Decision re Fishpond Cottage

We have kept our readers updated regarding the planning applications for this historic building. To understand the background, and reasons as to why this property is special, see our previous articles.

Barry Johnson, who has been one of the main residents campaigning against the planning application updated us yesterday:

Just to let you know that we lost last night in spite of the huge number of objections from local residents.

The vote was 6 to 5 in favour of the Broxtowe B.C. proposal with two abstaining.  The issue was decided by the two councillors abstaining.

Following on from your suggestion that you could speak to Bramcote residents, there are a lot of local people gutted by this poor planning committee decision. Obtaining and voicing  their opinions through Bramcote Today’s website would be useful to express their feelings.

Councillor Richard MacRae has, helpfully, provided a link to the meeting and advised, “1 :40:25 if you click this link and scroll to the time mentioned you can see the debate which took place this evening.”

Other readers have commented:

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???

Jen Jeffrey

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.

Mike Lyons

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.

Rich Hartman
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18 Comments

  1. Make sure we don’t return the two abstainers at the next election. Who we’re they, by the way, so that I can put them in my black book?

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  2. Hannah, Ian and I were really disappointed by this vote. All three of us, as the borough councillors for the ward, spoke against the application. We were supported in that by one Labour councillor but the other Labour and Conservative councillors played silly devils and allowed this to pass. Apparently the local residents are just anti-development nimbies. That has never been my experience and I think local people were betrayed by some members of the committee on Wednesday.

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  3. Easy to be Dr Hindsight.

    If only our local representatives had worked with local residents and the Borough Council (who own the cottage and site to be developed) well before the Plans submitted last evening were offered to produce a mutually acceptable plan?

    If only someone had proposed a refer back asking the Council to review its plans taking account residents views that might have been accepted by the Committee?

    Sad too that there were two abstentions one I believe a Bramcote representative? If he had opposed then the Chair who voted against would have had the casting vote and the plans would have been rejected.

    All sorry ‘if only’

    Sadly despite valiant efforts by so many (Well done everyone) I cannot offer a solution. But let us hope one can be found to suit both residents and BBC. Maybe our representatives ask the Planners to look again??

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    1. If only 5 of the 6 Conservatives hadn’t voted in favour of the application or abstained! Both Liberal Democrat councillors on the committee voted against. You LibDem councillors have been working with local residents for months on this issue so your criticism is very unfair.

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    2. Martin
      The councillors who abstained were;
      Cllr Philip Owen (Conservative, Nuthall East & Strelley)
      Cllr Jill Owen (Conservative, Nuthall West & Watnall)
      I reiterate, 5 out of the 6 Conservatives on the committee either vote for the application or abstained.
      Steve

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    3. Martin will be well aware that I am the only voting Bramcote councillor on the Planning Committee. He is therefore presumably implying that I am the person who abstained. This is simply not true, I voted against these awful plans. It is disappointing that Martin seem to have leapt on to the fake news bandwagon. I hope he will have the decency to withdraw his allegation publicly. The only people who abstained were two of his Conservative colleagues. If either one of them had voted against rather than abstaining then this application would have been defeated. Listening to them I was left with the strong opinion that at least one Conservative councillor, who has gone out of his way to be insulting about Bramcote residents before, refused to object to this because he doesn’t like Bramcote.

      The ward councillors have worked very hard with local residents. We have had two public meetings with them and have been in regular communication. We have argued strongly about these plans both privately and publicly within the council, but it is not always possible to reach agreement on everything. To suggest otherwise is simply wishful thinking. I note that Martin doesn’t offer any solutions or ways that we can magically produce an agreement where none exists. Equally it is notable that Martin hasn’t even once contacted any of the ward councillors to raise any concerns about this or offer any input. He just seems to be jumping on a bandwagon now. This is disappointing and I hope he will reflect on his comments.

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  4. 2 Conservative councillors abstained following calling the leading group a coalition of chaos. Bramcote councillors have repeatedly expressed our discontent with the plans, publicly and privately. At our insistence the council extended the consultation last year and a combined effort from us and the community saved the cottage from demolition. We made it very clear we would support bungalows or similar independent living accommodation on the plot. We also insisted the council erect a notice board for residents to refer.

    I’ve received numerous emails and contact objecting to the development over the past year or so. I’ve had nothing from Mr Plackett. Yet he’s happy to lay the blame at our door for a decision made by conservative and labour councillors on planning committee. As councillor Watts points out – councillors on planning committee are free to vote whichever way they see fit. I’m sorry we couldn’t convince enough members or the council housing team to change these plans further. It’s disappointing but compared to last summer could have been much worse.

