… and you’re probably getting a little tired of hearing from me at the moment – twice in a matter of days. However, you’ll be glad to know this edition is a consultation free (almost!) update and will be short! Despite the Masterplan being at the forefront of our minds over the last 5 or 6 weeks, other activities have been going on in the background so it’s time to provide some quick snippets.
1. Catchup on meetings – past and planned
The Environment Partnership (TEP).
A couple of our Environment Focus Group had an introductory meeting with TEP last week. The aim was to formally introduce ourselves and our ambitions for the area. We were keen to understand the scope and timeframe of their study commissioned by the Toton Delivery Board.
In summary the study area they’re looking at is the Erewash river valley from the Nott’m/Derby mainline railway at the southern end up as far as the M1 bridge over the river at Stanton Gate. A key element of their work is to take the ‘station in a park’ concept proposed for the Hub Station and produce some design options. These will be reviewed by stakeholders before settling on a preferred design that could be taken forward to development. They aim to complete this work around April/May next year.
TEP were keen to understand our green/blue infrastructure ambitions for the valley (even though most of it is, technically, outside our Area) and for us to provide them with our specialist background knowledge about the current habitat.
The Focus Group ended up taking away a number of actions to work on and feed back to them. We will be reconvening with TEP before Christmas to assess progress.
Broxtowe Borough Council.
Next week, we will ask to meet the Chief Executive of the Council to push for an update on the progress of our Plan. We have failed to get any sort of response to our repeated requests for information over the last 10 weeks or so, so we have no option but to escalate to the highest level.
As you know, we submitted our Plan back in June and it is very disappointing not to have had any sort of update on progress since meeting the new Head of Planning back in early September.
Of course, we know the pressures the Council are under in managing the pandemic. However, we need to push them to make sure our Plan doesn’t get forgotten and is processed in time for the final stage – the referendum – to take place next May alongside the County Council elections.
Bloor Homes and Heart Church
Representatives of both these significant landowners either side of Toton Lane have approached us for a meeting. We are still coordinating diaries, but we hope to meet both before Christmas.
2. Reviewing our communications channels
Following the delivery of our newsletter last month, we have seen a significant spike in people ‘liking’ our Facebook page. We now have well over 300 following us and so the Steering Group discussed how to better manage our page and make it more than just a weekly post containing a link to these publications. So, expect, over a period of time, to see more activity/posts on our page. We still need to work out how best to manage postings, so we are talking evolution rather than revolution.
The Steering Group also agreed to set up an Instagram account to support, initially, our Environment Focus Group. The aim is to attract the younger members of our community who tend (so I’m told) to prefer Instagram. As and when it gets going, I’ll report back and ask for your support and to spread the word.
Finally, we haven’t forgotten our website. We received some fairly critical (but constructive) comments about the current layout: “it looks clunky’” and “it’s not user-friendly”. So Mark, our web maestro, is reviewing the various pages and content and will report back to the Steering Group with recommendations for a refresh. Expect to see some changes in the new year.
3. And finally…
HS2, our MP, and a debate in Parliament. Darren Henry led a debate last week on the importance of ensuring the eastern leg of HS2 is delivered in full including the East Midlands Hub Station. If you are interested in hearing our MP, along with some useful interventions from other MPs in support, here is the clip of the Westminster Hall debate (it lasts about 25 mins) on the Midlands Connect vimeo https://vimeo.com/480393247
Concern Toton HS2 station could be scrapped. The debate may have been triggered by the rumours circulating in advance of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) report that the government may terminate HS2 at East Midlands Parkway. The report is due to be published in the next couple of weeks so we shall see then what it contains. In the meantime, here is an article about the speculation published in the Nottingham Post on Nov 13th.
The Strategic Masterplan – the Forum’s response. In last week’s Newsflash, I said I wouldn’t mention the ‘consulta….’ word again for a while, so I won’t. However you may be interested to have a look at the Steering Group’s formal response to the….. exercise which was signed off last week. It is based largely on the document we’ve circulated here previously but with a couple of additions primarily to do with the distribution and types of housing. Many, many thanks to everyone who responded to the…. event. The more they hear our views, the more chance they will amend the masterplan to reflect our opinions.
