[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.
I was hoping to have a little more substantive news to report this week, but this edition again comprises a series of tidbits. A reflection, I guess, of how really quiet things become during July and August.
1. Looking forward to new Focus Groups.
The SG, however, keep on keeping on even during the holiday period. A key output from our Strategy workshops held earlier this month was the setting up some Focus Groups. The details of these Groups are still being refined but will be ready to be published in the next digest.
However, what I can report now is that we have settled on four Focus Groups, each of which will take the lead on delivering core elements of our Plan:
Environment: responsible for (amongst other things) the delivery of new designated green spaces and applications for additional Tree Preservation Orders TPOs).
Infrastructure: responsible for (as well as other things) producing new active travel routes via a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP).
Housing: responsible for assessing housing needs (size and mix of dwellings) and tenures (ownership vs rented) and ideal locations in our Area
Sense of Place / Sustainability: responsible for assessing how best to generate a sense of place – a sort of village centre – for the Barracks. It will also look at how best to encourage sustainable energy-efficient solutions for new buildings – both residential and commercial.
More on this in the next edition, but in the meantime please consider if you’d like to become involved in these Groups. We don’t have enough members on the SG to properly resource them, so if you’d like to get involved and help to ‘shape the future’ of our Area, please step forward and let us know.
2. Meeting room news
Returning to the Broxtowe Borough Council masterplanning workshops I reported on last time, there are two further bits of news:
The Leader of the Council, Milan Radulovic, attended the last meeting and made a point of complimenting the Forum and the work we did to produce the Plan. He asked to join a future SG meeting so he could meet the whole team. We will of course be following up on this and look forward to having further discussions with Milan.
Another masterplanning workshop by the Council is getting underway – this one has the sole focus on the environment. We have been in regular contact with Greg Marshall, the leader of the workshop, and he assures us the Forum will play a full part in their deliberations. The workshop is due to produce a report next spring.
Our two chairmen, Richard and Ian (of the Neighbourhood Forum and CIC respectively) were pleased to welcome the new Notts County Council Director of Investment and Growth, Matthew Neill, to Toton. Matthew has recently taken up the post at County Hall and he came over to meet us and to be shown around our Area – in particular the Sidings, the land either side of Stapleford Lane and the top end of the Barracks. It’s always good to meet senior officers at County Hall as it helps demonstrate our commitment to influence future development in a way that benefits our community. Matthew was impressed by the scale of the area being developed and we look forward to collaborating with him and his team going forward.
We are still working to set up a meeting with the new Interim Head of Planning at Broxtowe Borough Council. We are keen to discuss with him our proposal for a Neighbourhood Development Order and we hope to obtain Council support for the idea. The delay to the meeting is down to holiday clashes and we are confident we’ll meet up in the next week or two.
Richard and Ian will be attending, virtually, the Strategic Planning Group (SPG) taking place next Friday 4th Sept. We hope to learn more about the progress of the masterplan for our Area – from the Sidings to the Barracks. We are keen to see if the objectives from our Plan that we presented to Arup (the consultants producing the masterplan) a couple of months ago have been taken on board and will be reflected in their latest version.
3. And finally…
A couple of ‘out-of’Area’ snippets you may be interested in:
A new power station at Ratcliffe-on-Soar. Here is an article from the Nottingham Post, published a couple of weeks ago now, that reports on a £330 million proposal (plans have been submitted to Rushcliffe Borough Council) to build a ‘super-incinerator’ on the site of the current coal-powered power station.
You may be interested in this from Notts Wildlife Trust. We are all concerned to protect and enhance the environment & wildlife in it, so Nottinghamshire badgers need our helpand we’re asked to take action!
And that’s all for this week folks. Enjoy the rest of the bank holiday weekend and… see you next time.
Continuing current custom, it’s been another two weeks since the last edition. Normally, as you know, things become a little quieter during the peak summer period, so these reports tend to be less frequent – hence the re-branding to “The Forum Digest”. But when we have news to report, we’ll make sure another edition hits your inbox to keep you updated. This week’s edition comprises a number of little tidbits…
1. Consultation corner
A number of consultations are underway at the moment and you may want to take part in a couple of them yourself.
