Weekly digest: Nov 17

Hello again

Wow! What a momentous week! And no, I’m not talking about Brexit (you’ll be glad to know). No, what I am talking about are the 3 Forum events that have taken up virtually all our time this week.

  1. HS2@Toton: Greenwood Centre, next Sat 24th from 1pm
    • This is our final ‘call to action’. We are hosting an event at the Greenwood Centre to explain the latest information from HS2. We’ve been out leafletting every house to the west of Stapleford Lane to encourage nearby residents who will be most affected to come along. If you live elsewhere, here is a link to the flyer for info.
    • Next Saturday isn’t really a consultation exercise: more an information share of HS2 proposals. We have identified some major issues /concerns and we want to explain them to you. We also want to listen to your views. Have we captured your key issues about the Hub station?
    • Our ‘call to action’ is for you to respond personally to HS2 with your thoughts and views. The Forum will submit its own response, based on all the views we’ve gathered. BUT feedback is much more effective – i.e. HS2 will more likely listen – if the community submit personal feedback
    • Here is a link to, in our view, the Top Ten facts and issues we’ve captured so far. Please come along next Saturday and we will be glad to explain our concerns in more detail. We’ll be providing a link to the HS2 feedback site in a future digest.
    • To save a search for links from previous digests here are 3 important documents:
      1. Non-technical summary (includes Hub Station) [1.4MB]
      2. Maps – Toton only. [19MB]
      3. Community Area report Ratcliffe to Long Eaton, inc. Toton. [9.2MB]
    • Unfortunately, HS2 personnel decided not to attend on Saturday but we have been supplied with a small number of maps and reports that can be viewed on the day.
      See you next week.
  2. Garden Communities Bid
    • As promised last time, here is a link to the final version of the application made by Broxtowe Council to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government. The submission was finally completed on Tuesday (the deadline had been extended)
    • It was great to receive strong letters of support from Anna Soubry (as mentioned last week) but also from a host of key stakeholders inc Notts County Council, Derbys County Council, and Erewash Borough Council. The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) also supplied a supporting letter which was very welcome given they had expressed a number of reservations at a meeting to discuss the bid.
    • The bid is to designate Chetwynd Barracks as a ‘garden village’ and provide government support for us to develop the site quickly and in a way that meets both ours and council objectives. It is a strong application and, if successful, it will prove to be a game changer for the Forum and our area. Fingers crossed.
  3. Local Plan Part 2: Examination hearings are nigh
    • The Council’s Local Plan Part 2 has reached the ‘end game’ stage. It is with an Independent Examiner to review and take final submissions from stakeholders before being approved and adopted. This is when landowners and developers (mostly) plead their case to build more/less houses on this patch of land, or to include/exclude that patch of land in the overall allocation.
    • Our own plea is that the Local Plan needs to clearly define the widths of green infrastructure corridors. At the moment it merely states that the width of green corridors should be ‘significant’. Our view is that ‘significant’ is too vague a term and is wide open to interpretation. It will almost certainly let developers off the hook and allow them to squeeze the widths of corridors to build more or bigger houses.
    • We must, simply must, make space for nature! So, we will be going in front of the Examiner and asking her to get the council to sharpen up the terminology in the Plan. Our preference is a statement along the lines of: ‘green corridors must be 50 meters wide for 80% of the length’ or something similar.
    • Okay, ‘making space for nature’ is a particular passion of mine. To be fair, the council is sympathetic to this view. However, their argument is that putting any sort of figure – whether it is 5 or 50 meters – risks making the Plan ‘unsafe’ and open to challenge by developers. Hence the reason for making our case to the Examiner (in early December) in the hope of getting a definitive view.
    • I’ll climb down off my soap box now in case I’m boring you. But if you’d like to see the hearing statements we’ve presented to the Examiner, let me know. I haven’t provided a link here as our statement needs to be read alongside 3 or 4 other documents to make sense of it.
  4. And finally…..
    • No too many ‘And finallys….’ this week so I’ll quickly note:
      1. We are meeting the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) next week to discuss our approach to these Local Plan examination hearings. They are attending a couple of sessions since they are a significant landowner.
      2. Richard is also attending a Strategic Planning Group meeting next week to discuss progress with the Toton Lane site. In particular the Housing Infrastructure Bid being is being put together to improve road infrastructure around Bardills Island/A52 and access to HS2 Hub Station

And that’s it for this week.  Apart from, that is, Brexit. But don’t get me started on that! In my view I think they need to…….

Hope to see you next Saturday afternoon at the Greenwood Centre.

Kind regards

Broxtowe Lotto: tickets available from our CTTC Forum page where you’ll also find details of the scheme.

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