Hmmm.. not quite as short as I’d hoped but nevertheless I hope you found this update useful. It may be a couple of weeks before the next one as I think you could do with a little break from me and consultations… D’oh!
The reason for this short Newsflash is to remind you that the current consultation on the Strategic Masterplan finishes this Sunday, November 22nd – 4 days away. You know we have been pushing hard to encourage as much response to the Masterplan as possible. You know it will have a major impact upon the future of the Toton and Chilwell West. You know it is vitally important that local views are heard so that amendments are made before it becomes set in stone as a formal Supplementary Planning Document.
Hence the reason for this emergency digest; one final ‘call to action’ to remind you that if you were planning to submit a response but not yet done so…. time is fast running out! The following paragraph is pretty much a straight copy/paste from the last digest as it provides the information (and links) you need to provide a response.
1. Strategic Masterplan: final thoughts as a prompt.
We have received some initial feedback from the County Council on the engagement thus far (earlier this week) to the exercise…
Total individual page views (including returning visitors): 4,861
Total unique visitors to the site: 3,952
Total responses to the feedback form: 105 … which is pretty good and the (almost) 4,000 unique visitors clearly demonstrate the interest it has generated. My guess is that the vast majority of visitors will be residents of our area. So, it will be great if we work together over these last 4 days to push the final total of responses to reach 150+
Everybody should take the opportunity to comment. Development of the area will take upwards of 20 years, so it will be future generations who will be the ones living with the results. It is well worth taking time to help shape the future of the area.
The SG have considered the Strategic Masterplan over the last few weeks. Here is a link to a document containing some of our thoughts. The document is based on the official version of the Feedback Form so you may wish to use it (here is the ‘original MS Word version) to capture your views and send it back to the Council as detailed further below.
We hope you find the comments a useful prompt. They won’t fully reflect your own thoughts and so we encourage you to make your own response to the consultation independently. The more individual responses made in response to the consultation, the better.
If you haven’t yet taken part, PLEASE RESPOND to the consultation. Either by:
We are approaching the end of Broxtowe Borough Council’s Strategic Masterplan consultation – it finishes on November 22nd. As you know, the Masterplan will have a major impact upon the future of the Toton, Chilwell West, as well as nearby communities such as Stapleford & Long Eaton. It is vitally important that local views are heard so that amendments can be made before it becomes set in stone as a formal Supplementary Planning Document that sits alongside tbe Council’s Local Plan Part 2.
The Council are keen to receive large numbers of comments from residents in and around our Area. With over 16,000 people living in Toton & Chilwell West, it’s important to make sure our combined voices are heard. If those of us who live and work here don’t respond, the developers will likely assume we don’t care. They will then go ahead and build something that suits them, with insufficient supporting infrastructure such as more and better green spaces, better roads, new schools and medical facilities etc.
Everybody has the opportunity to comment. Development of the area will take upwards of 20 years, so it will be future generations (your children and grandchildren) who will be the ones living with the results. It is well worth your while to take a little time now to ensure we help shape the future look of the area.
The SG have been considering the Strategic Masterplan over the last few weeks. Here is a link to a document containing some of our thoughts. The document is based on the official version of the Feedback Form so you may wish to use it (here is the ‘original MS Word version) to capture your views and send it back to the Council as detailed further below.
We hope you find these comments useful as a prompt. We do not expect them to fully reflect your own thoughts and would encourage you to make your own response to the consultation independently. The more individual responses made in response to the consultation, the better.
If you haven’t yet taken part, PLEASE RESPOND to the consultation. Either by:
The newsletter has now been delivered to pretty much all of the (circa) 6,600 homes in our area. It has been a big undertaking to get them all delivered in the last 3 or 4 weeks. We couldn’t have done it without the sterling efforts of the Steering Group – so thank you all!
However, what made a huge difference this time, in getting them delivered so quickly, was the number of volunteers who stepped forward to help us out. I’d like to acknowledge all nine residents who delivered newsletters on our behalf to their immediate neighbourhood.
So, a BIG THANK YOU! to:
3. And finally…
Covid 19 Lockdown. One final link (for now) to a graphic that I found to be useful as a summary of the current restrictions in place during this period of lockdown.