Broxtowe masterplanning working group. You’ll recall I reported on this group last month – it comprises a number of councillors and officers from Broxtowe and Erewash councils plus ourselves. The group is tasked to provide a report to the Toton Delivery Board on the key issues it wants to raise with the consultants who are producing a masterplan for the Area. The final meeting was held this week when we reviewed the draft report and provided final tweaks to strengthen it. Most of our suggestions have been taken on board and overall, we are very pleased with the draft. Once the final report has been approved by the council, we hope to publish it here so you can have a look.
Planning for the Future – Government White Paper. You may well have heard the government is undertaking a major review of planning regulations with the aim to streamline processes relating to house building. The proposals are radical and the Forum will be providing a response before the end of the consultation period. At this stage, we are still getting to grips with the ideas put forward however we thought you may want to have a look at the proposals yourself and provide us with your thoughts. Here are a couple of links:
To respond directly to the government (by Oct 29th), complete this online form.
Broxtowe Council’s Annual Parks Survey. To quote from the latest council newsletter: “It is that time of year, where we ask you to help us make our parks and open spaces even better. There are a number of parks included in the survey this year so if you have some ideas or feedback and have ten minutes, please complete the survey before 12th September.”
Here is a link to the survey and we encourage you to take part – the more feedback provided the more chance we shall see improvements.
2. Meeting room news
We held a virtual meeting with HS2 Ltd this week. It was good to have a catch up with the new team (our previous contact, Paul, has moved elsewhere within the organisation). The latest news regarding our leg of phase 2b is that HS2 are waiting for the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP), which is being produced by the National Infrastructure Commission. The full IRP will hopefully be published by the end of the year. In the meantime, the Commission has published an interim report which may be of interest. Until the Plan is published, HS2 Ltd are, not surprisingly, focusing most of their efforts on Phases 1 and 2a. We’ve agreed to meet up with HS2 again in 3 months and maintain regular contact going forwards.
Homes England. We’ve asked to meet with Homes England when they have appointed their consultants to take forward the development of the Barracks. We received an email yesterday informing us they are close to announcing the appointment of the consultants and we can expect to hear who these are in the next couple of weeks. Once the consultants are appointed, we will be looking to meet them as soon as possible to introduce ourselves and let them know of our ambitions for the site.
Midlands Connect. We reported last time that we have sent a letter to Sir John Peace, Chair of Midlands Connect, requesting a meeting so we can explain the key elements of our Plan to him and his team. We’ve yet to hear back from him but, as already mentioned, it is peak holiday season so we’re not too surprised. We’ll wait until the end of August and get in touch again if necessary.
3. Community chest
A couple of community-related items have come our way that may be of interest:
Removal of telephone call box at Grisedale Court, Chilwell. BT are proposing to remove this call box and Broxtowe Council are inviting views before they decide whether to support or object to the removal. If you wish to submit comments here is the copy of the letter which contains relevant Council contact details. The SG have decided not to respond on behalf of the Forum as it is difficult for us to gather a truly representative view within the timeframe.
Trees felled outside the Western Power substation at the top of Stapleford Lane. A reader notified us that two trees have been recently felled and wondered if they had Tree Protection Orders (TPOs) in place and, if so, why where they cut down. In fact the Council have confirmed to us that the trees don’t have TPO status and they have directed us to the County Council (as the trees are classified as being on the ‘highway’ ) to find the purpose of the felling.
Antisocial behaviour in the area. Another reader has been in touch letting us know about antisocial behaviour in the evenings by ‘boy racers’ on Toton Lane tram park and ride site. He has written to our MP, Darren Henry, but wonders if any other residents have been disturbed by these incidents? If so, we suggest getting in touch with local ward councillors, as well as Darren Henry, to see what can be done to curb the nuisance.
4. And finally..
Nope, no further tidbits this time and, anyway, I’ve already taken up too much space.
