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.
More next time.