Weekly digest: June 27

Hello again

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 A: Past and Present.  This section provides the background to our Area and sets out the key characteristics that help define out surroundings
    • CTTC Plan Section B: A Vision for the Future. This section outlines the scale of development facing us and documents our core objectives and vision which arose from our consultation sessions.
    • 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 members of 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

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Weekly digest: June 20

Hello everyone,

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

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Weekly digest: June 06

Hello again,

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…

And finally…
Nope, no space this week for closing snippets – so see you next time.

Kind regards
Graham

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

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Weekly digest: May 30

Hello everyone,

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.

2. Access to Toton II: the Costs

  • Here is a link to a breakdown of the costs of these proposals – a total of £2.7 billion.
  • 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:

4. COVID-19 links and associated information…

5. And finally…

  • 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

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Weekly digest: May 23

Hello again,

This week’s edition has a number of snippets of information. I was hoping to have fresh news about the Plan, but I’m afraid it’s another ‘watch this space’ note. Our chairman, Richard, had a conversation early last week with the council planners to discuss their progress, but the outcome was that they are still finalising their response and we now expect to receive it by the end of the coming week (Fri 29th). This is disappointing but, as I’m sure we all appreciate, the council have had much more pressing priorities to deal with over the last few weeks.  
Anyway, onto the more productive snippets

1. Next Steps for the Forum

  • The Steering Group met a couple of weeks ago – our first since February – and we started to think about activities we could pursue once the Plan has been submitted. A couple of ideas quickly emerged:
    • Designating green spaces. A key environmental policy in the Plan is to protect a number of our green spaces by ensuring they are awarded a ‘designated’ status. There is nothing to stop us from kicking off the process to work towards this, so we’ve agreed to speak to the council to understand how best to proceed.
    • Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs). Linked to the above, we also want to fully review the TPOs in force in our Area and to identify any gaps. The aim is to protect as many of our mature and veteran trees as possible. We’ll be pursuing this aspect with the council as well.
  • Annual Report and Accounts. The 2019 report has been delayed partly due our focus on revising the Plan this spring but also due to the deferral of the AGM where it would have been published. Regardless, the draft report is now written and the accounts produced. It is currently with the Steering Group for review and sign-off. I hope to publish it here next week, although the accounts still need to go through independent examination. 

2. Other meetings past and future

  • The Strategic Planning Group met a couple of weeks ago to discuss progress on the masterplan for the area. This Group, you’ll recall, is the prime feed into the Toton Delivery Board, chaired by Notts County Council. Both the East Midlands Hub Station and Chetwynd Barracks are included in the masterplan. The next phase of the workplan is a series of workshops to flesh out the details. These are being arranged between the consultants and officers from both Notts County and Broxtowe Borough Council. We have also been invited to attend and provide input based on our Plan. The workshops are scheduled to take place during June/July.
  • Homes England/DIO. We have been in touch with Homes England requesting a catch-up meeting, via Zoom or something similar.  We last met with them in January, so it will be useful to understand where they are with their workplan relating to the Barracks. Likewise, we will be updating them on our situation with the Plan and our future activities.

3. COVID-19 links and associated information…

4. And finally… Norman is 90!

  • I want to steal a little space this week to pay tribute to one of our long-standing stalwarts on the Steering Group: Norman Lewis MBE. Norman celebrated his 90th birthday last Friday and it is to his immense credit that he remains as engaged and involved in our work as any of us on the Group. Norman has championed the environmental strand in our Plan and made sure the environment sits at the forefront of all our policies and ambitions for the area.
  • Norman has been involved in the environment all his life starting in 1941 when, aged 11, he took a Saturday job at Hunt’s Roses Nursery off Stapleford Lane (what is now Honiton Close). He was one of the first employees of the Notts Wildlife Trust when it was formed in the early 1960s and stayed with them all his working life. He was integral to the formation of the iconic Attenborough Nature Reserve following which his focus became more local when he became a joint founder member and longstanding chairman of the Friends of Toton Fields LNR.
  • Prior to joining the Steering Group at its inception, Norman was also heavily involved in the Toton Environmental Protection Society, which was set up in response to the desecration of woodland on the Toton Sidings almost 10 years ago.
  • It is difficult to overstate Norman’s passion for the environment and the Forum is very fortunate in being able to call on his unsurpassed knowledge and experience of all matters relating to ecology and the environment.
  • Norman:  you are an inspiration to all of us on the Steering Group. Thank you for all you have done in championing the cause of the environment in our Area and we look forward to your wise counsel in the years to come.

