Chetwynd Barracks – The beginning of the end?

Hello again,

I have received the following from the builders, William Davis:

“ The Sewer CCTV survey and jetting works should commence on Monday next week and take approximately a week to complete. After this the company requires a few days to compile the report for us.

Once we have the report, we will be able to meet with a representative from Severn Trent Water to discuss any remedials that may be required to the Sewer pipes and also carry out a manhole inspection to check for any defects in these that will also need to be rectified.”

I think I would have preferred a “will commence” but let’s be positive and hope that this work starts on Monday heralding the beginning of all the work to complete the development. William Davis are paying for this work to be done as there is still no formal agreement between the various builders. There is however optimism that an agreement will be reached shortly and the funds will then be released. MEETING ON NOVEMBER 19 I am meeting all the relevant parties on November 19th thanks to the efforts of the Chief Exec. Ruth Hyde, at Broxtowe Borough Council. Ideally I would hope an agreement has been reached and there is nothing standing in the way now of the work being completed. If there are stumbling blocks I want to know what they are and how they are going to be removed. Perhaps most importantly we want a start date and a completion date.

It is also an opportunity for me to raise matters brought to my attention by residents. I know there are complaints about unfinished landscaping, fencing that has not been completed, damage to vehicles from the un-made roads and wrongly spelt street signs! We wont have the time to raise every matter but it is an opportunity for me to start the process and certainly hand over complaints from residents which I will then follow up.

Please send me any matter you wish me to raise with any of the builders. Please email me at anna.soubry.mp@parliament.uk

PUBLIC OPEN SPACE / SCHOOL SITE 

I think most residents are pleased to see the grass cut and the area in general tidied up. The Borough Council is examining possible site contamination which I raised with the Environment Agency following the residents meeting.

The land next to the park area or Public Open Space (POS) was part of the original agreement with Cofton to provide community facilities. This is standard stuff; when a developer or builder obtains planning permission for a substantial housing development they are obliged by law to give back some asset to residents. These agreements typically require a builder to provide a park or cycle ways or community centre and they provide that money is set aside from the outset to pay for the facility. The “Section 106” on your development included the POS and money in the event it was thought there was a need for a school. If it was decided there was no such need then the money could be used to benefit other local schools.

The result was that the land was “reserved” in 2003 by Notts County Council as a site for a school as it was then thought the Ministry of Defence may well place a significant number of families at the barracks. In fact they MoD didn’t and the last administration at County Hall took the same view as the current administration (which is why it’s a bit silly of people to play party politics with this!) that a new school was not needed. The money set aside by Cofton as part of the s.106 agreement was spent in 2005-6 on improvements to Alderman Pounder and Eskdale Junior Schools. The County Council “option” expires in February of next year and they are set not to take it up. The land therefore returns to Broxtowe Borough Council who have to sell it back to Cofton for £1 or rather to the administrators of the company. There were some very odd ideas going around about what then should happen! As you know Cofton is administration and therefore the administrators have to sell the land to raise money to settle Cofton’s debts. The land is a sizeable and therefore valuable chunk and whoever buys it will more than likely have to enter into a new s.106 agreement with Broxtowe Borough Council if they want to build houses on the land. I hope residents will have the opportunity to make a real input into that process (unlike the past) and look to obtaining a community asset. However, that is some time away though it does bring me on to this…..

RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION/GROUP 

Please bear with Jon Henderson who has been exceptionally busy at work. He promises me he will contact everyone who has emailed him to organise a get together very soon.

CHANGING THE LAW? 

One of my colleagues Justin Tomlison MP, approached me about a longstanding problem with a development in his constituency which he had first started work on as a Councillor. Justin obtained leave to introduce a “ten minute rule” bill and asked for my support and for my help with the detail of s.38 and s.106 agreements. What we want is for local authorities to have the power to stop people living in new developments having to wait years before their roads, pavements and street lights are made good. We believe builders should put up a fund at the beginning of the build which can be used to make an area up to a decent standard from the outset. You can read more by clicking on

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm101027/deb…

What we have achieved is alerting the Housing Minister to the problem and we are working with him to make sure situations like the one you’ve experienced, don’t happen again!