1. Welcome: Mike Brooke, chair, welcomed all attendees (70) to the meeting.
2. Apologies: Simon Merry, Alan Gerring, Paul Jessup, Annette Brooke.
3. Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 2015: were agreed as a true record and were signed by the chair, Mike Brooke
4. Matters arising: none
5. Chair’s Annual Report: Previous bids for Government funding had been successful and there was a further opportunity in the coming year for an additional bid. The area-wide consultation that had taken place during the summer of 2015 had seen an excellent response with much attention focused on the options for the Toast-Rack. However, at the request of the Borough of Poole, the Forum agreed to hold a second consultation once all the required documentation was in place. This would fulfil requirements of Regulation 14.
The results of the consultation showed extremely strong support for the vision, its objectives, and the five main themes – Protection of green space, housing issues, economic vitality, access and movement, and sustainability. There was, however, little unanimity regarding the options for the toast rack with the proposal most favoured by residents was least liked by the Borough of Poole’s Planning and Transportation Services. Further work would therefore be needed to see if this issue could be resolved. Once all the amendments to the draft plan had been made the second consultation could take place, but it was not possible to give a precise date for this. The importance of the consultation process was stressed. Without it, and the evidence that the Forum had responded to comments, it would not be possible to proceed to inspection and referendum. The underlying purpose of neighbourhood planning is to give local communities a greater say in the planning decision making process, especially with regard to building design.
To oppose all housing and development is not an option. Broadstone will have to take a share of Poole’s need for 10,000+ homes. Our own professionally produced Housing Needs Assessment recognises a significant need for more housing in Broadstone, and many respondents to the consultation also stressed the need, especially for affordable housing. The issue revolves around Exactly where should these houses be built. 72% of Broadstone is protected land whilst the remaining 28% is already built on. There are very few sites available for any significant development consequently an increase in density appears to be the only option. There are currently applications for flats over Irene’s shop, the local dentist and the dry cleaners. There is also an outline application for flats above Santander bank.
The housing policies in the plan are designed to manage such development as effectively as possible and to achieve building of excellent design quality where possible.
Work has been ongoing since the last consultation and all the required information for the commencement of the Regulation 14 consultation will be on the website within a fortnight. This will trigger the commencement of the statutory six week consultation period, expected to run from 13th April to 31st May.
6. Treasurer’s Report: the treasurer presented the accounts for the year. Reference was made to the receipt of £500 from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), which paid for the 5,000 leaflets distributed to every property within the plan area.
CIL contributions were explained: any new build has to pay a contribution towards a community’s infrastructure. A Neighbourhood Forum is entitled to 15% of the sum paid. This increased to 25% on adoption of a neighbourhood plan. It was noted that the Forum currently has access to £7604. The accounts were approved and signed.
7. Election of Officers: for election of the chair, Allen Lewis, as vice-chair took over the meeting.
Nomination: Mike Brooke (There were no other nominations)
Proposed: Tony Hamilton.
Seconded: David Wenham
Nomination: Allen Lewis (There were no other nominations)
Proposed: Mike Brooke
Seconded: Tony Hamilton
Nomination: Paul Jessup (There were no other nominations)
Proposed: Jonathan Saunders
Seconded: Julia Wenham
Nomination: Caroline Bliss (as pro tem)
Proposed: Jonathan Saunders
Seconded: Tony Hamilton
Committee: all other members elected en bloc. David Wenham, Julia Wenham, Tony Hamilton, Alan Gerring, Tim Young, Jonathan Saunders, Parris Bliss, Jane Wilson, Pat Talbot, David Sumner, Ingrid Sumner.
8. AOB: Geoffrey Daulman highlighted his interest in volunteering opportunities and asked to be included on the Forum’s email distribution list.
9. Canon Nigel Lloyd: gave an outline of future plans for St Johns Church in relation to opening up of the Dunyeats Road frontage and invited all comments and suggestions for the use of the space.
To end the first half of the meeting, the chair invited all attendees to review the information on display during refreshments.
10. Presentation: The chair introduced the presentation by setting out the main principles of the draft plan and then introduced Richard Summers, (Boyle and Summers Consultants) who outlined the revised plan and the main policies.
At the time Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum was designated by Poole Borough Council, the plan area had to coincide with Broadstone’s ward boundary. However, the Forum had made provision for residents in neighbouring wards with a BH18 post code to be included in the consultation process.