I don’t know about you, but I feel these digests are starting to stretch out a bit. I’ve always tried to keep them relatively short and bite sized. However, I’m conscious the last couple of editions have been fare taken from the ‘go large’ portion of the menu and it needs some hefty gulps to consume. So, I’ll endeavour to get back to a slimmed-down version next time and cut out the extraneous waffle and padding that sometimes creeps in…
Another couple of weeks have passed during which the Steering Group held a (virtual) strategy workshop to discuss and agree the future direction and immediate task for the Forum and our ‘sister’ organisation – the Toton and Chilwell Community Interest Company (CIC). Three main strands emerged from our discussions: 1) short term tasks; 2) medium term influencing key stakeholders; and 3) long term ambitions to become a stakeholder in our own right. So, to be slightly contrary, I’ll start with number 2 first!
2. Influencing key stakeholders
It is one thing (and it is a very big thing) to produce a Neighbourhood Plan; it carries weight and developers have to adhere to its policies. However, it becomes a lot easier if we can get the key stakeholders (landowners, investors, developers, local councillors) to buy into our policies from the outset. The SG agreed we needed to re-engage with these organisations and explain our policies and wider aspirations and ambitions for the Area.
To that end, we have written to Sir John Peace (chair of Midlands Connect) with a copy of our Plan and requested a meeting so we can explain our ambitions for the Area and assure him that we want to work closely with the new DevelopmentCorporation, when it is formed. Here is a copy of the letter we sent.
We copied the letter (and included a copy of the Plan) to a number of other key people in the Area, including our MP Darren Henry. Our chairman, Richard, managed to catch up with Darren on Friday and here is a short video of him presenting our Plan.
Besides this letter, we have been in touch with other key stakeholders including HS2 Ltd. We have requested a catch-up session with them and we hope to meet up (virtually) in a week or so. We will also be getting in touch with Homes England (who are managing the development of the Barracks) to request a meeting with them in the next few weeks.
1. Immediate tasks
As previewed a couple of weeks ago, the SG confirmed the following tasks to start work on straight away:
Review the number of Tree Protection Orders (TPOs) we have in our Area and whether we need to add to them. The short answer is ‘yes’ – there are a number of trees on the Barrack (as well as some elsewhere) that we’d like to see added to the list.
Apply for a ‘designated’ status to some of our prized green spaces. We’ve highlighted 7 locations in the first policy in our Plan (ENV01) so we shall be starting there. Other locations may well emerge over future years, but let’s get cracking with these. Both of these tasks will be managed by Margaret, who leads our Environment team.
Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIP). You may have been aware that Boris Johnson was in Beeston last week praising the value of cycling – indeed, one of our SG members a cycling enthusiast, was present at Canalside Heritage Centre to talk to him about local cycling. Anyway, I’m sure we are all aware of the growing emphasis by the government to encourage ‘active’ travel, whether that is walking or cycling. LCWIPs is the means for local communities to have a say in creating suitable, safe routes for both walkers and cyclists. With the advent of the Hub Station we are keen to maximise the opportunities to walk and cycle to/from the station (as well as further afield). Ian, a keen cyclist will be leading on this strand and will work closely with the local PEDALs cycling group as well as SUSTRANS (the national cycling/walking charity).
Finally, we are also exploring the use of Neighbourhood Development Orders (NDOs) as another short-term task. NDOs are a mechanism to take our Plan to a more detailed level. They can be used to make it easier for developers to adhere to our policies by providing certain outline planning permissions. The SG endorsed the idea and confirmed that we should dig deeper into this option and get further advice.
3. Long term ambitions
As you know, we have produced a 20-year Plan that stretches to 2040. And our aim is to stay around during that time to monitor new developments against our policies. We set up the CIC to be a long term, social enterprise that generates revenue and, hopefully, profits that will be ploughed back into the community. ‘Generates revenue’ is, of course, the critical bit – the CIC must be self-sustaining if it is to stick around in the long term. So, the SG discussed a number of options. The two that rose to the top of the pile and will be investigated further are:
The Barracks ‘Plaza’: Commercial and community facility owner
Local energy provider
To take either of these forward we know we’ll have to consider some sort of partnership or joint ventures with investors and other interested parties.
