • Okay, ‘making space for nature’ is a particular passion of mine. To be fair, the council is sympathetic to this view. However, their argument is that putting any sort of figure – whether it is 5 or 50 meters – risks making the Plan ‘unsafe’ and open to challenge by developers. Hence the reason for making our case to the Examiner (in early December) in the hope of getting a definitive view.
    • I’ll climb down off my soap box now in case I’m boring you. But if you’d like to see the hearing statements we’ve presented to the Examiner, let me know. I haven’t provided a link here as our statement needs to be read alongside 3 or 4 other documents to make sense of it.
  4. And finally…..
    • No too many ‘And finallys….’ this week so I’ll quickly note:
      1. We are meeting the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) next week to discuss our approach to these Local Plan examination hearings. They are attending a couple of sessions since they are a significant landowner.
      2. Richard is also attending a Strategic Planning Group meeting next week to discuss progress with the Toton Lane site. In particular the Housing Infrastructure Bid being is being put together to improve road infrastructure around Bardills Island/A52 and access to HS2 Hub Station

And that’s it for this week.  Apart from, that is, Brexit. But don’t get me started on that! In my view I think they need to…….

Hope to see you next Saturday afternoon at the Greenwood Centre.

Kind regards

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