And, that’s all folks this week. See you next time.

Kind regards
Graham

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

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Weekly digest: May 09

Hello everyone,

Another week where there isn’t much to report on Forum matters. There are a couple of meetings taking place next week, but that’s about it for now.  
As for regular COVID-19 links, I’m conscious the number of links has been expanding over the last few weeks. It is perhaps time to prune them down to a core selection of 5 or 6 sites – specifically related to our Area – otherwise there is a danger they could take over!

1. COVID-19 links new and old….

2. And finally…

  • Two meetings are taking place next week:
    • The Steering Group are zooming together on Weds morning to start to think about next steps now that the Plan is completed
    • Strategic Planning Group (Notts CC hosted regional board) are also holding a virtual meeting next week to discuss progress on the masterplan for the Strategic Location for Growth (including, of course, Toton Sidings).
  • Look out for updates on both of these meetings next week as well as, hopefully, feedback from the Council on the Plan. We are chasing for an update when we can expect their observations, but the officers are proving a tad elusive at the moment.

And, that’s all folks for this edition. See you next time.

Kind regards
Graham

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

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Weekly digest: May 02

Hello again,

Well, I was hoping to report positive news on the Plan this week. We expected to receive observations from the Council this week, following their review, but unfortunately nothing arrived. This is, perhaps, understandable given the Council’s total focus on the pandemic and its impacts on local services. So, we’re happy to ‘cut them a bit of slack’ and trust the feedback will be with us shortly.

1. As for us?

  • All our documentation is now finished and polished and ready to be submitted once we get the green light from the Council. As soon as it has been submitted, we will publish all documents here, so you’ll be able to look at it all.
  • As you know, the submission of the Plan is a significant milestone and once it has been passed, we can ‘tick off’ what has been the major objective of the Forum over the last three years. 
  • The Council will then control the process and take it through the final stages, as documented in the digest a couple of weeks ago
  • Of course, we liaise closely with the Council’s Planning team to make sure the process runs as smoothly and as quickly as possible.

2. But, what next for the Steering Group?

  • Having spent pretty much all our time on the Plan over the last 12 months, we are now starting to think about our next set of activities. And a number of tasks are emerging:
    • Admin catchup. Tasks here include: producing and publishing the annual report and accounts for 2019; deciding what to do about our deferred AGM; reviewing and refreshing the content on our website.
    • Stakeholder meetings. We need to resurrect regular contact with key stakeholders. So, we will be looking to arrange meetings with: Homes England/DIO; HS2 Ltd; Peveril Homes Ltd; and local organisations such as local schools and medical practices.
    • Implementing the Plan! There are tasks we can start now to implement the Plan – which may sound silly since it hasn’t been adopted yet. However, a key Environment policy is to get our important green spaces formally designated as a Local Green Space. The Plan identifies 7 candidate sites but the Plan, in itself, cannot confer a designated status on these sites. There is a separate process to be followed and there is no reason why we can’t kick off some work to get them designated.
  • So, plenty of activities to be undertaken. One of the first will be to figure out a way to hold a virtual meeting so the Group can discuss and prioritise activities for the next few months. More on this in future editions.

