It’s good to be back! I mentioned last time that I was taking a couple of weeks off to ensure our Neighbourhood Plan was finished by the end of March. It’s now three weeks later and I bet you are all thirsting(!) for an update. Did he or didn’t he cross the finishing line? Well, you’ll be glad to know that he did cross the line and the Plan is finished. Well, almost. As near as makes no difference! Read on…..
1. Plan’s Progress: Current situation.
- The Plan has been written! The text is pretty much in place and all the key policies have been drafted. The items outstanding are:
- A couple of appendices need completing – a Glossary and a Policy Summary.
- Some maps need refining to accurately illustrate the ideas for new green corridors, cycle routes and roads.
- More pictures will help illustrate the text and aid understanding
- And the last couple of policies relating to business need fleshing out.
- So…. most of the donkey work is done. At the moment, the Plan is under review by the Steering Group. As you might expect there is a fair bit of pruning, polishing, and proof-reading needed to make sure the document is as strong as possible.
- We have set aside 2 dates in late April to finalise and sign-off the Plan.
2. Plan’s Progress: Looking forward…
- Once the Steering Group approves the Plan there are a number of steps needed before it ‘comes into force’ i.e. formally adopted. In summary these are:
- A 6-week pre-submission consultation: with you and everyone else who lives, works or run businesses in our Area. We’ll also consult with statutory bodies such as the County Council, the Environment Agency, and local landowners. Modifications will likely take place following this exercise
- Submit the modified Plan to Broxtowe Borough Council. The Council then undertake a further 6-week long publicity period. This allows any other interested parties (e.g. nearby parish/town/Borough councils) to make written representations about the Plan. Any representations received will be passed to the….
- Independent Examiner. who undertakes the next step. The examination is to ensure the Plan conforms to requirements set out by law such as: national planning policy, sustainable development; strategic policy for the whole area etc. Following the examination, Broxtowe Council may recommend modifications before finally arranging for a…
- Referendum. where everyone on the electoral register in our Area (Toton & Chilwell Meadows and Chilwell West) will be entitled to vote. If more than 50% of those voting, vote ‘yes’, then the Council is required to bring the plan into force.
- As you can see, it may well take until September before our Plan is ‘made’ i.e. part of the statutory Development Plan for the Area which influences decisions in granting planning permissions.
- So, there remains a long’ish road to travel! However, getting the Plan written ‘ticks off’ a significant milestone and we’re all feeling pretty chuffed about that.
- Of course, we’ll keep you updated on next steps – not least the first 6-week consultation period. This will likely take place in mid-May/June when it is important for you to review and provide your suggestions to improve the Plan
3. ….and a quick glance back
- The Steering Group have reviewed the draft minutes from our AGM back in February. If you missed out on the meeting and want to see what went on, here is a link
- Whilst I’m talking about the AGM, you’ll be pleased to know we have had our annual accounts independently examined and came through with a clean bill of health. We’re awaiting the final report of the examiner but once that is received, I’ll publish the accounts here and put them on our website.
- A couple of meetings have also taken place over the last few weeks:
- Notts County Council leader. We asked to meet the Council’s leader Cllr Kay Cutts, who also chairs the Toton Delivery Board, as we believe the Forum should be directly represented on the Board. However, the outcome was disappointing. Cllr Cutts is adamantly opposed to the Forum sitting on the Board. She believes the local community is adequately represented on the Board by elected councillors. We disagree with this view and argued that we provide significant insights over and above that of the councillors. Unfortunately, Cllr Cutts would not be swayed so as long as she remains in charge of the Board, there is little more we can do. We are asking to have copies of the Board’s agendas and minutes but so far, they have not been made available. We’ll continue to press to have sight of them.
- Strategic Planning Group. We are a member of this working group whose prime purpose is to provide decision papers for the Delivery Board. The Group met a couple of weeks ago and the main output was to review the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) bid – which is asking the government for £26.5 million to fund new road infrastructure on the A52 near Bardill’s Island. Full details of the bid were published in the Nottingham Post here
4. And finally…..
- HS2 meeting. We also met with Paul Mullins from HS2 Ltd last week for a regular update. Paul informed us that they are still reviewing feedback from the last round of consultations before Christmas and it is likely the next round of consultations will take place this summer. We are meeting Paul again towards the end of April, when we hope to learn more about the main themes arising from the feedback and the impact for us on Toton Sidings.
- Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) meeting. The DIO have been in touch requesting a meeting in early May. They have recently set-up a formal partnership with Homes England (the govt body charged with accelerating delivery of new homes) and want us to meet with them to talk about plans for the Barracks. More on this when we have a date fixed.
- Toton Sidings – from Canal to HS2. Bramcote History Group are holding a talk on the Sidings on Monday 15th April. Details are here if you are interested in coming along.
- Motorbikes on Toton Fields. The Council have been in touch with us saying they have received a number of complaints about unauthorised motorbike activity on the reserve/sidings. These complaints have been forwarded to County Hall Rights of Way team to resolve. County Hall believe that putting up barriers is unlikely to solve the problem, so they are arranging to erect a number of ‘Section 34’ signs at key access points to the reserve, especially at the Greenwood Centre. Here is a map with the location of the signs.
A long edition this week as there is a fair amount to report, so hope you’ve managed to make it to the end. More next week and I’ll make sure to cut it back to a more reasonable length.
Broxtowe Lotto: tickets available from our CTTC Forum page where you’ll also find details of the scheme.