Weekly digest: Mar 2


An even shorter and very much rushed edition this week, folks, as I remain buried pretty deep in writing the Plan.  So, apologies if you are feeling a little short-changed and for the typos in last week’s missive. I’ll aim to do better this time….

1. Chetwynd Barracks sale delayed

  • You may have seen this Nottingham Post article reporting the news that the sale of the Barracks has now been deferred to 2024.
  • Richard met with Anna Soubry for a coffee Friday morning to discuss the announcement and the impact on our plans in the Forum. She has sent this letter to the MoD outlining her concerns and requesting a meeting.
  • We share her concerns:  it is very disappointing the sale has been delayed as we have put in a great deal of time in gathering and documenting views on how the site should be developed. Whilst this work isn’t wasted (we continue to plough ahead with our Plan) it is frustrating that the exciting visions we are developing for the whole area will take longer to deliver
  • The revised plans are: “On current plans, Chilwell Station will begin a phased land disposal in 2021 and units will remain in place until 2024”. The big concern we have with a phased exit is that the release of land on the western side of the site (behind Stapleford Lane) will probably take place in 2021 to allow 500 homes to be built as per the Local Plan Part 2.
  • However this ‘piecemeal’ approach in releasing land to developers will quite likely compromise the overall vision we are putting together for the whole site.
  • Hence, we are keen to join Anna Soubry in her meeting with the MoD to clarify their intentions and make sure they know our concerns. More on this as things unfold.

2. Draft reports: Design Codes & Policy Definition

  • Long-time readers of the digest will recall that we commissioned two reports from AECOM last autumn: one relating to housing design codes and the other about writing water-tight policies that meet ‘professional’ standards
  • We have now received these 2 reports as drafts, and we are reviewing and feeding back our suggestions. At first glance (actually after a 2nd and 3rd glance as well), these reports look to be little gold mines! The design codes are impressive and imaginative whilst the suggested constructions for policy definitions are very helpful
  • These reports will feed into our Plan, so the timing of delivery is spot on, making our task a lot easier.

3. Stakeholder meetings past and future

  • Richard has attended a couple of meetings over the last couple of weeks:
    • Midlands Connect is a regional organisation tasked with looking at transport infrastructure for the Midlands. They have been commissioned by local authorities to produce a transport strategy arising from the advent of HS2, so their main focus is centered around the Hub Station. We were invited (along with other stakeholders: Trowell Parish Council and Ashfield, Gedling and Mansfield councils) to a viewing of their initial thoughts and asked for comments. They intend to produce and publish their final version in June
    • HS2 Strategy Board. As you know we have been a member of the board for a couple of years.  The main output of this meeting was that we have been invited to join the Skills and Supply Chain delivery board. This will prove useful as we will be able to share our views on the sorts of jobs we’d like to see at the Innovation campus.  As well that, we want to be able to publicise opportunities for local business to get involved in the hub station – both during and after construction.
  • Richard and Ian (chair of the CIC) have a meeting with Kay Cutts, leader of Notts County Council and chair of the Toton Delivery Board next week to impress on her our view that the Forum should be a member of this Board. As you know we are part of the Strategic Planning Group, which feeds work/paper into the Board but.. we believe we need to be a full member at the ‘top table’ to ensure our views are properly taken into account. More on this next time

4. And finally….

  • Nothing more to report really. A quick mention of the Lotto scheme that we are part of.  We thank all supporters who take part and have nominated the Forum as a ‘good cause’. It provides us with a steady stream of income which helps cover admin costs such as room hires.  Attached below is a flyer from the scheme. If you are not yet a supporter and would like to join in, please see the details which explain how to assign a portion of your ticket price to us as a ‘good cause’.

We are now in the finishing straight in producing the Plan. We agreed to get the Plan produced in Q1 2019 so are on track. However, to make sure we stay in front, we (okay, I really mean ‘I’) need to maintain focus. Which is a long-winded way of saying the digest will take a short break for the next 2 weeks to make sure we pass the finishing post before the end of the month. I trust you will understand. See you in 3 weeks!