3. Beware the COVID-19 scammers

  • The number of scammers trying to cash-in on the pandemic is growing fast. I’ve come across a few examples that may be of interest. The core message is to be extra vigilant at the moment, when a lot of us will know of family and/or neighbours who are feeling especially vulnerable.
  • ‘WHO are you?’ This link takes you to a Beeston Mutual Aid Facebook post warning of a phone call – supposedly from WHO (the World Health Organisation) – asking for donations to their emergency fund. Naturally, it was a scam.
  • ‘It’s Notts us!’. I’ve received an email from Notts Alert warning against phone calls purporting to come from Nottinghamshire Council asking for bank details so they can provide social care payments. The Council categorically states: “Please note we would NOT ask for your bank details and these calls are not from the council. You should not provide your bank details over the phone”.
  • TV Licensing. A reader, Jackie S, sent me an email warning against suspicious emails she has received recently “purportedly coming from TV Licensing, and advising that my TV licence is about to expire.” And of course, Jackie’s licence is not due to expire anytime soon, so “I thought it might be useful to let others know about the scam”.  Thanks, Jackie, for the warning.

4. And finally…. One new COVID-19 link + all the regular ones.

And before shutting down this edition, there is growing amount of information being published about next Friday’s VE 75th Anniversary. In case you have missed any of it here are a couple more links to further information:
Broxtowe Council’s VE Day: 75th Anniversary contains ideas to mark the day whilst in lockdown.
Nottingham Post’s 7 ways you can still commemorate VE Day anniversary

Kind regards
Graham

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

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Weekly digest: Apr 25

Hello everyone

A short edition this week. There isn’t much Forum related news so if this was a normal week, I’d probably skip publishing an update. But these are not normal times: these are distinctly strange times. And given we are still in ‘lockdown’, I think it useful to continue to provide signposts to appropriate contacts/websites that connect to relevant support groups and information.  So…

Some regular (albeit re-ordered) COVID-19 links….

There’ll be more Forum news next week, when we expect to hear from the Council with their views on the Plan. Meanwhile we’re very close to finishing the last report – the Plan Modifications – we need before we have the full set of documentation ready for submission.

Kind regards
Graham

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

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Weekly digest: Apr 18

Hello again,

We’re starting off this next century of digests with news about the Forum. This is mainly because I’ve not picked up any useful new links relating to COVID-19. You’ll find the regular links further down this missive with one additional link. However, I want to pick up on a couple of almost throwaway remarks I made at the tail end of last week’s edition.

1. Consultation Statement is done!

  • The Plan is done! The Basic Conditions Statement is done! And now, the Consultation Statement is done as well! (And that’s more than enough exclamatory statements for one edition!)
  • We are still awaiting feedback from the Council following their informal review of the Plan. We expect to hear their suggestions in the next couple of weeks and, following an interim conversation with the planners, it’s looking pretty positive.
  • There is one final document we are working on. This is the Plan Modifications report which details the amendments made to the Plan following all the feedback from last summer. We had thought this was more of a ‘should do’ document added as an appendix to the Consultation Statement, but it turns out to be a ‘must do’ report that needs to be submitted along with all the rest. We have the information, it’s just a question of collating it all together into a standard format. 
  • And then we will be ready to submit the Plan to the Council for the next stage in the process! (Okay, one last “!”)

