Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum Annual General Meeting St. John’s Church hall 7.30pm 31 March 2016

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.
Chair
Nomination: Mike Brooke (There were no other nominations)
Proposed: Tony Hamilton.
Seconded: David Wenham
Vote carried
Vice Chair
Nomination: Allen Lewis (There were no other nominations)
Proposed: Mike Brooke
Seconded: Tony Hamilton
vote carried
Treasurer
Nomination: Paul Jessup (There were no other nominations)
Proposed: Jonathan Saunders
Seconded: Julia Wenham
Vote carried
Secretary
Nomination: Caroline Bliss (as pro tem)
Proposed: Jonathan Saunders
Seconded: Tony Hamilton
Vote carried
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.

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Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum; Annual Report, 30th March 2017

This last year has been something of a rollercoaster ride, with highs and lows. The year started well. Following the 2016 Annual General Meeting we frantically brought all the Neighbourhood Plan documentation up to date and uploaded to our website www.broadstoneneighbourhood.uk ready for the statutory Regulation 14 consultation. This was scheduled to commence on April 13th and last for 6 weeks, though we extended the deadline slightly to May 31st. The launch of the consultation was accompanied by several press releases, but unfortunately some of the headlines proved to be rather controversial and consequently caused something of a distraction. Several people responded to the headlines and images without any reference to the content of the plan.

We are grateful to Broadstone library for allowing us to display the plans for the whole of the consultation period, during which time Forum members spoke to over a hundred residents. Saturday mornings provided a further opportunity to talk to residents about the plan from our small stall outside Budgens. The level of interest was encouraging and the quality of responses on the completed questionnaires gave us food for thought.

Consultation is an integral part of the neighbourhood planning process. It demonstrates the extent to which residents and businesses are aware of, an involved with, it’s development. The Forum must be able to demonstrate that it has listened to, and responded to, the comments made. The evidence for this is presented in the Consultation Statement. This has the potential of creating a vast amount of work, so we had scheduled the period from June to the end of August for completing any amendments to the plan we felt were necessary. Unfortunately, this is where we experienced a major low point.

Regulation 14 requires us to consult with several statutory bodies. One of these failed to respond by the deadline. In fact, we did not receive a response until the end of September. Without this organisation’s response, it was difficult to move forward in a meaningful way. We had little option but to revise our schedule and cope as best we could with the impacts.

Over the last three months we have, in response to the consultation, been revising the draft plan, and what is on display represents the latest version. This has been forwarded to an independent consultant for a health check. Fortunately, this is a free service as part of the Government support grant we were awarded during 2016. Because the money we received has now been spent, and there is potentially more work to be done prior to submission to the Borough of Poole, we have applied for an additional grant for this coming financial year.

On the positive side, the Forum has been praised by both English Heritage, for its work on the character of Broadstone, and by the Environment Agency for including policies which help address the issues of surface runoff and flood risk in Broadstone. Furthermore, the support for the plan’s policies is extremely high, at around 90%, and is even higher for the principle of developing a masterplan once the plan itself has been “made”.

Once the plan has been submitted to the Borough of Poole it is virtually out of our hands for the remainder of the process. There is a further consultation period, Regulation 15, which is organised by the Borough of Poole, after which all the documents are forwarded to a Government Inspector for examination. If he/she is satisfied, then a referendum has to be held, and provided the yes vote gains over 50% the plan becomes a statutory planning document. It is hoped this can be achieved before the end of this year. We will continue to keep everyone informed of progress through our monthly updates in Broadstone Link.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank committee members for their support and unstinting effort over the last four years, and to thank everyone who has contributed to the plan in any way. Your help, criticisms, supportive comments and advice have been appreciated.

Mike Brooke
Chair, Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum.