Regarding becoming a local energy provider, we have come across an Oxfordshire based organisation – the Low Carbon Hub CIC – as an example of a community led power generation and storage provider. So, we are looking further into this organisation to see if we might want to replicate it in our neck of the woods.
However, as it said in the title, these are long term ambitions/aspirations, so a lot more work is needed here before committing to anything. But we have to start somewhere…
4. And finally…
Happy Birthday to the digest! Yes, it was three years ago (the last Sat in July 2017) when the digest was first produced and today is the 111th edition. I can’t quite believe it has been this long – the intervening time as gone quickly. However, we’ve always known we were in for the long haul and, as you can see from the above, we spend most of our time looking forward, not backwards. So, here’s to the next 3 (and the rest) years.
A couple of weeks have passed since the last edition and quite a lot has taken place including some really BIGnews about a new landowner at Toton Lane. So, I shall quickly crack on…
1. All change at Toton Lane! (Sorry couldn’t resist.)
After a tip-off a few weeks ago from one of our readers, we needed to confirm that a significant chunk of land has been sold at Toton Lane. So we have been to Land Registry and can now confirm that…..(drum roll)…
Notts County Council purchased, at the end of March, the land previously owned by Peveril Homes located to the west of Toton Lane. They paid, according to Land Registry, a total of £21.4 million.
It’s not clear from the title deeds the exact size of the landholding but it stretches between the foot path down the centre of the field (next to the electricity sub-station at Toton Lane) and the A52 to the north. It excludes, of course, George Spencer Academy land and the sewerage works down towards Bessell Lane.
The purchase does mean that Peveril’s current planning permission for “Lime Rise” is dead and buried and will now be withdrawn. We don’t know that for a fact – but it is inconceivable that the County Council will proceed with the current application.
Peveril Homes still own a chunk of land to the east of Toton Lane (both sides of the tram terminus) and Heart Church still own land both sides of Stapleford Lane – at the back of Katherine Drive (part) and Cleve Avenue. Heart Church still have their land up for sale, so I wonder (and this is pure speculation on my part) if the County is negotiating to purchase that as well.
2. AGM news
The Steering Group held a virtual meeting last week and we discussed our approach to the AGM. Various options were discussed (inc. having an open-air meeting) but in the end we thought is sensible to defer the meeting until next spring i.e. skip a formal meeting this year.
Our thinking is that we thought the open-air option was too risky given our variable weather conditions and holding the meeting indoors – even if deferred to the autumn – would still be constrained by COVID distancing measures.
Members of the current Steering Group are willing to stay on until next spring which is very helpful and maintains continuity as we move into a new phase of activities.
We have published our annual report –here’s another link to it – and we are aiming to produce a series of short videos explaining our work this year and our future plans. So, to bring back a tired old cliché I’m fond of using…. Watch this space!
If you have any queries or concerns about this decision, please get in touch as we are keen to ensure we fully reflect and properly represent the wishes of our members. But we feel this is the best solution in response to the current pandemic.
3. Workshop corner
Steering Group officers have attended a couple of workshops over the last couple of weeks. Both relate to the masterplan commissioned by the Toton Delivery Board, the body chaired by Notts CC but which includes Broxtowe councillors and officers. The masterplan covers the whole of the Strategic Location for Growth including Chetwynd Barracks.
The first workshop was with the consultants (Arup and Mott MacDonald) who wanted to sound us out with their initial thoughts. Whilst there were positive elements in it (our green corridors were included which was good to see), there were other parts that we felt needed modifications, in particular our ideas for a ‘plaza’ neighbourhood shopping area next to the Memorial Garden. We have asked for a follow-up workshop where we can explain our ideas for the site in more detail.
The second workshop was hosted by Cllr David Watts, the chair of Broxtowe Council’s Planning Committee, and comprised a number of councillors from both Broxtowe and Erewash. The prime focus was transport connectivity in the area and covered cars, public transport along with active transport (cycling and walking). This was the first of a series of meetings and we were asked to contribute our thoughts and ideas. A report will be sent to the Toton Delivery Board in mid-August so weekly meetings are planned for the next few weeks.