2. Recap of the Neighbourhood Plan process.

  • After last week’s review of the last 18 months, I thought it useful to have a quick recap on the overall process so you can see where we are on the overall ‘roadmap’. There are five main stages in getting a Plan produced and adopted:
    • Stage 1: Getting Established (Sept ’16 – Mar ’17). This covers the period between our first start-up meeting back in 2016 and becoming formally designated as a Forum with an agreed Neighbourhood Area. Designation gave the Forum the statutory authority to produce a Neighbourhood Plan.
    • Stage 2: Forming the Vision and Core Objectives (Apr ’17 – Mar ’18). This period focused on consulting you and gathering your thoughts on what was good and bad about our area as well as your ambitions and concerns for the future. This period included, during the autumn of 2017, working with University architecture graduates to build illustrative visions. It concluded with the series of 4 community consultation sessions held in the spring of 2018.
    • Stage 3: Producing the Plan (Apr ’18 – Sept ’19). This 18-month period was longer than anticipated mainly because we commissioned three reports from consultants (AECOM) to provide much-needed background character information and the evidence needed to justify policies. The Plan was finally published in July 2019 which was immediately followed by the 10-week formal consultation period to get your feedback along with those of key businesses and landowners.
    • Stage 4:  Revising the Plan (Oct ’19 – Apr ’20). The Steering Group has spent the last 6 months or so analysing the exceptional level of feedback from the consultation and using the comments and suggestions to strengthen the Plan. Associated documents have also been produced to:
      • assure conformity to the National Planning Policy Framework as well as the policies in Broxtowe Council’s Part 2 Local Plan; and
      • assure the level of consultation we have undertaken with you to prove this is a Plan that genuinely reflects the desires and ambitions of the community.
    • Stage 5: Formal Adoption (May ’20 to…..) This period is managed by the Council, once they receive our submission, and comprises three main components:
      • Formal consultation. The Council has to undertake its own consultation exercise on the Plan. This is so that everyone has the opportunity to review the final version.
      • Independent Examination. The Council then commissions an independent examiner to scrutinise the Plan to ensure it conforms to statutory legislation. This examination gives the Plan legal force when it is adopted and so mandates developers to adhere to it.
      • Referendum. The final component is the referendum of all residents in our Area. This is arranged by the Council and ensures the community has the ultimate say on whether the Plan should be formally adopted.
  • We originally anticipated this final phase would take approximately 6 months. However, we learned last week that due to the current pandemic all elections and referendums have been delayed until next May 2021. This is down to the delay to the Mayoral & local authority elections that were scheduled for next month. The delay is incorporated into the emergency legislation passed by the government last month. If you are interested, here is a link to the government guidance relating to neighbourhood planning.
  • This is a blow as we really wanted our Plan to be adopted and come into force this year. There is, however, one redeeming feature contained in the guidance. Councils are advised that where a plan is ready to be sent to referendum, “that plan can be given significant weight in decision-making” where relevant. It’s something I suppose but, even so, it remains hugely frustrating that we are a year away before formal adoption.

3. Regular links….

This is another lengthy edition, so I’ll close even more quickly than las….

Kind regards
Graham

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

Posted in Latest News, Neighbourhood Plan | Leave a comment

Weekly digest: Apr 11

Hello everyone and…

Happy Easter!

This week is doubly special as we have reached another milestone for the Weekly Digest.  100 up! and still going strong. Yes, we have now reached a century of digest editions. These updates started in July 2017 and we passed the half century mark in September 2018. It’s called a ‘Weekly Digest’ but, as long-standing readers know, it’s not turned out to be quite that often. I’ve done a quick calculation and this 100th edition is published exactly 141 weeks after the first one. Which means 2 digests are published every 3 weeks – which ain’t too bad is it? And this milestone has been reached just as we are ready (almost) to submit our Neighbourhood Plan.

Anyway, let’s continue our format from the last couple of weeks and start off with COVID-19 related links.

1. New messages and links….

  • Message from Toton Churches: “Toton Churches have teamed up with Notts County Council Volunteer Hub to offer support to people in Toton who are self-isolating. If you or someone you know needs support, contact 0115 946 2357 or email:  contact@totonchurches.org  We can offer shopping, prescription collection or a listening ear through phone befriending.”
  • Message from Cllr Lee Fletcher: “Broxtowe Borough Council has launched a Council Tax hardship scheme. Those eligible for Council Tax Support could receive up to £300 extra support in 2020/21. They do not need to apply for this additional support, the Council will automatically provide it to those who are eligible.
    • A further £200,000 is available to assist those receiving Council Tax Support if they are struggling to pay their Council Tax. A form is available for people to complete if they wish to make a claim. To apply click through to this Council page: COVID-19 Financial support for individuals
  • Businesses that deliver to your door. Here’s a link to a list of local businesses that will deliver to your door. The list was compiled by St Michael’s Church Bramcote (so credit to them) and is aimed at Bramcote residents. But I expect the businesses will be willing to deliver in our Area as well.
  • BBC Coronavirus Latest Here’s a link to the BBC’s Coronavirus newsletter If you’re interested in receiving this newsletter on a regular basis, you can sign up at the bottom.

