Let me start by wishing you all a Happy New Year! I think I can still get away with it as it’s not yet halfway through the month. A short’ish update this week to ease us back into the swing of things…
1. Getting the Plan Done – the sequel
- A sub-set of the Steering Group (policy strand leads) held a workshop on Weds to understand the progress made so far by each of us to incorporate changes into the revised Plan. We discussed how best to collate the feedback into a standard format ready for submission to the Council alongside the revised version of the Plan.
- We settled on a format that summarises comments/suggestions into key points and created the actions needed to improve the Plan. We are now collating our work into the new layout.
- The subgroup has agreed to meet each Weds for the next four weeks to ensure we get all text changes completed by early Feb. ready for review and endorsement by the full Steering Group later next month.
2. Meeting updates
- County Council/Arup.
- We met the County Council and their consultants, Arup, shortly before Christmas for an update on the progress made with the strategic masterplan covering the land either side of Toton Lane.
- At this stage, their work is still pretty high level – they showed us a couple of draft scenarios comprising ‘blobs’ of development – similar to stuff we have seen before in the East Midlands Strategic Plan. We were a little disappointed that they weren’t further advanced in their thinking, but this is still (relatively speaking) early days in the process. We explained that we couldn’t accept a proposal to position the prime road down to the HS2 station (assuming it goes ahead) behind George Spencer, thus effectively making the school an island surrounded by roads. Air quality at the school is already poor; this proposal can only make a bad situation even worse.
- We will continue to make the case that the Academy needs to be relocated across Toton Lane. Arup acknowledged the issue and will assess alternative viable scenarios.
- Broxtowe Borough Council.
- We met with the Steffan Saunders last week to provide a regular update on where we are with our Plan. Steffan kindly offered some help (map making expertise) to revise a couple of maps in the plan to make them clearer. We will be taking up this offer in the next couple of weeks. In particular we are keen to clarify the boundaries of the new designated green spaces we’d like to see adopted.
- DIO/Homes England.
- At long last we met with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and Homes England to understand the new partnership that has been formed between them. You will know how frustrated we have been given the many delays since the meeting was first mooted last March.
- Anyway, it was a very useful session as we were introduced to the Homes England team who will be leading on the development of the Barracks. The DIO will retain ownership of the land and so will have overall governance of the site, but Homes England will manage the production of the strategic masterplan and initial planning application. The contract between the two of them was finalised in November so they are still in ‘start-up’ mode.
- Homes England are now working to recruit consultants to undertake the detailed planning work. They expect to appoint consultants around April – there is always a lengthy tender process that government agencies need to follow – so we don’t expect to hear from them again until May. Nevertheless, it was good to meet the new team and we look forward to collaborating with them in the future.
3. And finally…
- The Steering Group will hold its first full meeting of the year in a couple of weeks. The main item on the agenda will be to set a date and plan for our next AGM. Last year we held it in mid-February; this year is likely to be a tad later – perhaps end of Feb or early March, to enable us to properly prepare for it. More on this in future editions.
- Broxtowe Borough Council Leisure Centres. The Council are working on a new Leisure Strategy for the Borough and are asking for our views on what we would like to see regarding sport and leisure. The Forum, as you know, are looking to see a new South Broxtowe Leisure Centre built in our Area somewhere near the tram terminus and, ideally, next to a relocated George Spencer Academy. We also want to ensure the playing fields at the south eastern corner of the Barracks are fully protected and included as an asset for the community. So please take part in the online survey currently being undertaken – here is the link to the website – and support our ideas to improve the provision of leisure and sports facilities in our Area. Many thanks.
Apart from the subgroup workshop, we don’t have much planned for next week so unless something important emerges, I’ll provide the next update in a couple of weeks.
Broxtowe Lotto: tickets available from our CTTC Forum page where you’ll also find details of the scheme.