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Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum – May

Since our Annual General Meeting at the end of March we have received confirmation that we have been awarded another Government grant. While this is not as much as we had hoped for, it will help us to progress the Neighbourhood Plan through its final stages prior to a referendum. Everyone within the plan area will then have an opportunity to vote for or against the plan. Those who have followed its evolution will know it is not overly ambitious. It does not identify any potential development sites, nor does it propose any changes to the central commercial area. Rather, it sets out policies which focus on the protection of our green spaces and community facilities whilst requiring any new build to be of the highest possible design standards.

The plan, however, does recognise the existence of several issues which need to be addressed if the long-term vision of a safe and welcoming environment is to be achieved. No specific solutions to these issues are proposed, but our consultations with residents and businesses have demonstrated a strong desire for the development of a masterplan for Broadstone. As this is a complex process we recently applied for technical support to help us get started. We have just heard that our application has been successful and that a specialist consultant has been appointed to work with us over the next four months. This will kick start the process and, in doing so, will almost certainly involve public meetings and the opportunity to have your say.

The latest version of the plan, with all its supporting documentation was on display at the Annual General Meeting. A presentation outlined the changes that had been made in response to comments received during the Regulation 14 consultation. A straw poll taken at the end of the meeting indicated a very high level of support for the revised document. However, before the plan can progress to the next stage it must undergo a “Basic Conditions” test which checks that it complies with both the Borough of Poole’s Local Plan and the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework. We have recently appointed an independent consultant to carry out this piece of work but for our own piece of mind we are subjecting the plan to a rigorous health check first. We are expecting this to be completed before the end of April. The Basic Conditions test is scheduled for the middle of May. In the meantime, we are meeting with our support officer at Poole to schedule the remaining steps which culminate in the referendum, hopefully towards the end of this year.

Our meetings, which usually take place on the third Tuesday of each month, will continue. They start at 7.00pm and are open to the public. They are currently held in Broadstone Youth Centre in Moor Road.

Mike Brooke
Chair, Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum.

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Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum – April 2017

If ever there were a process in which the goal posts keep changing, then neighbourhood planning would be it. I referred in last month’s update to some local factors that could impact upon the neighbourhood plan. In addition to Local Government we now have National Government raising potential issues for us.

At Local Government level, Poole Planning Authority has been undertaking a major review of its Local Plan. A key element under discussion was the increase in housing need from 500 new homes per year to over 700. Inevitably some of these will be located in Broadstone, though space for new houses is very limited. Fortunately, our own Housing Needs Assessment is sufficiently up to date to have taken this issue into consideration. As a result, our housing policies also reflect the change while emphasising the need for good and sustainable design. We have also managed to anticipate potential policy changes, especially with regard to the development and location of new flats.

At national level a new Government White Paper has supposedly strengthened the Neighbourhood Planning process and the significance of neighbourhood plans. The Government has removed the expectation that each local planning authority (LPA) should produce a single Local Plan, with the emphasis now placed on more detail being contained in neighbourhood plans. In effect, this means a neighbourhood plan, once approved, will form part of a council’s Local Plan rather than simply being an add-on. Such a move is welcomed.

Proposed changes to the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework highlight the opportunities neighbourhood plans present for identifying and allocating small sites that are suitable for housing, drawing on the knowledge of local communities. The executive discussed this possibility at its last meeting and agreed that, because of the lack of suitable development space, we would not attempt to identify any sites, but rather strengthen the protection of amenity space, wildlife corridors, good design and the preservation of a locality’s essential character. However, we recognise that two sites already have planning permission: The Goods Yard car park (31 flats) and Dunyeats Road (36 sheltered apartments). Work has now started on the latter with completion scheduled for mid-2018.

So, are we simply going around in circles, or are we actually making progress towards the final goal – approval of Broadstone’s Neighbourhood Plan? While it often feels like we are not making any progress it is fair to say that the final milestones are now well in sight. At the time of writing we are about to submit the plan to an independent consultant for a health check and Basic conditions test. If this goes well the plan can then be presented to the Borough of Poole for the Regulation 15 consultation, after which it passes to an independent examiner and finally to referendum. We are hoping this will be a smooth passage and completed before the end of the year. In the meantime, we are organising the Annual General Meeting scheduled for March 30th. This will provide an opportunity for those attending to see the changes made since the Regulation 14 consultation last year.