2. Regular on-line links….

3. Reflections on the last 18 months

  • In the 50th edition, I summarised the highlights that had taken place since the start of the Forum.  So, I thought you might like another quick glance over the shoulder at the highlights from the 50th to now …
    • Sep ’18: signed up to Broxtowe Lotto scheme which has raised, as at the end of March 2020, a total of £1,368! [Many thanks, again, to our generous supporters for some very welcome funds.]
    • Oct ’18: DIO held 3 consultation sessions demonstrating their ideas for the Barracks.
    • Oct ’18 – Mar ’19: the Forum commissioned two reports and a masterplanning exercise from AECOM and Kefa Designs to provide background information, evidence and illustrations – all needed to strengthen the Plan.
    • Nov ’18: the Forum worked with the Council to develop and submit a Garden Communities bid (for the Barracks) to the government.
    • Nov ’18: we hosted our own unofficial HS2 consultation session at the Greenwood Centre. Around 280 turned up to see HS2’s latest plans for the Hub Station on the Sidings.
    • Dec ’18: members of the Steering Group attended 3 sessions of the Part 2 Local Plan external examination hearings organised by the Council.
    • Dec ‘18: an early draft of our Plan (sections A & B) published via Digest so members & friends could review and provide comments.
    • Feb ’19: our second AGM with almost 250 people attending to view some illustrative masterplans for the Barracks. Once we added the new members to our mailing list, we broke through the 1,000 barrier of people registered with the Forum. It currently stands at almost 1,100!
    • Apr – Jun ’19: draft Plan completed and refined by Steering Group.
    • Jul – Sep ’19: Plan finally published, followed by 10 weeks of formal consultation. Almost 120 people/organisations responded to the exercise with comments and suggestions.
    • Oct ’19 – Mar ’20: undertaking revisions to the Plan based on the overwhelming level of feedback received from the consultation.
    • Mar – Apr ’20: associated documents drafted and the Plan is ready to be formally submitted to the Council!
  • And running all the way through these last 18 months or so has been meetings with key influencers and stakeholders:
    • Anna Soubry (Oct ’18) who has raised a number of questions in Parliament on our behalf;
    • Sir John Peace, Chairman of Midlands Engine (Jun ’19) who is leading the formation of a Development Corporation for the East Midlands;
    • Cllr Milan Radulovic MBE Leader of Broxtowe Council (Oct ’19);
    • and to top it all …. Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing (Jan ’20) – organised by our current MP, Darren Henry;
    • Landowner meetings with: DIO, HS2 Ltd, and Oxalis;
    • And regular quarterly meetings of the Strategic Planning Group to provide our input to initial Hub Station scoping work.
  • Writing down the list brings home the scale of work undertaken over the last 18 months or so which has culminated in the Plan being ready for delivery to the Council – our whole raison d’etre over the last 3 years.

4. And finally…

  • Manor Farm Recreation Ground works. If you’ve been down to the recreation ground in Toton recently, you will have seen construction works being set up. This work is on behalf of Western Power and the objective is to bore two cable ducting tunnels under both the river and the bypass channel between Toton and Long Eaton (specifically between the two Carrfield Avenues). I’m grateful to Norman Lewis, the chairman of Friends of Toton Fields (and a member of our Steering Group) for sending me a document that contains full details of the planned works. If you’re interested, here’s a link to the plans – scroll down to page 17 to see a picture of the works.
  • Consultation Statement. The final document needed by the Forum to accompany our Plan to the Council has now been completed and is currently under review by the Steering Group. More on this next time.

This is a lengthy edition, so I’ve left out some ‘breaking news’ relating to our Neighbourhood Plan referendum. But that can be held over for next time, so I’ll quickly close this week.

Kind regards
Graham

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

Posted in Latest News, Neighbourhood Plan | Leave a comment