“Where do I begin, to tell the story of….” Sorry, a cheesy opening this week, but I’m very pleased / relieved / thankful to announce the Plan is indeed (almost) finished! It has taken a set of four workshops over the last 8 weeks or so to refine and polish the document, but that is now complete. The final piece of work, currently underway, is to correct the remaining typos, find the aberrant apostrophes, and fix those flagrantly footloose full stops
1. Plan’s Progress: the finale.
- I shouldn’t really say this, but we are pleased with the document. The Steering Group members (and many others) have put in an extraordinary amount of work over the last couple of years to: consult with you and the wider community, undertake the research, derive the policies, justify them with evidence and write up the results.
- It is a hefty document stretching to just over 100 pages. Given the scale of development we expect over the next 20+ years, it was inevitably going to be large to capture the detail needed to pass muster at the examination stage.
- The next step – with the typos cleared and some final artwork produced – is that the Steering Group will sign off the final version at its next meeting on the 11th.
- After that we will look to quickly publish the document, produce a short summary leaflet that contains the key elements and then – most importantly – to consult widely with you and all residents in the Area to ensure the Plan reflects both your concerns and aspirations.
- We also need to consult with statutory organisations (e.g. Environment Agency) and other stakeholders such as landowners and affected businesses. We’ll be getting in touch with them separately.
2. Project timeline reset.
- We have sketched out a new timeline for the remaining steps we need to go through before the Plan is formally ‘made’ and adopted by the Council. I say ‘sketched’ as we need to run these revisions past the council. They will play a big part in setting the schedule for significant elements of the remaining tasks.
- The immediate next steps for us are to:
- Publish the Plan – by the end of this month.
- Launch our pre-submission consultation phase – early July.
(This must be for a min. 6 weeks however, given we are coming into peak holiday season, we are thinking of extending it to 8 weeks in total. More on this after the Steering Group have discussed and agreed our approach.)
- Host consultation sessions (5 or 6 likely) – July/August.
- Collate/analyse feedback and improve Plan as necessary – early September.
- Formally submit the Plan to the council – mid September.
- Once submitted to the council it could well take another 6 months for the council to run their consultation, then the external examination phase, followed by the referendum process. So…..
- When we have met with the council and agreed a schedule, I’ll let you have firmer details of the timeframe.
3. Local Plan Part 2 Modifications
- Another reason for us to extend our consultation phase is that the council are busy this summer finalising their Local Plan Part 2. I won’t rehearse the history of this Plan – regular readers know it very well – but the council are currently undertaking a further (and final) consultation on the modifications to the Local Plan arising from the examination sessions held last winter.
- Once this phase is over, the council hopes to finalise the Plan and get it formally approved by full council in September. Therefore, their prime focus over the next 12 weeks or so will be their Plan rather than ours.
- The Forum will be taking part in this consultation and will provide feedback to the council by the July 9 deadline. Once we have considered the impact of modifications in our Area, we may want to host a session with you before drafting and submitting our formal response. Watch this space.
- In the meantime, if you are interested in reviewing the consultation documentation, here is a link to the key document: the Main Modifications Schedule. This links to the associated Modifications Sustainability addendum. And here is a link to a response form if you want to submit your own individual feedback directly to the Council. More information about this consultation can be found on our website’s home page – scroll down a little.
4. And finally…..
- Meeting the East Midlands Development Corporation. Our chairman, Richard Hutchinson, was invited to a meeting with Sir John Peace (chairman of the new Dev Corp.) organised by Anna Soubry. You may have seen the article about the meeting in Anna’s weekly newsletter but if you missed it, here is a link. We’d like to thank Anna and her office for organising this meeting and inviting us to join her. It is important the Forum plays its part in shaping future development and we intend to build on this initial meeting with Sir John and his team.
- New Council administration. Following the local elections there is the new administration in control of the council. As a result, we have invited Cllrs Pat Lally and Richard MacRae (the chair and vice chair of the Jobs and Economy committee) to a meeting so we can introduce them to our work. The committee has direct responsibility for overseeing development in our Area, so we are pleased they quickly agreed to come along, and we are just coordinating diaries. To be honest Cllr Lally has been a long-standing ‘friend’ of the Forum and has been receiving our updates for some time, so he is already very familiar with our thoughts and ideas.
- Moves afoot in the Barracks. We are aware that some contractors have been working recently on the security fence on the western side of the Barracks. This has involved installing a new access gate as well as assuring the security of the sterile strip. It seems clear that this part of the Barracks is being prepared for early sale to developers in 2021, so not too far away. Some further preparatory work may be in the offing, such as the felling of some trees. We will be writing to the Council to see what protection can be given to all the trees located on the Barracks, but in particular in this section, whilst it is still ‘crown’ land. We’ll let you know the outcome.
Okay, a fairly lengthy piece this week but, since you’ve had a two-week respite, I hope you don’t mind too much. More next week.
Broxtowe Lotto: tickets available from our CTTC Forum page where you’ll also find details of the scheme.