Forum Digest: 27th February 2021

Neighbourhood Plan Progress Update 

In the last Digest a couple of weeks ago I provided a summary of where we were with the Neighbourhood Plan, so I thought it would be useful to bring everyone up to date with where we are now. You’ll remember that we have been required to undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in relation to the Plan policies, and we were in the process of applying for technical support from Locality to enable us to do so. The application (prepared on our behalf by AECOM) went via Locality to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) on 17th February, and whilst we were expecting this to take two to four weeks to be approved, the approval came through this week in what seems like record time in under a week! Subsequently AECOM have been back in touch to initiate the next stage of the process – a SEA Scoping Report, which should begin this coming week. The Scoping Report is essentially a gathering of baseline information about the Plan area (most of which we should already have), and follows on from Broxtowe Borough Council’s Screening Report of our Plan (a draft of which has now been received). The Scoping Report itself will take approximately 3 weeks to complete, and is divided into chapters covering all areas of sustainability as laid out in the SEA Regulations e.g. biodiversity, population, air, water etc. – 12 in total. There will then be a 5 week statutory consultation with Natural England, Historic England, and The Environment Agency. This therefore will likely take us to the end of April before the final stage of the SEA process (and main outcome) can be undertaken, which is the Environment Report itself. As I said previously, we are fortunate that AECOM will be carrying all this out on our behalf, in liaison with the Steering Group as necessary. The Environment Report will take around 2 to 4 weeks to complete, but more on this later as we get to that stage. As always, we will keep you updated and informed via the Digest and via the Plan page of the website, as we move through the SEA process. It has been another steep learning curve for us all, but please do feel free to ask any questions you may have via the Contact Us page, and we’ll do our best to answer them!

Meeting with the Planning Team

Last time I said we were aiming to meet with Planning Team at Broxtowe, and we have now done so this Friday. It was a very constructive meeting where we discussed the SEA as above. Clearly this has thrown our original timetable through to referendum off track, but helpfully the team at Broxtowe will assist us by producing a roadmap (with indicative timescales) from where we are now through to the local referendum to adopt the Plan. Once we have this, we will be able to share it with you and also update the website Plan page accordingly. It doesn’t seem possible, but the Forum was officially designated back in March 2017 and we are now approaching our 4th birthday! The normal lifespan of a Neighbourhood Forum is five years, but our Area and Plan as you will know is a particularly complex one, so we are not done yet! The legislation allows the life of a Forum to be extended, and we have enquired via Broxtowe what the process will be to enable us to request this. Once we have their response, we will make the request and keep you updated. Lastly, as you may be aware, we lost the use of the office in Oban House at the end of last year as the owner of the building wanted to take back possession. Although we no longer need an office to work from, it does mean we don’t have a physical address, which we are required to have under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for electronic communications such as the Digest, so we have asked our colleagues at the council for a big favour. I can’t say anymore at this stage to avoid prejudicing the outcome, but hopefully I will be able to next time!

Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan Consultation

This consultation originally took place in July 2020, but due to some technical difficulties in receiving (or rather not receiving) some responses, it is being re-run now with a deadline of 24th March to submit any comments. Some of you may have done so originally, if you did thank you and you shouldn’t need to resubmit this time. For whatever reason the Forum as a group didn’t submit a response the first time around, but the Steering Group will now aim to pull together a consensus response on behalf of the Forum, as we have been given a second opportunity to do so. If time allows, we will share this with you for comment before doing so. However, you may wish to take a look yourselves at the GNSP Consultation website. Essentially it is a review of the Aligned Core Strategy or Part 1 of the Local Plan which was adopted in 2014 and is now due for review.

David, SG Vice Chair

A Note from the Environment Focus Group

Sir David Attenborough said that “Every space in Britain must be used to help wildlife”. Unfortunately, human development often breaks the links between wildlife sites. This is why we in the Forum want to see the establishment of Nature Recovery Networks in our area which join up places important for wild plants and animals. We will be telling you lots more about this in the near future but have a look at this video produced by Natural England as a starter.

CTTC Neighbourhood Plan. Copies are available from this page on our website.

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

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