The plan has been developed using key historical elements and landmarks as its baseline, while the policies on housing, open spaces etc. have evolved out of numerous consultation events, to reflect the views of residents. The vision statement summarises the plans intent, making Broadstone a better place to live and work, while the policies provide the mechanism through which the key objectives may be achieved.
Green space policies concentrate upon Local Green Space Designation for an area of Lytchett Drive, and protection of wildlife corridors important for biodiversity and wildlife movement.
Housing policies focus on managing increasing density, especially in a zone that is within 5 minutes walking distance of the centre. Restricting building height is specified although Poole Planning Committee have now set a precedent that will allow 4 storeys within the central area. The policies also promote the need for high quality design and retention of local character.
Most planning applications for Broadstone are for extensions, and where applicable policies address the issue of building materials, design and preservation of adequate amenity space. Appropriate surfacing materials have to be considered to ensure adequate surface drainage and reduced run-off flood risk.
Access and movement – the plan is looking at ways to integrate access routes and improve connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists. Government policy requires these are given higher priority in any development schemes or transportation improvements. Issues of safety and accident risk can be addressed through improvement of public realm.
Enhancing a vibrant economy. Policies in this section have been designed to Broadstone’s businesses and retail space especially. Conversion of offices to residential can improve economic viability but can also have unintended consequences.
Richard Summers explained the significance of the 5 minutes (400 metres) walking zone, which created a central area for development of 1 and 2 bedroom properties, and an outer zone for 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses. He qualified this by adding that any development also has to comply with specific policy criteria which ensures quality design and conservation of both public and private amenity space.
Richard also explained how a master plan would set out what the village centre could look like as a result of public realm improvements. Shared space and pedestrian prioritisation was just one of several possibilities. If the plan gains approval then further discussions would take place with residents, business, and land owners as part of the master-planning process. Richard also emphasised that no specific proposals were being put forward because the principle of developing a masterplan would require public support before formally embarking upon the process.
Questions: Members of the public asked
i) if the car park adjacent to the library could be a multi storey?
Response: it is an option but more likely to receive objections from residents than the one on station approach.
ii) has this image (of the Broadway) been costed?
Response: no, not yet, because it is not a proposal , just one of several ideas.
iii) On the preferred option, what will happen to through traffic?
Response: that it will still be there as the road has not been pedestrianised. It’s a high category road on the Borough of Poole’s transport plan but road traffic would still be controlled. Through traffic was important for passing trade.
iv) Has any thought been given to getting from the Station Approach car park to the Broadway?
Reply: yes. It would need to be enhanced and some way of dealing with the crossing and roundabout identified. For instance, metal barriers could be removed and traffic speeds be reduced to improve the crossing facility.
v) Will conditions relating to planning permission be removed e.g parking spaces for flats?
Answer: In the central zone, possibly, as cars would not be encouraged, but outside this zone it could be beneficial to vary the number of spaces required, which is not the case at the present.
vi) How will parking on the street be prevented when a resident’s drive is empty?
Response: This is being looked at but most likely solution is double yellow lines.
vii) How will parallel parking be managed as this slows the traffic?
Response: parallel parking does slow the traffic down and this is an advantage.
viii) has consultation with the bus companies taken place?
Reply: Yes. A representative from Morebus has attended a Forum meeting and raised no issues with the options presented. Subsequently we have received helpful correspondence.
ix) The document makes no reference to security, so is any form of monitoring going to be put in place to assess the effectiveness?
Response: security is not mentioned so perhaps this does need to be reviewed. Ongoing monitoring will be necessary to ensure the polices are being applied effectively.
x) How will the master plan and subsequent development of the preferred option be paid for?
Reply: the preferred option is not yet a proposal. If any of the options is finally adopted then the Borough of Poole Transportation Services would be responsible for developing the details of the scheme and costings. Funding could come from a variety of sources including Government, CIL money, and private investment. The process would allow input from residents.
xi) how do we ensure that business rates imposed by the authority do not force shops closures?
Reply: The Government sets business rates, the Local Authority merely collects them on behalf of the Government. It is the level of rent and nature of leases that impact more on viability of individual businesses.
Meeting closed at 9.50pm
These minutes will be posted on the Forum website at the earliest opportunity, once approved.