Mike Brooke
Chair, Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum.

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Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum AGM

The 2017 Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum AGM is on 30th March at 7:30 to 9:30 at St. John’s Church Hall, Macaulay Road, Broadstone. Everyone is welcome.

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Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum – March 2017

In last month’s update I referred to two events that have the potential to impact upon the work of the Neighbourhood Forum at some time in the future. The executive met at the end of January to discuss the implications of both the Council’s vote to support the creation of a super council through the merger of Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch councils, and the confirmation that car parking prices will be increased by 150%.

Whilst the final decision on the formation of a super-council will be made by the Secretary of State, later this year, members of the Forum believed it important that we begin to plan ahead. The likelihood is that there will be no local decision making or accountability and little benefit for Broadstone. The Localism Act of 2011 enables Neighbourhood Forums to convert into Parish Councils if so desired. No decision has been made yet regarding Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum, nor will it be, until we have more information and certainty about the future. Should the time come when a decision needs to be made, we will ensure that it will be in response to the wishes of Broadstone residents, following a period of consultation. In the meantime, it might be interesting to start a discussion, so do come along to our Annual General Meeting on the 30th March at St. John’s Church Hall starting at 7.30pm when we will devote some time to the question: why convert to a Parish Council?
With the hike in car parking charges coming into force on March 1st there are likely to be a number of impacts, some of which could well affect important elements of the Neighbourhood Plan, which is now nearing completion. We could see a 25% fall in the use of the two car parks as people look for a free parking place. This could result in greater demand for the Toast Rack, far more congestion in the Broadway, and overall, a decline in the quality of the immediate environment. In addition, businesses have expressed serious concerns over the possible impact of a reduced footfall. How should the Neighbourhood Forum and the emerging Plan respond to these possible events? The Annual General Meeting will provide an opportunity to explore possible answers, and in doing so, may help us start the master planning process.

The changes to the Neighbourhood Plan that we are having to make following last year’s Regulation 14 consultation are taking a little longer than anticipated but the work is nearly finished. By the time of the Annual General Meeting on Thursday 30th March we hope that not only will the final draft of the plan be on display but also that the Regulation 15 consultation, can be launched. This would be managed by the council and would lay the foundations for inspection and the future referendum.

I hope to see you at our Annual General Meeting on Thursday 30th March at 7.30pm at St. John’s Church Hall, Macaulay Road.

Mike Brooke
Chair, Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum

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Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum – February 2017

When will the plan be ready? is a question I get asked from time to time and it is a very difficult one to answer. I wish I could give a precise date but a number of influences are outside the Forum’s control. These include changes in Government policies, both planning policies and policies relating to Neighbourhood Forums in general. One such planning policy relates to the conversion of office space into residential space. Provided there is no change in overall floor space planning permission is no longer needed for this type of a conversion. Clearly such a policy change can have a significant impact upon a business area such as the Broadway. We have therefore had to review a number of our policies, especially those relating to the economic vitality of the village centre, to ensure they do not conflict with this change.

More recently, in an attempt to make the Neighbourhood Planning process more streamlined, the Government has set a time limit on the final stage, the referendum, which now has to be completed within 56 days of the plan being signed-off by the council. While this is good news, there is no set time frame for the signing-off itself. This is dependent upon the Council’s own work schedules, the nature of the Inspector’s report and the time it takes to make any amendments required by the Inspector.

In addition, the Council may change some of its policies, policies which are outside the planning framework, but which can still impact upon the neighbourhood planning process. One such very recent policy change made by Poole Borough Council relates to the repricing of District car parks, a consequence of which could be increased traffic congestion as car drivers look for on-road spaces rather than pay the higher prices. Also, there could be significant impacts upon the viability of the retail and business centre because of a reduced footfall . As a result, the Forum is now faced with the need to re-evaluate not only the policies relating to economic viability but also re-examine the aspirations we had for Broadstone’s centre. We could be faced with the need to collect more data and re-write some of the text, both of which are time consuming.