There is a fair bit to report this time so, as always, I’ll aim to be succinct and concise by continuing to ruthlessly review text and cut out all superfluous waffle (!) The main item concentrates on last week’s Steering Group (SG) meeting and in particular, the session when we were joined by the leader of Broxtowe Council, Milan Radulovic. Milan provided fascinating insights into a series of initiatives taking place that will have significant impact in our neck of the woods.
1. Milan at the SG
Strategic Masterplan. Milan started off explaining his views on the importance of the current consultation of the masterplan. He reinforced the message we’ve been pushing over the last couple of weeks – the need for as many residents as possible to provide feedback to the council. It will demonstrate the strength of feeling the community has about the development we expect to see over the next 20 years. Milan was complimentary of the work of the Forum played in providing input to the masterplan and believes this version provides a sound foundation to be taken forward to the next stage.
East Midlands Connect. This initiative is the one that produced the ‘Access to Toton’ proposals that we published back in May. You’ll recall it is all about improving regional rail connectivity for the East Midlands (in advance of any HS2 work) that is centred on Toton. Milan explained that a fair bit of work is taking place to ensure the north of the borough doesn’t lose out. There are plans afoot to upgrade Langley Mill station and ensure regular connections to Toton.
Development Corporation. You may have seen the publicity last week about the launch of the Development Corporation (here’s a link to our post about it). Despite the publicity, there is still a lot of work needed to bring the Development Corporation out of the shadows. It is hoped an interim board will be formed in the next couple of months – the Corporation needs government legislation before it can be formally established. The interim board is expected to contain a mix of elected members from regional local authorities (including Broxtowe) as well as private sector representatives. We told Milan that we believe the Forum – as the voice of the community – should be a member of the board and he agreed to push for us to be involved. He fully supports our belief that the community needs to be heard at the ‘top table’.
Finally, Milan talked a little about the Innovation Campus and in particular about the setting up of a Skills Academy in the area. He made clear that the Academy doesn’t have to be located in the Innovation Campus – he mentioned that Stapleford may be a better place for it. We all agreed that we didn’t want to see the universities dominate the Innovation Campus and that a focus on apprentices and vocational training was much more appropriate for the area.
2. Strategic Masterplan
Following on from Milan’s talk, the SG agreed to continue to encourage our readers to provide a response to the consultation. You may already have submitted your feedback to the council but if not, we strongly urge you to take part.
To that end (and as mentioned last week) we will be compiling our response to the masterplan. We will publish it here next week so you will be able to use it (if you wish) as a basis to compose your own thoughts and observations.
In the meantime, here are the links again to the consultation so you can have a look and familiarise yourself with the proposals:
A link to the Strategic Masterplan page on our website where you will find further links to individual boards in the virtual consultation room.
A link to the actual online consultation – the virtual consultation room. You then use the navigation buttons (at the bottom of the screen) to examine each board in turn. There is a ‘?’ button at the bottom that contains Frequently Asked Questions
Feedback has to be provided online – using the ‘Submit Feedback Online’ icon on the table to the left of the room. However we have produced a MS Word version of the questionnaire so you can download the questions and compose your response offline. Here’s a link to the feedback form
3. And finally…
Government Planning white paper. You may have heard in the national news that the government have been running a consultation on some significant reforms they are proposing to the planning system. The Forum has studied their proposals and we submitted our feedback to the govt last Thursday. Here is a link to our submission if you are interested. (Many thanks to SG members Mark, David and Margaret for compiling our response.)
Erewash Riverside Environment review. We have been approached by the consultants appointed by Notts County Council to examine the impacts of the Hub Station and new rail connections on Erewash Valley. Whilst the Erewash Valley is technically outside our Area, we have firm views on how we’d like to see the environment improved in the Sidings as well as further afield. And, of course, we want to ensure great connections to the green spaces in our Area – in particular Toton Fields Local Nature Reserve. Our chairman, Richard has been back to them to suggest some meeting dates and our Environment Focus Group will be providing our ideas and suggestions. More on this in future editions.
Covid 19 Revisited. I won’t keep publishing these links but felt it worthwhile do so again this week given the latest situation:
Click on the image or follow the link to an article in the Nottingham Post highlighting why the Local Community needs to keep its voice heard. Whilst the proposed developments on Chetwynd Barracks and Toton are big, they’re only part of a much larger plan.
