This week has been a time to draw a little breath between the hectic planning and promotion of the AGM and the next series of consultations taking place – starting next week!
The Steering Group held its first meeting last Thursday – a ‘get to know you’ session to welcome old and new members. The meeting was a positive and it quickly became clear we are now a stronger team and will benefit from the knowledge and wide experience of the new members. Elections were held for the main officer posts and I’m pleased to let you know that we have a new Secretary (me!); a new Treasurer (Denise Lewis); with Nicola Lamplough being re-elected as Vice-Chair. As for the Chair, we received 2 nominations for the position so, to give each candidate a chance to make a formal pitch for the role, we agreed to meet again next week to make the decision. More on this next week.
In last week’s digest, I promised more information from a couple of meetings we’ve attended over the last 2 or 3 weeks:
- Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) meeting: Jan 25th
- The DIO is the organisation charged by the Ministry of Defence to sell Chetwynd Barracks. They have submitted an application to Broxtowe Borough Council with plans to build a total of 1,500 dwellings on the site (excluding the married quarters housing at the top end).
- As mentioned last week, they are now waiting for the Council to provide an official site allocation number. Once they know the number, the DIO will then be able to assess the value of the land and proceed to sell the site.
- The DIO agreed to provide us with all the analysis/assessments they undertook to arrive at their proposal. It will be good to see the rationale underpinning the 1,500 number as it will give us a chance to question/counter some of the inevitable assumptions they will have made on – for instance – projected traffic volumes.
- We also informed the DIO that we intend to undertake our own Heritage Character assessment for the Barracks as we believe their report provided an incomplete picture. We are now in the process of engaging our own consultant to undertake this work.
- HS2 Strategy Board meeting: Jan 30th
- A couple of further observations from this meeting
- HS2 Ltd provide regular updates to the Board and this time they presented their latest thinking on the design of the station which included:
- The station – both HS2 and classic services – will now be set above ground level. Previously the classic lines were located at ground level.
- Parking capacity at the station has increased from 1,700 to 4,000 spaces! This huge increase took the meeting by surprise and HS2 were actioned to provide the evidence that justifies the increase in capacity;
- The councillors representing Erewash Borough Council on the Board remain opposed to HS2 and the station. Of course, this is understandable given the huge disruption the construction of the line & viaduct will bring to Long Eaton
- Nevertheless, we would like to engage (even collaborate) with Erewash councillors where we have mutual interest, such as ensuring a new road into the station is created near to Asda. [At the moment, HS2 are only planning pedestrian/bus access to the station from Long Eaton.] But, for the moment, engagement with Erewash councillors is proving to be hard work.
- Meeting with Broxtowe Borough Council, Planning Dept.: Feb 2nd
- We held a useful meeting with Steffan Saunders, Head of Planning, at the Council. As reported last week, he provided an update on the latest Peveril application. Last week, I mentioned the Planning meeting was due to be held last week. In fact, it will take place this coming week on Weds 14th. Apologies for any confusion caused.
- Steffan went on to provide a generic update on progress with Local Plan part 2. It is inevitably taking time for the Planning team to wade through the vast amount of input they received from last autumn’s consultation. However, regarding our Area, Steffan was able to say:
- They are exploring an option to join together the policies relating to Toton Lane and Chetwynd Barracks and treat both areas as one coherent development. If so, this will be good for the Forum as we have long argued the need to treat development of both sites holistically, so we don’t replicate development in both areas. For instance, original thoughts for the Barracks included reserving some space to build commercial properties. But given the proposed scale of the ‘Innovation Village’ at Toton Lane, do we really need further commercial development on the Barracks?
- Assessments will shortly start on the impacts to the infrastructure (roads, utility services etc.) resulting from proposals within the Local Plan. So, expect to see more hi-viz jacketed people with poles and measuring devices looking busy around our Area.
- Finally, he told us he thought the Forum’s response to the consultation was measured and strong. Whilst he couldn’t give firm commitments at this time, he indicated we could expect to see a number of our proposals included in the next version of the Plan. This demonstrates, to me, the growing stature of the Forum and the influence we can exert with local decision makers.
- But finally……. don’t forget the….
- …. Community consultation roadshow coming to a place near you NEXT WEEK! We are at:
- Chilwell Community Centre (next to the Library) next Tuesday 13th between 2.30pm and 7pm. I know it’s pancake day, but it will still be good to see you there and gather your thoughts and opinions for the future of both Chilwell and Toton!
- Toton Methodist Church, Stapleford Lane next Thursday 15th between 2.30pm and 7pm
- Also, don’t forget our online survey. Over 50 have responded so far, which is good; but we need a whole lot more. So, if you haven’t done so yet, please take a couple of minutesto answer 4 or 5 short questions: CTTC Forum Online Survey
Okay, this has been another long’ish report. I try to keep them reasonably short but sometimes there is so much to tell. Anyway, more next week, including a report on further work being undertaken for us by a University graduate student. Bet you can’t wait!