Last month’s update expressed a hope that we would be able to publish the revised plan towards the end of January. That is still our aim but there is still another factor to take into consideration. The reorganisation of local government and the proposed merger of Poole with Bournemouth and Christchurch is looking more and more likely to proceed. Poole Borough Council will then have an additional focus which could further delay the completion of our Neighbourhood Plan since all service units will have to undergo major reorganisation to ensure a smooth transition to the new authority. No one knows exactly how this will impact upon our work, but, as with every other extraneous influence that has impacted upon us, we are determined to meet the challenge and deliver a Neighbourhood Plan of high quality before the end of 2017.

Our next Annual General Meeting will take place towards the end of March – date to be confirmed.

Mike Brooke
Chair, Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum.

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Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum – January 2017

Shortly after writing the last update we received the response document from Strategic Planning Services, Borough of Poole. Whilst the comments were wide ranging the general tone of the document was one of support. There are a few changes required to the background text and overall presentation which we are happy to implement. In addition, there is helpful advice about our policies which, if adopted, will ensure our documentation complies with the necessary legal requirements. These recommendations have been discussed at both executive level and with our support officer so that we have been able to pass the work over to our consultants to implement. Once completed, hopefully in early January, the Draft Neighbourhood Plan will be significantly different from the one that went out to consultation. So what changes will you notice?

In terms of presentation some of the maps, for example those showing Broadstone’s historical development will be larger and more closely related to the text. All photographs will be fully labelled and some of the maps will be modified to improve legibility. There will also be some additional maps, including one to show the extent of important wildlife corridors and a proposals map. This latter is of fundamental importance as it identifies all those elements of the plan covered by each individual policy.

There will be fewer policies than previously presented. This reduction reflects several issues. Firstly, partnership working is a process and not subject to planning policy. As such partnership working enables policies to be implemented. It therefore needs to be included within a new section of the plan, namely, Implementation and Monitoring. This section is designed to demonstrate how each of the policies will be implemented as well as assessing the degree to which the desired outcomes are being achieved. The original Policy 2 on partnership working will therefore been deleted.

Secondly, whilst the inclusion of transportation issues is permitted within a Neighbourhood Plan, transportation per se does not form part of planning policy. As a consequence, we will be removing Policy 10 whilst retaining a modified section on Access and Movement which will form part of the masterplanning process.

Thirdly, Policy 14 will also be removed on the basis that this is again a process and so should be referenced within the Implementation and Monitoring Section. However, the principle of developing a masterplan for Broadstone will be retained, especially since it received overwhelming support in the consultation. Changes will be made to the text as well as to the options especially since a number of responses received were concerned with the potential reduction in car parking spaces within the Broadway. It is accepted that this is an issue, but it must be considered within the overall context of the plan and a clearly defined parking strategy.

The remaining policies relating to protection of open spaces, managing housing and design, encouraging a vibrant economy, conserving community assets and promoting sustainability will all see minor adjustments to ensure they can be appropriately applied to the decision-making process.

The revised draft plan will be posted on our website towards the end of January but in the meantime the current version can still be accessed using the following link www.broadstoneneighbourhood.uk/consultation/

Our next AGM is being scheduled for the end of March

Mike Brooke
Chair, Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum

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Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum – December 2016

The executive continues to meet every month even though there is currently little activity. Once again we are waiting for revised responses from Poole Borough Council without which it is not possible to complete the required update of the draft Neighbourhood Plan. This work is necessary in order to comply with legislation and to progress the Plan to the next stage of its development. This delay has caused us a further problem since our latest grant was time limited and should have been used by now. On October 31st we applied for an extension until 31st January and we are pleased that this has been approved. These delays, which have been out of our control, are extremely frustrating for everyone involved, especially since the plan developed by Poole Quays Forum has been progressed by the Borough of Poole with very little delay. Not only has it undergone a successful inspection but is now being recommended to go out to referendum. We do, however, extend our congratulations to Poole Quays Forum and wish them every success.

