26th March 2015 St. John’s Church Hall 7.30pm
It has been a bit of a roller coaster year for the Forum. Having set out targets at the end of last year’s Annual General Meeting I have to report that progress has been slower than anticipated. The early part of the year progressed well as we developed some of the key policies relating to open space, allotments, and housing. However, as a statutory consultee we were called upon to comment upon the development being proposed by McCarthy and Stone for the Harry J Palmer site adjacent to the roundabouts at the bottom of Dunyeats Road. We had several meetings with representatives from McCarthy and Stone discussing their ideas and our aims for Broadstone. We also met with one of Poole Council’s senior planning officers expressing our concerns over the initial proposals. Several /of our meetings were taken up with discussions and preparing a submission once the application had been submitted. We also organised a drop-in session in Broadstone Library for residents to see the plans and make comment. A planning officer was present. All the views expressed were collated and submitted to the Council with an overwhelming majority opposed to the development as originally proposed. Further consultations led to revisions and a new application was submitted by McCarthy and Stone. Although the Forum did not feel the revisions had gone far enough a number of the pints we had made had been taken on board. As everyone will be aware the application gained approval at committee and we await commencement of construction. Negotiations are ongoing with regard to road improvements to the bottom end of Dunyeats Road. The scheme will contribute a significant sum to Poole’s affordable housing pot though it is unlikely we will see any benefits in Broadstone. In addition McCarthy and Stone have to contribute to the Community Infrastructure Levy and the Neighbourhood Forum could receive approximately £40,000 towards improvements for Broadstone. None of this money will be spent without full community involvement but we would hope it will go towards supporting the implementation of the Neighbourhood Plan itself.
We are now getting back on track with most policies in place, though obviously still in draft form and work has commenced on examining the issues around the Broadway: how can public space be increased and improved? What is the best way to manage the traffic flows and meet the requirements of the Council’s sustainable transport policies? Can anything be done about parking and the Toast Rack? Some of these issues will be addressed in the presentation after the coffee/tea break.
We once again had a stall at the Broadstone Fun Day on Broadstone Recreation ground where we carried out a survey on building design to link in with the discussions on the McCarthy and Stone development.
Perhaps the best news for us was the awarding, just before Christmas, of a £7.000 Government grant to help us progress the Plan. Like all Government grants, there was a strict proviso that the money had to be spent by the end of March. We won’t have a problem with that as it has all been committed. Tonight’s presentation, from our consultants Boyle and Summers will give you an opportunity to see and comment upon a number of options being worked up for the Broadway.
With regard to the future schedule we have currently planned for an information leaflet to be produced by the end of April for printing in early May. This will then go to Royal Mail by 22nd May for distribution throughout the whole of the BH18 post code area for a 6 week public consultation beginning in the first week of June. Access to the consultation document will be via the website which is currently being developed, the Borough of Poole website and Broadstone Library. During the 6 week consultation period we hope to have a number of drop-in sessions at the Library and if at all possible – depending upon finance and terms – we hope to take on an empty shop in the Broadway, assuming one is available.
Finally may I thank everyone who has contributed in any way to the shaping of the Neighbourhood Plan, but especially those who regularly give up their time every month. At the end of the day we are all volunteers who want to see Broadstone flourish as a vibrant and attractive, as well as sustainable, community.