We understand there are further council working groups being set up: one examining the environment and the other, jobs and economy. We are looking to see if we can contribute to those groups as well.
4. And finally…
SG strategy workshop. At our meeting last week, the SG agreed to hold our own internal workshop to pin down our focus for the next few months. I’ve mentioned previously we’re looking at designating some green spaces and applying for some Tree Protection Orders (TPOs) but we thought it best to properly prioritise our activities and assess workload capacity rather than rush headlong into an uncoordinated number of tasks. We’re aiming to hold the workshop in early August.
A final note on the Plan. I know I said I wouldn’t mention the Plan again, and I won’t – apart from saying that it is such an important document, we thought it useful to keep a permanent link to it in these updates. So you’ll see another line at the bottom each time which provides a link to the Plan (and its subsets) from our website.
After last week’s historic – and lengthy – announcement, this edition is much shorter. The Steering Group’s focus is starting to switch to new activities but before I start reporting on those matters in earnest, I just need to properly finish last week’s edition.
1. The Plan – disaggregated
Our Neighbourhood Plan is a lengthy document (over 100 pages) and we know it is difficult to absorb it all in one chunk. So, in response to some feedback, we have split-up the Plan into its component sections. All sections contain the introductory pages to provide context. We hope you find them easier to read, digest and download!
CTTC Plan Section C: Guidelines and Aspirations. This is the new section we created to clearly state the overall shape we’d like to see implemented in future designs and masterplans for our Area. Some ideas are guidelines that we believe are realistic and should be incorporated; other ideas are more aspirational which, whilst desirable, are, by their very nature, difficult to be mandated as ‘must have’ features.
CTTC Plan Section D: Plan Policies. This section gets down to the nitty-gritty of the Plan. It spells out our policies that are realistic and achievable and we fully expect them to be adhered to by developers.
CTTC Plan Section E: The Appendices. This section contains details of our green and heritage assets, as well as a glossary and our evidence base – which contains links to the documents used to justify and back up our policies
2. The Plan – some (overdue) plaudits
Producing the Plan involved a lot of effort by a lot of people and whist it is invidious to name names (because I’m bound to miss some out), let me say:
A huge thank-you to all residents and friends of the Forum who have taken part in our various, multiple consultation sessions. The Plan would not be formed without your participation and ongoing support.
Another huge thank-you to everyone on the Steering Group: Richard, Ian W, David, Denise, Helen, Ian C, Katie, Margaret, Mark, Norman, Pamela, Steve and Teresa.
Thanks also to Forum members co-opted to help produce the Plan either via the Barrack subgroup, or policy workshop groups or in proof-reading the draft documents: Anderson, Christine, Chris & Karen, DeVonne, Jim, and Owen.
Another thank-you to past membersof the Steering Group all of which played a role in getting us to this stage: Ben, Colin, Julia, Maurice, and Nicola.
3. And finally…
Some quick details of a couple of activities we are working on:
A subgroup of the SG held a meeting (via zoom) with Broxtowe Council who asked us to flesh out our ideas for our Green Corridors – especially the one along the southern boundary of the Strategic Location for Growth (SLG) i.e. the back of Cleve Avenue and Katharine Drive. We emphasised the importance that this corridor needs to be a significant width and designed primarily for wildlife and be used to connect Toton Fields LNR to Hobgoblin Wood in the Barracks. The council agree to take away our views and incorporate them into a draft masterplan for the SLG.
The University of Nottingham have also been in touch with us to provide ‘visioning’ input to some work they have been commissioned to produce in relation to the SLG – and in particular the Innovation Campus with a focus on Biodiversity. We will learn more as we get deeper into this project so expect further updates in future editions.
Our deferred AGM. We know we need to organise one as soon as practicable. A digest reader suggested we might consider holding an outdoor event (with a PA system) as this will help with social distancing. However, with the latest social distancing 1 metre+ rule being introduced in July, it may be possible to think about an indoor event with chairs being suitably spaced. Either way, this will be a topic at out next SG meeting.
