Bramcote Unity Park

Martin Plackett commented on the Bramcote Unity Park Project on this site: Spent an hour today in the library asking questions and listening to a very hard sell. But in principal a concept that is certainly worthy of much consideration.

However a cynic might say ‘it sounds too good to be true and an elaborate scheme to ensure the development of 11 very expensive houses on precious green space for the benefit of the Developer’

The sustainability of a volunteer Charity to manage the project is certainly possible but needs residents/Groups to step forward to take on this large task now and in the future. To set up it will surely need expert in put and maybe management at tax payer cost from both the City and Borough Environment Departments to ensure future continuity.?

The old Golf Club proposed open space being incorporated into the scheme again seems an excellent solution going forward. However the land is currently up for sale and surely therefore its gift to the Charity would need to be negotiated with any new owner/s.

An exciting project upon which I remain open minded and await our Council Representatives and in particular that of their Planners views and recommendations before offering a final personal opinion.

I learnt today that the Japanese knotweed was NOT as I requested it should be included in the deed of sale by the previous owners. The cost of its expert removal would I suggest be six figures.

The Park promoters have replied:

Dear Martin,

Thank you for taking the time to properly study the proposals put forward for the Bramcote Unity Park. A few points which might be useful:

– This land was purchased and will be donated into a Charitably Incorporated Organisation, to which we have invited (and received!) many offers of participation to the Board of Directors. We will be looking for specific qualities within applicants to ensure a high quality with a varied skill base. This CIO will be in receipt of the ongoing maintenance funding for the project at the outset. Although the detailed plans are set out, we hope that the Board of Directors will still be able to guide the fine detail of the initial capital expenditure in the creation of the park.
– With regards to expertise, we have over the last year taken the advice of many consultants from expert ecologists, arboriculturalists, and even employed the services of the Head of Parks and Open Spaces for Westminster Council to advise us on the creation of this park. The old golf course proposed open space is indeed as you say, up for sale and the incoming purchasers are a commercially minded operation who have made it clear that they will not have any interest in the running of a public park, which is why the parkland will be included within our CIO and our board of directors will therefore have the requisite influence over its creation. There is more sensitive information I can gladly give to you in person should you be interested.
– In relation to your last point on the Giant Japanese Knotweed, the private individuals that have purchased the large section of land separating Alexandrina & Sandy Lane LNR were not made aware of this prior to purchase. However expert advice has been sought on its removal, in addition to the variegated angel weed, and the best quote obtained from 3 contractors was £398,000.00. They also confirmed the knotweed would breach the boundaries of the Sandy Lane LNR and private dwelling houses in under 24 months.
– We intend to plant 1072 indigenous trees, many of which are going to be taken from the area of development that will be taking place for the care properties and imported across the Bramcote Unity Park in order that we know they are the correct species and are semi-matures, not simply saplings.

I hope this helps, thank you for your interest and we would be delighted to help further if you’d like to get in touch via the Bramcote Unity Park website.

4 Comments

  1. I work during the week, like a lot of local people so was unable to go to the public event. Why not do it in the evening or weekend?
    You raised similar concerns to mine:
    Gradual encroachment on to existing green space, which we currently already have access to.
    It’s one thing setting up the park and charity organisation, another thing running it on a sustainable basis for the long term – who’s going to maintain the pathways, ponds, beehives, clean and maintain the car park over time?
    What happens when someone wants to build on the golf course again, or add ‘just a few more’ houses etc?
    Also, the local wildlife trusts don’t appear to be aware of the plans, or have had any involvement in them – I’d want to know what they think the impact will be upon the existing nature reserves . The area of land isn’t a very large area (its quite a narrow strip) – can you build 11 houses, with gardens, driveways and services etc. without impact?

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  2. Are there plans ultimately to build more than 11 dwellings? Is the sale of the current number sufficient to create and maintain the unity park into the future?

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  3. Let’s not forget that there are badger setts on this land. Badgers and their habitat are protected. The law prevents building on such land.

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  4. The “proposals” are indeed a “hard sell”, a marketing campaign to sway councillors to approve planning permission for the housing development. Once permission is granted, there is no legal obligation on the developers to back up their promises. It will be granted – in these austerity days no council is going to turn its nose up at a million quid, particularly when gift-wrapped in aspirational promises and topped with a bow of ‘community involvement’. At best, starry-eyed councillors will be swayed by the proposed “gift to the community”, at worst more direct personal incentives will be persuasive. Any regular reader of Private Eye’s Rotten Boroughs column will know very well how cosy council officers and councillors can get with developers, and how lucrative such cosiness often becomes. To paraphrase the old Yorkshire saying: where there’s brass there’s muck. I don’t know how much the 11 “dwellings” will sell for, but an amateur guess would be the thick end of 20 million, so plenty of brass at stake.

    The developers’ marketing men are trying to sell locals and the council the idea that less is more, that a “tiny” part of the land will be taken but the rest will be “gifted” to us in a pretty package. They’ll take land which has been in public use for decades, plonk posh houses on it, and sell us back what remains. Until, that is, they decide in a few years to expand the development. The simple reality is that land which was ours to use will be enclosed and destroyed as a public amenity, to the loss of current and future locals.

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