39.1 The following question has been submitted by Councillor M Radulovic MBE for the Leader of the Council:
"In light of the Chancellor’s statement at the Conservative Party Conference regarding the development of the HS2 Hub at Toton, would the Leader provide a detailed update of the proposals?”
The Leader responded that at the Conservative party conference the Chancellor announced £2 million to support the development of a locally led delivery body for Toton to support a study into how best to redevelop the area around the station to ensure it maximised the growth opportunities offered by HS2. Currently, little detail was known, but the funding award was positive and should be seen as building on of the work undertaken by a number of partners across the East Midlands to get the best outcomes from the HS2 station. The funding would be administered through the Midland Engine governance arrangements and further updates would be given to the Jobs and Economy Committee as the work developed.
A supplementary question was submitted by Councillor Radulovic which queried whether the delivery body would include all-party representation.The Leader responded that the body would be locally led and would need to show that all groups were working together positively.
39.2 The following question has been submitted by Councillor G Marshall for the Chair of the Leisure and Environment Committee:
“Does the Chairman believe that the cost structure for sports pitches charges across the Borough is fit for purpose?”
The Chair of the Leisure and Environment Committee responded that the sports pitches in the borough were widely used and well maintained. The charges were set with rates for senior teams and concessionary rates for under-18 teams. In the case of football, the charges were reduced further for the more junior teams playing on smaller sized pitches. Charges were approved as part of the Council’s budget setting procedure and were broadly similar to other local authorities in the area. Clubs could apply for VAT exemption on the fees if they met the necessary criteria. Clubs could also apply for grants to assist them with the running of the teams but in the last three financial years there had only been two applications for grants from football clubs using the parks and recreation grounds. The charging system worked and the grant system was the most appropriate way of supporting the clubs. Sports clubs could be made more aware of the opportunities given the limited number of applications in the last three years.
A supplementary question was submitted by Councillor Marshall which queried whether the Council could utilise a matrix model to give more discrimination to those that provided benefits. The Chair replied that this would be considered in conjunction with the welfare of children.
39.3 The following question has been submitted by Councillor D Bagshaw for the Chair of the Jobs and Economy Committee:
“Would the Chair of the Jobs and Economy Committee provide an update for members of this Council on the proposals for the health/housing development on the former Walker Street school site?”
The Chair of the Jobs and Economy Committee responded that the Part 2 Local Plan was amended with the version submitted to the Secretary of State to incorporate 200 new homes, the provision of attractive and usable walking and cycling links through the site. The retention of ‘the Canyons’ as open space, the enhancement of Green Infrastructure corridors through the site including enhancing the wildlife corridor to the rear of houses on Garden Road and connect to the wider area via the D H Lawrence heritage trail, ensurance that development did not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere, the provision of SuDS at the northern edge of the site. Maintainence of views of the D H Lawrence heritage from Walker Street as part of the D H Lawrence heritage trail, the redevelopment of Lynncroft Primary school on Walker Street site frontage, and the provision of a one acre site at the south west corner of the site for a new community hub including a health facility.
The key development aspirations were to mitigate highways impact on the wider road network to ensure that congestion is not made worse than currently exists and to provide vehicular access points from Lynncroft and from Wellington Place with the potential to extend this into the remainder of the site.
This policy position followed discussions with planners, Broxtowe Borough Council and the officer colleagues at the County Council, a number of site visits with a view to obtaining cross party support to bring this site forward. The Local Plan examination was due to start on 4 December 2018 and this would set an up to date policy framework. A total of £20,000 had been secured to address the access issues and County Council colleagues had been successful in securing a further £1m of a separate funding pot, which would lead to the submission of a planning application in the next few months.
The timetable of housing provision included the 200 homes proposed on this site to be built over four years, between 2019-20 and 2023-24. This would make a good contribution to meeting the Council’s housing requirements and the funding streams and policy position improved the likelihood of this site coming forward as anticipated.
A supplementary question was submitted by Councillor Bagshaw which expressed concern at the potential for intolerable traffic in the Lynncroft area. The Chair responded that it was not desirable to congest the area and this was the reason for further consideration.