That’s all folks for this week and an end of mentions of the Plan for a while. But a quick, final ‘thank-you’ to those who sent complimentary emails as a result of last week’s edition publishing the revised Plan. See you next time – which may be a couple of weeks – with more details of our next set of activities.
Kind regards Graham
Broxtowe Lotto: tickets available from our CTTC Forum page where you’ll also find details of the scheme
This week will go down in the annals of the Neighbourhood Forum as being truly momentous! During the week, the Forum reached and passed one of its most critical milestones. This was the week that saw the deed done!
And in case you haven’t yet figured out what the hyperbole is all about: the Steering Group met last week and signed off our revised Neighbourhood Plan. It was then submitted to the Council on Thursday 18th when we asked them to take it through the remaining 3 stages to adoption.
It has taken us a little over 3 years, since we were designated, to reach this stage. To put some context around this: we were the 9th (out of 10) organisations to be designated by the Council to produce a Plan. Yet we are only the 3rd group (following Nuthall and Awsworth) to actually reach this point and submit a Plan. Furthermore we produced it and delivered it to the Council in less time than it took the other two – despite the complexity and scale of development facing our Area, which stretches far beyond the scope of any of the other groups. So, the Steering Group is feeling both mightily pleased and mightily relieved that the deed has finally been done since producing the Plan is the core raison d’etre of the Forum.
Anyway, you are no doubt impatient for me cut the waffle and get to the details: the 4 key documents that made up our submission.
1. The Neighbourhood Plan
Here is the link to the Plan – the prime document. It contains a total of 43 policies spread over 6 core themes: environment, infrastructure, housing & sustainability, urban design, leisure & heritage, and employment & business.
It is a large document at 86 pages + a further 30 pages of appendices. It needs to be this sort of length in order to provide the compelling reasons (backed by evidence) that justifies our policies.
These policies are designed to deliver our core objectives and vision for the Area. Some policies have changed as a result of the consultation we carried out last summer. However, the changes have helped strengthen and ensure they are credible and robust.
The main change to the Plan is that we have significantly amended the section that was dedicated to Chetwynd Barracks. As reported previously, this section caused some confusion to stakeholders who felt it was full of additional policies. Whereas it was designed to provide details of guidelines (and aspirations) for the masterplanners when they produced their ideas for the Barracks.
So, in response we have broadened the scope of our guidelines and aspirations to cover the whole Area and we relabelled the section to make crystal clear its purpose.
2. The Consultation Statement
Here is the link to this Statement. This document demonstrates the depth of engagement we have undertaken with you and everyone who lives and works in our Area. The independent examiner needs to be assured that the Plan truly reflects the ambitions and aspirations of the community.
The document is 30 pages, which sounds a lot, but in fact around half the document comprises images of:
posters and flyers we used to advertise consultation events
attendees at events
adverts in local free papers and
extracts from these digests
The Statement starts from the very first consultations we held and it’s worth a read, even though I say so myself. Overall, it provides a lovely potted history of our activities over the last 3 and a bit years.
3. The Basic Conditions Statement
Here is the link to this Statement. This document is, quite frankly, as dull as the dullest document can be. It comprises 25 pages, mostly in two large repetitive tables, and not a single photo or image to relieve the tedium. I only recommend it is read by the most severe sufferers of insomnia. It is an expanded version of Appendix III in the Plan and even that, at 6 pages, feels overlong!
However, this Statement is a mandatory requirement (no “ifs”; no “buts”) and demonstrates that the policies in our Plan align to the policies contained in:
the National Planning Policy Framework
the Aligned Core Strategy (the high-level strategic planning document that covers several boroughs in Nottinghamshire, including Broxtowe)
the Local Plan Part 2 of Broxtowe Borough Council.
This document will be scrutinised by the examiner to make sure our Plan adheres to these national and local planning documents.
It will also be closely scrutinised developers who will search for and exploit any weakness they can find. Which is why we have spent more time than we care to admit in checking and rechecking to make sure this document is tight and fireproof.
