Weekly digest Oct 21st 2017

This week has seen further activities with both the University and the Toton Local Plan consultation. We have also held a further meeting with the DIO (Defence Infrastructure Organisations), the MoD organisation selling the Barracks.

  1. University project update:
    • This week the graduates have been preparing for Monday’s community consultation taking place at Toton Tesco between 10 -5. Our RCAN consultants provided valuable insights to the group as they put together their questionnaires
    • We’d like to see lots of people to come along & take part in this exercise. The more involvement and input, the greater the impact/validity of the results.
      So please do all you can to visit the store on Monday and take part.
    • Most questions will be short and sweet to avoid delaying you too long, although if you can spare longer (up to an hour?), that will be great as it will allow detailed questions to be asked and in-depth feedback gathered
    • Whilst I’m talking about these in-depth questionnaires, I’d like to say ‘thank you’ to those members who got in touch following last week’s request for volunteers. 13 people offered to take part and 8 were able to attend the interviews held yesterday (Friday) following on from the 5 Steering Group members interviewed earlier in the week. All enjoyed taking part and said it was an interesting exercise.
  2. Local Plan road show reaches Toton:
    • We are now on the home straight with these consultations. Last Wednesday was another miserable, drizzly evening so it was good to see around 15 people come along to have a chat and share with us their views and concerns.
    • Not surprisingly, a lot of the views related to traffic congestion we experience on Stapleford Lane day after day. But we also captured thoughtful comments about possible housing designs & the wildlife corridors we’d like to see on the Toton Lane site. All comments have been collated & added to the growing list here on the website.
    • Our final consultation is back at the Village Hotel on Monday 30th. So if you haven’t been able to make one of the previous events, there is still time to let us know your thoughts. Steffan Saunders (Head of Planning at Broxtowe Council) will be attending to answer queries and we hope to have a draft response prepared for review before formally submitting it to the council later in the week.
  3. DIO meeting:
    • We held our 2nd meeting with the DIO and their Nott’m based consultants JLL Ltd during the week. This followed on from our first meeting back in early July.
    • It is fair to say we were disappointed with the outcome. There was confusion on their side with the DIO and JLL having different expectations from the meeting. One side expected feedback from us concerning documents which the other side had explicitly told us to keep confidential.
    • For our part, we highlighted the ongoing struggle to obtain access to the Barracks to enable us (& the university) to get a better understanding of the layout and consider potential future development
    • Some forthright views were exchanged between us with the upshot being that access has now been agreed for a site visit for us & the university. It was acknowledged we need to improve communications between us so we expect a follow-up meeting in the next few weeks.
    • In the meantime, we know the DIO will submit a response to the Local Plan relating to Chetwynd Barracks; we intend to closely examine their proposals.
  4. And finally…….
    • To incorporate or not to incorporate, that is the question…
      • A small subgroup of the Steering Group (including Ben, our legal counsellor) met with a Forum member experienced in governance to discuss options relating to incorporation. You will recall from previous editions that we have been mulling over the need to incorporate. We think it lends greater credibility & legitimacy when it comes to dealing with some organisations (such as the DIO) as well as increase options when it comes to fundraising.
      • We discussed options of becoming a charity, or a CIC (Community Interest Company), or just a standard Limited Company. There are pros and cons to each. We will summarise our thoughts and formally discuss it at our next full Steering Group. Should that meeting decide incorporation is the best option then we will submit a recommendation at our AGM for members to vote on.
    • An approach from HS2 Ltd
      • We received an invitation during the week from HS2 Ltd to meet with their Engagement and Stakeholder Manager for Notts and Derbys
      • Our previous contacts with HS2 have been via their ‘Growth Partnership’ company, so we welcome the opportunity to establish and develop a direct relationship with the parent organisation. We hope to set something up in the next couple of weeks and plan to start off with a tour of the site.
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