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: Feb 23

Hello again

A short and slightly rushed edition this time as I’m back spending a fair bit of time writing the Plan. This final section – detailing the actual policies – is the trickiest as we need to make sure the policies are both reasonable and tightly worded to ensure they pass through examination process. However, the key test, of course, is to make sure the policies reflect what is important to you, the people who live and work in our Area.

1. Plan Part 3

  • A brief recap: the Plan’s core objectives have been derived from our consultation sessions last spring. They are grouped under 5 headings: environment; infrastructure; housing; community facilities; and business/employment. Of these the environment and infrastructure (roads, cycle ways, footpaths etc.) were the key elements highlighted. A series of policies are now being written to underpin the delivery of each of the objectives.
  • The environment policies have largely been written, and the key focus is to create new green infrastructure corridors and improve our existing green spaces.
  • This map – displayed at the AGM – shows the prime green infrastructure corridors along with the main green spaces.  A few tweaks are needed before we are completely happy with it, but it worth sharing here so you can have a look (if you didn’t see it properly at the AGM) and tell us what you think.
  • This map shows the main cycle routes/footpaths we are suggesting. Again, some tweaks are needed to a few routes but overall it is a useful guide to current thinking. The intention is to tie in these routes to the green corridors to make them multi-functional for both people and wildlife.

2. Heritage and Character Assessment report

  • This long-awaited report has finally been signed off by both the consultants (AECOM) and the sponsors, Locality, who funded the work.
  • You will recall we received the first draft in October to allow us to make comments. It is unfortunate (I’m being overly kind) it has taken so long to it to gain final approval
  • The report (here is a link to it) is a pretty hefty 60 pages long.  However, it is extremely useful in providing an assessment of the various parts of our Area.
  • Those of you who have read the first 2 sections of our Plan will immediately notice that I’ve shamelessly taken chunks of the report (and several maps) into our Plan. But that was always the intention: to obtain an assessment we could use as the foundation for our Plan and provide the basis to build our policies.

3. And there’s more…. Barracks illustrations

  • Last week I provided links to some potential views of the plaza we’d like to see developed in the Barracks next to the Memorial Garden.
  • Here are some further links to maps possible layouts of the plaza.  PlazaMap1; PlazaMap2; PlazaMap3. These maps are all positioned slightly to the west of the Memorial Garden. Chetwynd Road is a good reference point for those unfamiliar with the layout.
  • The Steering Group’s preference is for PlazaMap1 primarily because it seamlessly incorporates the old WW1 infirmary into the layout. And we are keen to see the Infirmary reused as a community facility. But what do you think?
  • We will be formally consulting on these and other ideas once the Plan has been finished so don’t feel obliged to comment now. Nevertheless, the more we know your thoughts the better it shapes our thinking and enables us to reflect your views.

4. And finally – a further shout out to our Barracks designer.

  • We’d like to thank our architectural consultant Peter Macnaughton from KefaDesign for producing the great maps/designs (see links above and last week) which have captured our visions for the site (and beyond). His start-up practice KefaDesign has experience in projects ranging from small extensions through to master planning projects. We hope to use Peter again however it will be great if they can develop further work in our area. So, if you have a dream or even the kernel of an idea for a project, we recommend you get in touch with them at kefadesign.co.uk.

Now I need to get back to the Plan, so more of this next time. Future editions, though, are likely be short’ish updates until the Plan is finished.

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: Feb 16

Hello everyone

Another year; another AGM; another fantastic turnout; so what else but another… ‘WOW’ moment!

At our first AGM last year, we asked for 50 chairs to be set out as we expected less than 100 to come along. And, as many of you know, we were overwhelmed by the 300+ attendance. So, this year, we asked for 150 chairs to be laid out and, yet again, you confounded expectations!