4. The Plan Modifications
Here is the link to the Modifications document. This is another hefty document at almost 60 pages. Again, it mostly comprises 2 tables (duplicated several times) with no photos or images. This document lists the feedback (from last summer’s consultation) we have taken to either:
modify the Plan, where the comments helped improve/strengthen the document; or
where we noted the comments as useful and valid, but where we decided no changes were needed.
The document demonstrates to you, our residents, the examiner and developers that we have listened to the feedback from last summer and modified our Plan accordingly.
It’s not particularly ‘readable’ as you really need to have both the old and new versions of the Plan available to see the context of the changes made. I imagine the examiner will take a selection of changes documented here to check they have been implemented in the revised Plan.
The document, however, clearly shows the scale of the modifications we made to the Plan over the last 6 months or so. It is listed in the Consultation Statement’s Appendix, where you will find links to a number of other documents you may find interesting – not least a full list of all comments made by all responders to the consultation. All responses have been anonymised (first name or initials only) to protect personal data.
This edition is probably the longest one ever, but I’m sure you understand these are important documents and that – as a package – they represent the culmination of over 3 years’ work by the Steering Group. It has been a long haul and taken a lot of effort but the Steering Group knows it has all been worthwhile and, as a result, we have a robust Plan that reflects the determination of the community to ensure it has a strong voice in shaping the future of Toton and Chilwell.
And since this is such a long read, I shall quickly sto…..
Kind regards Graham
Broxtowe Lotto: tickets available from our CTTC Forum page where you’ll also find details of the scheme
Before we get into the nitty gritty of this week’s edition, let me welcome new readers to the digest! Given the importance of last week’s ‘Access to Toton’ report I thought it useful to share it to a wider audience, so I posted a short article about it to a number of local Facebook sites; the two main ones being Beeston Updated and Long Eaton Community Group. It is fair to say it generated a lot of interest. Most of the comments were about HS2 itself rather than the report’s proposals – the supporting infrastructure. Nevertheless, it generated a lot of ‘likes’ to our Facebook page as well as a good number of people who signed up to the digest. A warm welcome to you all. See below for a follow-up piece to the report that may be of interest. But before that, more regular updates.
1. Annual Report and Accounts 2019
This report is well overdue. It was due to be presented at our AGM in March but has been delayed due to our focus on getting the Plan and associated documents finished. Anyway, enough excuses – here is a link to the Report. Main activities undertaken last year are:
Produced the Neighbourhood Plan last July after almost 2 ½ year’s work
Undertook a 10-week consultation period between July and September
Received almost 120 separate representations in response to the consultation (a figure that I still find staggering)
Started work on revising the Plan in response to the feedback received.
The accounts still need to be independently examined. However, it was a fairly quiet year from a financial perspective. Key figures are:
Funds at the start of 2019: £10,465
Total income: £4,086 (biggest donation: £2,300 Broxtowe Borough Council)
Total expenditure: £11,846 (biggest expense: £7,002 Plan consultants)
Funds at the end of 2019: £2,705
If you have any comments or queries about the report/accounts, please get in touch and I’ll be glad to provide further explanation
2. The Plan
I’m pleased to report that we have now received the feedback from the Council following their informal review of our final version. The comments were constructive, and the overall tone was favourable “…the Forum have done an immense amount of excellent work”.
Specific advice was provided on three of our housing policies, where we had asked for help to make sure the wording was sufficiently robust to pass the independent examination stage. The Steering Group (in particular, Mark, our housing policy strand lead) is now reviewing the comments to see if and how we strengthen our document in the light of this advice.
I’d expect us to quickly come to an agreement on modifications and so we should be in a position to submit our Plan in the next few weeks. (Now, where have you heard that before!)
3. ‘Access to Toton’ – the reprise
Following the large level of interest in the report last week I thought you might be interested in the Access to Toton presentation from the launch event. There were technical problems at the event, so it wasn’t actually broadcast at the time but sent out afterwards.
It’s a short presentation with only 12 slides – and the main map is duplicated a couple of times. It is pretty self-explanatory, showing the scope of the emerging Development Corporation as well as the details of the first phase, which is due to be completed within 10 years.