A much shorter edition (and fewer typos, hopefully!) this week with the main message being the same as last time – the Strategic Masterplan. We’ve already received some good feedback with a key concern being board 8 and the proposals for new roads. I’d like to think this may have been down to the hint I provided in last week’s edition, but in fact the correspondence was triggered by our newsletter that has been pushed through letter boxes over the last couple of weeks.
1. Accessing the Strategic Masterplan consultation
A link to the online consultation – the virtual consultation room. You then use the navigation buttons (at the bottom of the screen) to examine each board in turn. There is a ‘?’ button at the bottom that contains Frequently Asked Questions
Individual links to each board so you don’t need to enter the room every time
There is a link to a pdf file that contains all the boards so you can download the consultation and view offline it at your leisure.
Feedback has to be provided online – using the ‘Submit Feedback Online’ icon on the table to the left of the room.
However, have produced a MS Word file containing the questions asked at boards 4-9 so you can compose your responses offline and then copy/paste them into the online form when you are ready to submit. Here’s a link to the feedback formwhich can be downloaded. (And many thanks to Digest reader David R for transcribing the form for us.)
You know from last week’s edition that the Strategic Masterplan is a hugely significant document. It sets the framework for future development over the next 20 years. Which is why we continue to highlight its importance to you and every resident in our Area. Please take the time to look at the boards and consider the impact of these proposals. It runs to November 22 so there is plenty of time – but why delay? Many thanks.
2. And finally….
Our newsletter is still being delivered so if you haven’t yet received a copy through your door yet, you will soon. If you can’t wait, here is another link to it. More and more people are ‘liking’ our Facebook page so if you are reading this edition via Facebook, then… it’s good to have you with us! We hope you enjoy these updates of our activities.
The Steering Group is meeting next Thursday, and we are looking forward to welcoming the leader of Broxtowe Borough Council, Cllr Milan Radulovic MBE, who has kindly agreed to join us. We hope to hear more about the Council’s view of the Strategic Masterplan as well as finding out the current status of the emerging Development Corporation. It is the Dev Corp (when formed) which will likely play a pivotal role in overseeing the deployment of the Strategic Masterplan.
Covid 19 Revisited. By the time you read this, Broxtowe may well have been placed in the ‘very high’ tier of localised restrictions. If you want to find more details about what it means for us all, here are some useful links, provided by the Council:
A lot has taken place over the last 3 weeks and – as previewed in previously – an important consultation has just kicked off which directly affects all of us who live and/or work in and around Toton and Chilwell. So let’s get straight down to business….
1. Toton and Chetwynd Barracks Strategic Masterplan
Broxtowe Borough Council, (with help from the County Council and their consultants) have produced and now published for consultation a strategic masterplan covering Toton and Chetwynd Barracks. You’ll have no doubt received a flyer through the door and it has been widely publicised in local media.
The purpose of the masterplan is to provide the type and location of developments we can expect to see in our Area over the next 20 years. It seeks to establish, at a high level, what needs to be built, where it is built and when. This includes green infrastructure (new green spaces and corridors), roads, community facilities as well as new houses/offices etc. The intention is that the masterplan, once it has completed due process, will be adopted as a supplementary document that supports the Council’s Local Plan Part 2.
So, this is important! We strongly encourage everyone to take time to look at the proposals and provide your views.The consultation runs until November 22 so, with the greatest respect, there is no excuse not to get involved.
However, the pandemic means the consultation is taking place online. No physical sessions have been organised to allow you to view the information and ask questions in person. So, to help ease the process, read on, but first…
2. An overview from Richard, our Chairman
Steering Group members are currently producing a number of short (3 or 4 mins) videos that will be published periodically over the next few weeks. It is a new venture for us and the intention is to provide a platform for members of the Steering Group to inform you of the work we intend to undertake over the next year or so.
The background to the production of our Neighbourhood Plan – submitted to the council in June
The importance of this strategic masterplan and the way it fits in with both the Council’s Local Plan Part 2 and our own Neighbourhood Plan. (The links are to the Local Plan itself and our website where you can access our Plan – either complete or section by section). Richard emphasises the need for us all to get involved in the current exercise and provide feedback.
The 4 main focus groups recently set up and the way they will take the Forum forward. Each lead of the focus groups will be producing their own video over the next few weeks. They will be published here.