In the November update it was mentioned that we would be submitting a response to the consultation on the proposed council mergers. This we did. Our comments were based upon numerous conversations with residents who had raised their concerns with us; on discussions during the Council’s road show and at our executive meetings. What follows is a summary of the key points.

  1. We agreed with the focus on cutting out duplication and reducing administrative costs.
  2. We did not agree that it was necessary to replace the existing 9 councils with 2 new councils
  3. Accountability, quality of service, Local identity, access to services and value for money were all regarded as being of equal importance.
  4. We disagreed with all three options presented for the two new councils.
  5. General comments:
  1. the survey was strongly biased in favour of one specific option. Through the text and by discounting the no change option respondents were led inevitably to choose one of the 2 council options.
  2. the public were not given all the available options, for example partnership working, a single unitary council, a combined council. These had been dismissed by council leaders without discussion with all councillors.
  3. Poole residents would face larger council tax increases than residents in other authorities over a 20 year period as a consequence of council tax harmonisation. They would not necessarily experience improved services or additional investment in their area.
  4. With a reduced number of councillors, money would be saved but there would be an increased risk of reduced accessibility and local accountability.
  5. There would be a tendency for power and decision making to be more centralised with a subsequent decline in localism.
  6. Inward investment and economic development would be more likely to be centrally focused with Bournemouth gaining more than Poole. What then for Poole town centre and local centres such as Broadstone?
  7. The whole focus was on finance with no consideration given to other factors such as culture, heritage and local identity, all of which had been raised by residents as being of importance to them.

We await the outcome of the consultation and the councils’ decisions with interest, especially since the response rate appears to be little more than 2%.

Mike Brooke
Chair, Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum

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Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum – November 2016

Congratulations to Poole Quays Forum. Their neighbourhood plan has now been given the green light by a Government Inspector and, subject to a number of small amendments, should soon be going out to a referendum. Our Neighbourhood plan has not yet reached this stage. This is in part due to Poole Council failing to respond to the Regulation 14 consultation for 5 months. We have now received detailed comments from both the Strategic Planning unit and Transportation Services. Overall the Council is very supportive of what we are trying to achieve, and this sits nicely alongside comments from residents and businesses. Our policies relating to protection of open spaces, green corridors and environmental quality have met with overwhelming support, as have our proposed housing policies. However, as always, the devil is in the detail and some changes will have to be made before the final consultation can be undertaken. Some of the changes are quite straight forward, for example, providing more detailed evidence to support Policy 1 – the designation of a Local Green Space in Lytchett Drive. Policy 2, which proposes partnership working, is an operational statement rather than a planning policy. It therefore needs to be reclassified as an objective and relocated in the appropriate part of the document. The wording of a number of the other policies will have to be changed in order to remove ambiguity or risk of unintended consequences.

Following discussions with our support officers they have agreed to re-examine their comments in light of the Inspector’s report on Poole Quays Forum Plan. It is apparent that there are a number of common issues so it is important these are addressed before our Plan is submitted for external inspection.

We still don’t have a revised time frame for the next stages in the production process. However, work hasn’t stopped and our consultants continue to produce additional maps and revisions that remove a number of inconsistencies associated with defining and delineating Broadstone’s Central Area.

Another aspect of the Plan we will have to address is the concept of a Masterplan for Broadstone’s central business area. This gained extremely strong support from those residents who responded to the consultation, but rather like the policy on partnership working it isn’t a specific planning policy. How we deal with this issue has yet to be determined.

The suggestion that the Broadway could be pedestrianised failed to gain significant support. However, the majority of the comments received were based upon newspaper articles and not the Plan Document itself. Nevertheless they represent residents’ views and will be given full consideration before more concrete proposals for the toast rack and central area are developed.

Finally, the Forum will be submitting a response to the proposed council mergers which we hope to reproduce in the next issue.

Mike Brooke
Chair, Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum

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