If you have any queries, please get in touch and we’ll do our best to answer them.
4. COVID-19 links and associated information…
I think we have reached the end line with this section: we have published these links in each edition over the last 11 weeks. Whilst the list initially proved useful (based on the ‘click through’ stats) it is clear there has been a natural drop off. So, this will be the last time and, as before, if you want to keep any links, please save them to your own device. Many thanks
Toton Churches offer support to self-isolating people in Toton. Get in touch via: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0115 946 2357.
Last week’s digest contained tidbits of information. This week we focus on a single topic – the launch of the ‘Access to Toton’ report. The report was published last Thursday and Richard, Ian and myself joined the (virtual) event to hear Sir John Peace, chair of Midlands Connect, introduce the far-reaching proposals to access the new Hub Station at Toton. The main message we took away was the firm intention to deliver a significant chunk of infrastructure to Toton within the next 10 years i.e. well in advance of HS2 services being delivered. The launch was covered in local news reports but in case you missed it…
1. Access to Toton I: the Map
Here is a link to a map of the proposals – in case the image below isn’t very readable. The map has been extracted from the full report, see below for the link.
The map illustrates ambitious plans that is designed to make the Hub Station the epicentre of regional transport infrastructure. It shows not only enhanced east/west links between Derby and Nott’m but also north/south links to/from Mansfield and East Midlands Airport.
The infrastructure covers:
new tramways – Toton Lane to the Station & Long Eaton and then beyond to East Midlands Airport and Derby.
new bus links – primarily a Bus Rapid Transit link between the Station and Derby.
new roads – Long Eaton into the Station.
new rail links to/from a new rail station at East Midlands Airport.
Delivery of these works is split into 3 phases, with the first phase scheduled to be completed by 2030.
The first phase (up to 2030) is the cheapest at £455 million and includes:
Tram extension to the Station/Long Eaton: £115m
Bus Rapid Transit to Derby: £85m
Road access from A6005 (Long Eaton): £15m
Rail connections from Toton to Nott’m/Derby/Leicester: £150m
Rail connections from Toton to Mansfield & Ilkeston (reopen the Maid Marian line to passenger traffic): £85m
Phases 2 & 3 total £2.25 billion and covers the construction of the new rail station at East Midlands Airport as well as new rail lines to/from the Airport and Derby as well as extensions of the tram network to the Airport and Derby.
These figures do not include the costs of building the Station itself. So, the assumption is that HS2 Ltd will pull forward their plans to get the station built in advance of HS2 services going live.
3. Access to Toton III: the Report
Here is a link to the full Access to Toton report. It’s not a long document (20 pages) and is very readable. It is worth having a look to understand the detail since, as mentioned, these are hugely ambitious proposals. The report makes very clear the sheer scale of change coming our way. And this is just the transport infrastructure!
The next step is that Midlands Connect will shortly submit the report to the government along with a request for £4.5 million to fund the next stage – to turn these proposals into detailed designs, engineering solutions and costs for Phase One of the scheme.
Richard was selected (he was the only non-journalist) to ask a question at the launch event and he asked for confirmation that active travel routes (walking, cycling) were going to be fully integrated into the designs for the Station as the report doesn’t cover cycleways or footpaths in any great detail. We were assured the next stage of detailed designs will definitely incorporate active travel routes from nearby communities.
There is a lot to absorb in the report and the Steering Group have yet to fully assess the impacts for our Area and on our Plan. But, rest assured, we will be keeping a close watch and aiming to provide our input to the detailed design phase.
If you would like to read some comments arising from the event, here are links to:
Annual Report and Accounts 2019. I promised last week to publish our 2019 Report. However, given the importance to focus on the Access for Toton report this week, it isn’t appropriate for our report be presented as something of a postscript. So even though it is ready to be published, I’ll hold it over to next week. Another occasion to bate your breath a little longer!
If you have comments/observations about the Access report, please feel free to get in touch either via the website or direct to me and I’ll collate them together. Many thanks
Kind regards Graham
Broxtowe Lotto: tickets available from our CTTC Forum page where you’ll also find details of the scheme