Please let us know what you think. Are short videos providing a snapshot of our activities a good idea? We’d welcome comments/observations on both the format generally, and the content of this first one, please get in touch. Meanwhile…
A link to the online consultation where you will find yourself in a virtual ‘consultation room’. You then ‘walk’ around the room – using the navigation buttons – to examine each board in turn. There is a ‘?’ button at the bottom that contains Frequently Asked Questions
Individual links to each board so you don’t need to enter or navigate around the ‘room’, if you’d prefer not to
Finally, there is a link to a pdf file that contains all the boards so you can download the consultation and view it offline at your leisure.
At the moment, you can only provide feedback by going into the online consultation room and adding comments directly – using the icon on the table to the left of the room.
However, we are working on producing a downloadable file containing the questions asked at boards 4-9 so you can compose your responses offline and then copy/paste them into the online form when you are ready to submit. We hope to publish that next time.
4. And finally….
Our newsletter has been published and is being delivered over the next few weeks. If you haven’t yet received a copy through your door, here is a link to it. We’ve provided our contact details at the end. And it is great to report that we have already had well over 20 new ‘likes’ to our Facebook page. So, if you happen to be one of our new ‘likers’, then… welcome to the Forum! We hope you enjoy these updates of our activities.
And that’s more than enough for this week. Expect to hear more about the consultation over the next few weeks, when we will let you know our thoughts on the proposals. To be honest there’s a lot we like, but – as Richard notes – there are also bits we disagree with (hint: look at board 8 and the proposed road/tramway to the Hub Station). As always – if you have any comments/observations, please get in touch and we will be glad to help! See you next time
In the last edition I said I would to provide an update “next week” of the meeting we held with the new Head of Planning at Broxtowe Borough Council. Unfortunately, I was tied up last week drafting the newsletter, hence a 2-week gap to this missive. You’ll also recall I was ‘complaining’ a few weeks ago about how quiet things were over the summer period. Well, things have definitely started to pick up again so there is a lot to report this week.
1. Plan Update
The first topic discussed at our meeting with the Council was the progress of our Neighbourhood Plan through the approval process. The news is positive, although we still don’t have a date when the next stage – the Regulation 16 consultation – will take place.
However, the Council did confirm that they are very close to finishing their review prior to Reg 16 consultation and we were assured the exercise will take place ‘imminently’. We intend to hold them to their word on this as there is no excuse not to start this stage during October.
The following stage in the process, Independent Examination, can start as soon as Reg 16 is finished so we asked the Council for a list of potential examiners for us to review and provide our recommendation. We quickly received the list and the Steering Group is now reviewing the candidates. More on this in future editions.
2. Neighbourhood Development Order (NDO)
The other main topic was the NDO. We explained to the Council that we believe an NDO will help us shape the development of the Barracks as detailed in our Plan. In particular that it will help generate a ‘village’ feel centred around a neighbourhood shopping area located next to the memorial garden.
We went on to explain that we have engaged Locality (the govt-funded body who supports Neighbourhood Forums) and they are supportive of our ambitions to produce a masterplan for the Barracks and believe an NDO is the appropriate mechanism.
The Council listened carefully to our arguments and we are very pleased to report that they will support us in producing the NDO, with the proviso that we align with the strategic overarching masterplan being produced by Arup consultants (more on this below).
The next steps for us now is to: (1) meet with Homes England to explain our NDO plans and, hopefully, collaborate with them in producing a masterplan and (2) obtain quotes from masterplanners to undertake this piece of work.
3. Forum Newsletter
The draft has been produced and is currently being refined ready for sign-off this week before it goes to the printers. Assuming printing takes a week, we are planning to start delivery to all households in Toton & Chilwell Meadows and Chilwell West from Monday 12th. Many, many thanks to all who have volunteered to help deliver the leaflets. I will be in touch shortly with you with more details.
The final version will be published here next time, and regular readers of these updates will quickly spot that it is mostly a rehash of previous digest articles. So, there will be little new for you to pick up on. As you know, the Digest is currently sent out to circa 800 unique email addresses and it is opened/read by approx. 400 each time.
