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

HS2 Environmental Statement – Reminder & Correction

In last weeks Digest, Graham asked you to respond to the HS2 Environmental Statement Consultation. This is a gentle reminder that, if you don’t comment, you can’t expect HS2 to take any notice of your concerns. The Forum may make its own comments but we want you to comment independently.

We’ve added a page to our website (here) where we are copying comments made by Forum Members to HS2 and, if you want, follow the instructions and we’ll add yours to the list.

There is however, one correction to Graham’s Digest. Unfortunately he gave you the wrong email address. We would like you to use HS2.CTTCNF@gmail.com, an address we set up specifically for this purpose.

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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 (cttcnf@gmail.com) 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.

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More Housing Styles

We have just been on holiday to North Vancouver where we saw these interesting developments. Housing in North Vancouver is traditionally three storey all timber construction with a mixture of single buildings and “Strata”. Many of the wooden buildings are multiple occupancy. Whilst new multi-storey apartments are being built of concrete (a selling point), there is still a lot of wooden building going on (a wooden building lasts 40-50 years before it is replaced)..

All new housing is being built with electric only heating (British Columbia has a high percentage of “green energy”) both to improve the air quality and reduce fire risks. The density of housing in North Vancouver is increasing with many high-rise apartments being built quickly (in the two years since we last visited a number of apartment blocks of 100+ apartments have been built and more are in planning). All seem to have shops/restaurants on the ground floor, then offices/business space with 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments above that.

North Vancouver has introduced a “Green Necklace” of cycling and walking tracks linking together the parks and wild areas in the city (they have occasional bears, frequent skunks and racoons are a constant problem). Community Facilities include sports fields which are used by both young and old and gardens for growing vegetables and plants. These are popular with apartment livers as it gives them access to space to exercise their fingers.

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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.

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Weekly digest: Nov 10

Hello everyone

It’s been another hectic week (I’m beginning to sound like a stuck record, aren’t I) and there is a fair bit to report. So, down to business…

  1. HS2 Consultation: Greenwood Centre Nov 24th from 1pm
    • No apologies for leading with again. HS2 is a critical topic for lots of residents in Toton and beyond. And this latest round of consultation provides us with a much clearer idea of what is being proposed.
    • We met representatives from HS2 on Friday to ask them to support our session at the Greenwood Centre. They are unable to attend in person – they are tied to one official session per ‘area’, which is at West Park, Long Eaton on Dec 7th. However, they will provide us with the latest documentation, so we can show you the latest maps and plans.
    • We have identified a top 10 list (which may stretch to 11 or 12) of key issues relating to the station both during construction and afterwards when it is commissioned.
    • Because we believe this is so important, we intend to leaflet all houses to the west of Stapleford Lane/High Road and we will distribute posters elsewhere in our area.
    • Please put the date in your diary and come along and let us know your views. And please spread the word to friends and neighbours.
  2. A ‘Clean & Green’ event on Toton Fields next Sunday 18th
    • To emphasise the importance of the nature reserve, the Friends of Toton Fields are partnering with the Council & the Practical Conservation Volunteers to take part in an initiative to ‘clean and green’ local green spaces in the Borough
    • [I need to declare an interest: I’m a ‘friend’ of Toton Fields, and Norman Lewis is both a member of our Steering Group as well as founder-member and long-time chairman of the Friends group.]
    • Next Sunday, at the Greenwood Centre at 10.45am, we will be carrying out wildflower planting and seed sowing as well as running a litter picking session.
    • Here is a link to more details of the event and please come along a support the Friends if you are interested in practical conservation work on the reserve
  3. Garden Communities Bid submitted
    • Pleased to report that the Council have submitted our Garden Communities bid application to the government. The bid, you’ll recall, is to ask for government support to help us develop Chetwynd Barracks in a way that works for all of us – to make it something we can all be proud of.
    • I say ‘our’ bid, but of course this is a council owned initiative, although we have been delighted to provide a lot of the input to the text. We need to thank both Richard (our chair) and Ian (SG member) for spending considerable time on this input. We’d also like to thank Steffan, Amanda and the council’s team for putting it all together so quickly.
    • Finally we also want to thank Anna Soubry, our MP, who sent a strongly supportive letter to James Brokenshire, the Minister of Housing. Here is a link to the letter and it makes clear her approval of this ‘community led bid’.
    • The application was made late on Friday – there are always last-minute additions/ tweaks to be made, so we haven’t seen the final version yet. We hope to get a copy early next week and I’ll aim to publish it here next time, so you can have a look.
  4. Further technical support reports commissioned
    • Building on the Heritage and Character report we are close to publishing, we have commissioned 2 further reports over the last 10 days:
      1. Design inc Design Codes. This piece of work will provide us with detailed guidance for Chetwynd Barracks. It will prescribe the design of homes that respect existing assets, that development schemes encourage walking and cycling and reduce the impact of traffic. And make sure the Barracks becomes an attractive and interesting place.
        More information on design codes here on a government website
      2. Policy Development and Evidence Base. This report will review our draft policies and supporting evidence and advise how we can improve the credibility and robustness of our evidence. It will also advise where we need to re-draft policies to meet a standard acceptable at examination and in the real world.
    • Both these reports will be produced in the spring and will be invaluable in ensuring our Plan is correctly worded with policies that are enforceable and which reflect our aspirations. Watch out for further updates on the progress of these strands in future editions.
  5. And finally…..
    • An update on the Neighbourhood Plan. I think I may have previously mentioned (!) how busy we’ve been writing the Plan recently, so you are due more of an update. I’m pleased to say we have finished the 1st section (out of 3) of the Plan and are working to have the 2nd section finished by the end of this month. The final section – the important one, full of policies – will be completed, hopefully, by the middle of January (after taking a little time off for Christmas).
    • AGM planning. We had a Steering Group meeting last Thursday and a key item on the agenda was planning our next AGM. We’ve settled on a date – Sunday February 10th – and we hope to go back to The Village, but we still need make the booking with the hotel so treat the location as tentative for now. More details to come in future editions but please pencil the date in your diary now. We will have a lot to show you!
    • Lotto Update. We’ve had a further bulletin from the Broxtowe Lotto scheme. We are very pleased to report that we have been given (by you, our wonderful supporters) a terrific donation of £79 for the month of October. This amount covers the costs of hiring our meeting rooms along with regular office supplies. Many, many thanks for your support – it is very much appreciated.

