Fishpond Cottage Update

Following on from our 8 May update, Barry and Helena Johnson have received 143 signatures of local residents who object to the Broxtowe B.C. latest proposal for Fishpond Cottage. Barry said, “We feel sure that some of these are due to seeing it on the Bramcote Today website.”

They have now shared their email sent to Broxtowe Borough Council earlier today:

Dear Councillor,

We write to you as a Broxtowe B.C. Councillor or as an Appointed Councillor on the Broxtowe B.C. Planning Committee who on 2nd June will discuss Application Number 21/00038/REG3 in respect of Fishpond Cottage.

The Fishpond Cottage proposal has caused considerable concern amongst local residents not only in respect of the proposal itself but in the way the Broxtowe B.C. have administerively mishandled and poorly communicated this proposal with the local community.

Todate, we have received the signatures from 143 (one hundred and forty three) local residents who are concerned about Fishpond Cottage and say they wish to object to the latest proposal (See document attached which has been distributed locally – ‘Fishpond Cottage Blank Signature Form’).  More signatures are still coming in. The signatures will be sent to Mrs Sue Heron at the Broxtowe B.C. prior to the meeting on 2nd June.

The signatures were obtained after consulting with local residents within an area approximately of a 400 metre semi-circle radius based on Fishpond Cottage on the west side of Ilkeston Road.  A number of local people responded in detail and their concerns are summarised in the attached document (‘Summary of collated comments from local residents – 25.05.21‘). The Chief Executive Report to the Planning Committee meeting on 2nd June mentions some of these concerns but not sufficient to show the strength of feeling and real concern expressed by local residents.

The Chief Executive Report also states that, “It appears from the consultation process that some nearby residents have been lobbied by an unknown person or persons to object and mis-information in respect of tenancy may have been given.”  We would like to state that no one, to our knowledge, has been lobbied or coersed into objecting to the latest proposal and all signatures obtained have been given freely through the efforts of a team of communiy minded residents who delivered them to each property with an explanatory front cover (see document attached ‘Fishpond Cottage Front‘).   The author of the unsigned and incorrect letter that was previously delivered by someone to a small number of local residents was unfortunate and is unknown.  Generally Bramcote residents naturally disassociate themselves from this kind of rogue behaviour.

Broxtowe BC’s mismanagement and poor communication on this planning proposal is most likely to have given rise to any distrust of the Council’s intentions.  Several residents have made individual official complaints about the poor performance by the Council and these have now entered Stage 2 of the Broxtowe B.C. Complaint Procedure.  It is no surprise that residents are appalled by the Council’s poor performance which has exacerbated local anger and given rise to any ill informed rumours.

Local residents feel that the asset of Fishpond Cottage could be more valuably used to enhance the local area.  Some residents consider it should be used as a Bramcote Cultural Heritage Centre (and perhaps include Stapleford), and as a complementary facility to the cafeteria and toilets now under consideration for Bramcote Hills Park.  Bramcote Cricket Club, which was started in 1858  at about same time as Fishpond Cottage was built,  is close by on the other side of Ilkeston Road,  and may also consider it a useful addition to their existing facilities.

Why the urgency?  Broxtowe BC is now rushing this issue through planning yet it has been aware of the Fishpond Cottage situation for about 5 years since being left unoccupied after Mrs Smith, the last resident vacated.  Whilst living there she spent a considerable sum of money and effort improving the property and it was in reasonable order when she left.  Since then the Council has made no effort to prevent deterioration of the property and grounds.

The Council should now allow more time to provide a proper detailed feasibility study so that Fishpond Cottage and its heritage can be preserved for future generations. We trust the Council will give utmost consideration to the local residents views.

Yours sincerely,

Barry & Helena Johnson    (on behalf of Objecting Local Residents)

6 Comments

  1. Barry has updated us today:
    “We have had more signatures returned yesterday; It now is 180. It has been an enormous response from local residents who live close by Fishpond Cottage Councillor Hannah land will represent our interests at the hearing tonight.”

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  2. I watched the live meeting tonight. Kim did an amazing job of representing our community but despite this and 180 opposition signatures, the planning Committee have passed the plans. Surely there is something we can do???

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    1. 1. Start a legal challenge in the courts if there is evidence the council has made a manifestly unreasonable decision (go see a lawyer and dig deep into your wallet); there is a time limit on bringing action, I think it is six weeks from the decision.
      2. Buy the land off the council at its development value (dig deep into your wallet).

      Bottom line is councils have diminishing assets even though council tax continues to rise, land is a valuable asset worth more with a planning consent. The council is only doing what many landowners would do.
      And yet the council must have spare funds somewhere as it wants to buy back former council houses (the ones sold off years ago under the right-to-buy disgrace) to increase its social housing stock.

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  3. A disappointing outcome. Clearly a public authority has to balance the public interest of the provision of 3 houses and two apartments with the interests of a significant number of local residents who raised concerns/objections. I believe a compromise was possible, but this was not it.
    I would like to thank the local councillors who voiced their concerns and opposition to the proposal in the meeting on behalf of those residents.

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