The prime purpose of the newsletter is to publicise the Forum to non-Digest readers and inform them that:
we have submitted our Plan
we stay close to major planning news in the area (Notts CC purchase)
we have planned future activities (FGs and NDO) to make sure we stay around to oversee the delivery of the Plan
Of course, we hope to add more digest readers to our current list. Aiming for a further 100 residents to register with us is perhaps being optimistic, but here’s hoping…
4. Update on the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)
I mentioned this document last time and you’ll remember that it is made up of an overarching masterplan that, once approved, will become a supplement (as you might have guessed!) to the Council’s current Local Plan. The SPD covers the whole of the proposed development taking place in our Area over the next 20 years.
The masterplan stretches from the River Erewash on the west side of Toton Sidings and moves eastwards covering the top of Stapleford/Toton Lane (south of the tram line on the east side of the Lane) and finishes with the whole of Chetwynd Barracks.
We learned this week that the consultation exercise on the proposals to be included in the SPD will take place for 6 weeks in October and November. Given the current covid restrictions, it will all take place on-line in a virtual consultation room. I’ll provide links to the site in the next edition and explain more about the contents and how it all works then.
No space for anything more this time. And it will be 3 weeks before the next edition hits your inboxes as I’ll be away for a week (in a cottage near Liskeard) from next Saturday. Fingers crossed it stays dry.
[Checks notes: 1. Do not run website software updates immediately before publishing the digest: (tick) Okay, let’s get started…. …..adds to notes… 2. AND do not mess with the mailshot triggers – NOT EVER (tick) Okay, let’s try again. And you’ll need to start with something positive.]
Hello again (and – hey – only a day late this time!),
The Steering Group (SG) met last week and there were a number of meaty topics on the agenda. So, this edition covers the major items discussed along with a preview of an important meeting next week.
1. Focus Groups ratified
The 4 Focus Groups detailed in last week’s edition were ratified and the leaders of each group agreed. Initial membership of each group has been identified but these will only be confirmed and settled once the groups start work and people have a clearer idea of the workload.
The terms of reference for each group are as published last week but the next task for the group leaders will be to ‘stress test’ the elements and identify any overlaps with other groups. The first (virtual) meeting of the group leaders will take place next week when any overlaps will be ironed out.
Expect to hear more from these groups as they start work. We are planning to produce a series of short videos from each group and publish them here to keep you updated.
2. A Supplementary Planning Document is heading our way!
The SG received two reports from the latest meeting of the Strategic Planning Group (hosted by Notts County Council). The first report was about the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) being produced by Arup. The SPD comprises a high-level masterplan for our Area and specifically covers the Strategic Location for Growth (either side of Toton/Stapleford Lane) and Chetwynd Barracks.
You will recall that we held a workshop with Arup back in early July as well as further masterplanning workshops with Broxtowe Council in late August. This work has culminated in a draft masterplan that – once approved – will be out for consultation later in the autumn.
We have seen the draft and it is good to report that it includes many of the ideas and suggestions contained in our Plan. There are a (small) number of areas where we disagree, but that is to be expected given the various stakeholders involved.
Expect to hear more of the SPD, and its impact on our Plan, over the next few weeks (once the final version has been approved) as your input to the consultation exercise will be crucial.
3. “Erewash Riverside”
The second report from the Strategic Planning Group was an introduction to an environmental project by another set of consultants – The Environment Partnership.
The project, commissioned by Notts County Council, has been asked to produce proposals for Toton Sidings including the Hub Station. A ‘Station in a Park’ is the concept they are working on.
We made the point that the scope of the project should be expanded to encompass the whole of our Area so there is seamless integration with the policies in our Plan. This was acknowledged and the Forum (via the Environment Focus Group) will be key stakeholder in this piece of work.
Overall, we were impressed by the ‘pitch’ made by The Environment Partnership and we believe they will produce some exciting proposals for the Sidings and the wider area. We will, of course, keep you updated as we become further engaged in the project.
4. And finally…
The SG also agreed that we should produce and distribute a newsletter to all households in the Area. The point was made that we need help to distribute the leaflets: a couple of readers stepped forward following last week’s request for volunteers, but we need more, many more. If you are able to help distribute leaflets – in early October – please let me know. All help will be very much appreciated.