And I think that’s more than enough for this week. See you next time

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, Neighbourhood Plan | Leave a comment

Weekly digest: Nov 3

Hello again

Another short, snappy edition as I’m in full ‘writer’ mode at the moment putting together the Neighbourhood Plan. However, this week……. we need to talk about HS2.

  1. HS2 Consultation: Greenwood Centre Nov 24th
    • The Forum has booked the Greenwood Centre on Saturday 24th November between 1pm and 6pm to host our own HS2 consultation session.
    • Members of the Steering Group have been through the various documents in great detail and we are concerned over several items being proposed not least:
      • sectioning off a huge tract of Toton Fields Local Nature Reserve during construction – potentially for over 5 years.
      • demolishing the Greenwood Centre along with significant parts of the woods in the Reserve
      • moving A52 bridge over the Sidings 25 meters further south. The bridge needs to be higher to allow the train to pass under – so a brand new bridge south of the current one is planned.
      • station car parking (4,000 capacity) is all at ground level and spread over both the east and west sides of the station.
      • no obvious allowance for the tram to extend down to the station
      • etc.
    • Team members met with HS2 people at the Trowell exhibition yesterday where we presented them with a list of issues (20+ at the last count) that we wanted to discuss with them and we have a follow-up 121 meeting next Friday.
    • We obviously want HS2 to attend our session on the 24th but it’s not certain yet they will attend our event as well as the ‘official’ HS2 session at Long Eaton on Dec 7th.
    • But we strongly urge you to come to Greenwood on the 24th where we will explain our concerns and gather your views and thoughts. This is the time for us to give a clear message to HS2 regarding their current plans and our suggested improvements.
  2. HS2 documents
    • To save you searching out the links from last week:
    • These are large documents but well worth reading if you have an interest is what is currently planned for the Sidings.
    • Alternatively come along to Greenwood on the 24th and we’ll explain all! Now, there’s a hostage to fortune!
  3. Garden Communities Fund application
    • We met with Broxtowe Council and their consultants (ARUP) last Monday to discuss this application. The council invited the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (& their team) along as well given they own the land.
    • The DIO mentioned they were aware of other funding streams available from the government, so we hope to work with them separately to explore other avenues that we could tap into.
    • ARUP have been busy this week drafting up the application and we are due to meet up again early next week to go through the document before final sign-off and submission to the government. More on this next week following submission
  4. And finally….
    • Heritage and Character Assessment report. We spent some time on the draft report making suggestions and we haven’t quite finished yet. We will to send off our corrections this week so the final, authorised version may not be back to us until the end of Nov. I said last time it could be with us early Nov. but that isn’t now feasible
    • Chetwynd Barracks consultation. The Steering Group collated our response to the DIO’s exhibition and submitted it to organisers last week. If you’d like to see a copy of our feedback (just a collection of our thoughts/observations), here is a link to the document.

That’s all folks for this week.…

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