The new Steering Group thanks each and everyone one of you who came along last Sunday to our Meeting. It again clearly demonstrated the depth of support you have for the Forum. That sends a powerful message to the various Boards and bodies involved in developing the HS2 interchange station and Chetwynd Barracks.

1. Drowning by numbers I: the AGM

  • A total of 241 registered for the meeting. So, you can see why an awful lot of people had to stand through the (thankfully relatively short) meeting. 
  • Of this total just over 50% (121) were new to the Forum, having come along as a result of our blanket leaflet drop or from hearing about the meeting by other means. Of the newly registered; 109 are members (who live/work in our Area) with the other 12 living elsewhere.
  • To all new members and friends reading this digest for the first time: Welcome! You’ve missed the previous 62 thrilling instalments, but no matter – you haven’t missed much! – it is good to have you join us. It all helps to increase the voice and strength of the Forum. You will soon learn more about us, but if you have any queries at any time, please get in touch
  • A word to our 119 existing members and friends who came along. Many thanks for your continuing support – it is very good to know you remain interested in our activities and the work we have undertaken up to now.

2. Drowning by numbers II: Forum registrations

  • We periodically examine our mailing list to ensure we hold accurate and relevant data. After updating the list earlier this week it is great to report we have broken through the 1,000 milestone!
  • Yes, 1,056 people are now registered with the Forum. Of this, 939 are members with the remaining 117 being valued friends, interested in our activities
  • These are truly incredible numbers. We are by far the biggest Forum in Broxtowe and indeed there can’t be many Neighbourhood Forums in the country that match this level of support.

3. Parliamentary business matters

  • It was good to welcome our MP Anna Soubry to the meeting; she passed on some very kind words to us regarding the work of the Forum and the fantastic turnout.  Indeed, she tweeted out from the meeting showing the great attendance – here is a link to the tweet
  • Anna also raised a question directly referencing the Forum in Parliament last Thursday. She requested support from the Transport Minister that the Forum is involved in the work of the development organisation currently being set up. Here is a link to the question itself and a link to Anna asking the question in Parliament.
  • Expect to hear more of this development body in future editions. It will play a pivotal role in determining how our Area will be developed and we need to be included when it undertakes its deliberations.
  • I’d also like to thank the councillors who attended last week. Three of our local ward/county councillors attended and we received apologies from 2 more. In addition, two councillors from further afield came along; one from Beeston and one from Long Eaton, who sits on Erewash Borough Council.  They were all very welcome. It is good to have their support for our work.

4. Links for old and links for new….

  • For those who couldn’t attend last week here are some illustrations of how the new village centre/Plaza might look in the Barracks PlazaView1PlazaView2: PlazaView3  I’ll post links to some more maps next week.
  • This link takes you to Richard’s Annual report presentation – which includes some slides about the new Community Interest Company we have formed.
  • For those new members/friends who have joined us here is a link to the first 2 sections of our Neighbourhood Plan. This is a 30+ page document setting out our Area and prime aims and objectives of the Forum. It is worth reading as it provides a good background on the activities and work of the Forum over the last couple of years

5. And finally…… a couple more ‘shout outs’

  • It was great to welcome Steffan Saunders – Head of Planning at Broxtowe Council – to the AGM.  It is a testament to our work that a senior officer of the council interrupts his weekend to come along to see first-hand the depth of community support.
  • We also want to thank Peter Macnaughton for producing a terrific set of illustrations of the Barracks – especially the focus on the Plaza/village centre. I’ve linked to some of his work above – more next week about Peter and his work for us.
  • HS2 also had a busy afternoon at the meeting and we’d like to thank Paul Mullins, HS2 Engagement Manager for our Area for giving up part of his weekend to  attend and field your queries.

And that is more than enough for this week. Another longish edition I’m afraid but a lot to get though in the aftermath of the AGM and – to be honest – we are all still buzzing at the depth of support demonstrated. More 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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Support Chetwynd through the Broxtowe Lotto

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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: graham.cttcnf@gmail.com
  • 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:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0001vll

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: graham.cttcnf@gmail.com

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.

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

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