We are meeting the new Head of Planning at Broxtowe Borough Council next week. As well as formally introducing ourselves, there are 2 main items on the agenda: (1) an update on the status of our Plan and when we can expect to see the Plan publicised – which is the next step that needs to take place; and (2) discuss our proposal to undertake a Neighbourhood Development Order for the Barracks. Both of these items are important next steps for the Forum so I hope to have positive news for you on both matters next week.
Wildlife on Toton Fields/Sidings. We have received these 2 pictures (from different people) during the past week. It demonstrates the importance of wildlife in our area and renews our commitment to do all we can to improve and build on what we already have.
A slightly delayed edition this week due to some website production glitches. (Okay I ran an update of the software and didn’t reset the mail shot triggers correctly – sorry about that). So just imagine that you are reading this last Sunday/Monday morning…
A short edition this time that builds on last week’s news about the formation of Focus Groups as well as previewing forthcoming activities.
1. Looking deeper into the Focus Groups
We have now fleshed out the scope of these Groups although there will no doubt be further tweaks as the Groups become established and start working. Here is a link to a 7-slide presentation that sets the scene, but the core tasks for each Group are:
Designate new Green Spaces as per policy ENV01. Review current TPO designations and identify new candidates;
Detail proposals for the creation of new prime Green Corridors;
Understand current biodiversity (and the populations of species) throughout the Area and what is needed to increase biodiversity.
Consider the number of dwellings planned for the Area & investigate options to achieve best form of delivery i.e. the potential for some sort of community-led housing scheme(s) via joint ventures or partnerships;
Assess the feasibility of the ‘Smart Village’ living concept;
Review key assets already in existence (e.g. Officers Mess) & recommend proposals for redevelopment/re-use.
Sense of Place/Sustainability:
Produce plans relating to the ‘Plaza’ neighbourhood centre and nearby community facilities e.g. primary school etc. Consider requirements for a new healthcare centre in the Area and assess options to locate it within/alongside a broader community hub facility;
Assess feasibility of an energy positive village on the Barracks;
Investigate options to generate revenues from the built environment to enable the CIC to develop and maintain the natural environment and support community facilities.
Continue to develop proposals to re-route the main road to the Hub Station alongside the A52;
Work with local and national agencies to develop a LCWIP (Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan) for the Area that addresses expected needs for the next 20 years;
Develop outline proposals for the road network through the Barracks as well as the access to Toton Lane / Stapleford Lane.
Some of these tasks are ambitious and may well be unachievable. But now is the time to ‘seize the moment’ and aim high. The scale of development we are facing demands nothing less than the highest ambitions.
Following last week’s edition, we had a number of people step forward who expressed an interest to become involved in these Groups – thank you all. But there is room for more, so if you are interested in any of these areas and would like to help the Groups with their activities please let me know, you will be very welcome.
2. Time for a newsletter
It’s been over a year since we have been out to all residents in the Area with news of the Forum and its activities. A lot of our neighbours and residents won’t know that we have submitted our Plan to the Council. And we want to inform everyone of our future activities going forward.
So, we will be discussing producing a hardcopy newsletter/leaflet at next week’s Steering Group meeting. The aim will be to get something ready for delivery by the end of the month.
We will need volunteers to deliver the newsletter around the Area so if you can spare a couple of hours to help deliver around your neighbourhood, please let me know. Many thanks!
3. And finally…
As mentioned above, we are having a Steering Group meeting next week. We have a pretty packed agenda covering both the Focus Groups and newsletter. In addition, we will be receiving feedback from the Strategic Planning Group that Richard and Ian attended last Friday. So, watch out next week for news of that.
I attended (virtually) the Council’s Jobs and Economy Committee meeting last week. Of particular interest was a report about the emerging Development Corporation that is looking to take on planning responsibility for our Area. Here is an extract from the report:
“Legislation shall need to be passed to establish the Development Corporation; it is therefore unlikely that the Development Corporation would be established until 2022 at the earliest. In the interim period, a non-statutory interim vehicle is proposed with the agreement of partners. Work has been continuing to agree the powers and responsibilities of the interim vehicle.”
There were no details when the interim Dev Corp would be formed but there is a lot of intensive work going on behind the scenes and my impression was that it could be up and running in the next few months. We don’t know what impact the Dev Corp may have regarding our Neighbourhood Plan, so we will be asking the Council to press ahead and see our Plan through to adoption as quickly as possible. Only when the Plan is adopted will it have statutory force.