    Some residents have contacted us privately to express gratitude for our efforts. We work hard to represent Bramcote. It’s nice to have that recognised.

    I’m sure this will be raised for discussion on Monday’s CAT meeting. I hope to see many people there.

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  5. I am full of praise as I said in my previous post for all those who have opposed these plans not least our representatives. So again I say well done,

    David as you said Hannah clearly underlined that the Planning Committee is non Party political semi quasi judicial committee members voting according to their own personal conscience/view on any individual planning application. .

    What I do find sad that in today’s posts there are references to how individuals voted or abstained according to their Political Party. may I suggest for political point scoring negating and demeaning the Chair’s fair and correct comments last evening.

    My hindsight comments were yes ‘if only’, a different plan based collectively on residents and Council planners objectives and most importantly SUPPORTED by the Council leadership then a different outcome might have prevailed. Let me reiterate this is a Council owned building and site.

    As A Bramcote born resident I am delighted to repeat my praise for everyone’s valiant efforts in opposing the submitted plans and not lease our representatives for ALL their work on our behalf.

    Is it still possible to seek a review by the Collective Leadership Group of the Council to ‘look again’ at the plans taking into account both residents and the. Councils objectives?? Noting that the Council Leadership had suggested moving the cottage into Bramcote Park to be used as a possible Community Cafe/ facility. A plan which was I believe too costly to take forward.

    No political objective on my part just praise for everyone’s efforts with the hope that all is not lost and a way forward can be found.

    Have a good weekend.

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  6. The conservatives did this, the conservatives didn’t do that; the Lib Dems did the same. He didn’t vote against because he doesn’t like Bramcote. What a strangely contorted world you all live in.

    I’ve said this before but why are we having National Politics down at local level. Perhaps one, or more, of our local representatives would like to answer that question, but I’m not going to hold my breathe.

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    1. No wonder people despair altogether of politicians because they never hear the full story or get to the truth. Our democracy has never in my lifetime been in so much jeopardy with a constant drip drip of fake news from Westminster downwards. Politics is now the art of lying and either getting away with it or blaming someone else when things go wrong.

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  7. A proper Community result Shelter Seekers 5+ vs N.I.M.B.Ys. 0 . A proper use of a valuable Council asset .

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  8. By the time a planning application is made it’s too late to influence meaningfully the proposed development.
    The damage was done earlier and behind the scenes by whichever official in the council drew up these plans, and whichever councillors endorsed those plans for submission as a planning application, whilst failing to have enough regard to local consultation.
    Once the planning application is submitted the planning committee are largely bound by their planning policies and not by public outrage.
    So I suggest any ‘blame’ for the outcome should be levelled at those involved before it ever became a planning application.
    What do our councillors say in response?

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  9. Very difficult to see on zoom all voting. I clearly saw you David and David G vote against. Steve C did not vote but it was not until later I realised he was not a voting Committee member but there as the Vice Chair of the Council. Clearly a mistake but I did question ? my comment in my earlier post.

    I would again reiterate my praise for all those who opposed the plans and not least all our representatives for all their work and efforts to hopefully have rejected the motion before the Committee and certainly I was not offering any critique of your actions David Ian and Hannah.

    I would reiterate the Cottage and the site are owned by BROXTOWE Borough Council.

    I would therefore legitimately ask if the Leadership having mooted the possible moving of the Cottage into Bramcote Park (rejected for cost reasons?) what subsequently the Coalition Leaderships vision and objectives were for the site? Importantly were any such proposals, including the proposed moving of the cottage discussed at a Coalition Group meeting giving BRAMCOTE’S representatives the opportunity for input? If so then one can only presume their proposals/ suggestions were rejected by the Group?

    Going forward my suggestion was to ask the Leadership and ruling Group as Owners of the site to revisit the plans submitted. Asking them to take into account residents strong views, certainly a must if the Group had NOT discussed and approved a vision supported by our hard working Bramcote representatives?

    I have followed the discussions and on line debates and indeed spoken to a number of local residents some I have known for many years and agreeing wholeheartedly with their views it was therefore as suggested I should have been perhaps been involved more directly. Because of those strong and valid objections and hard work much to my surprise and disappointment that the plans were approved and did not believe as an ex Bramcote Ward Councillor my views and thoughts were necessary and add value.

    I would agree with Ian B and reiterate the PARTY political point scoring from ALL sides is to be deployed. It does nothing nothing but ‘turn off’ the voting public and underline their sadly negative views of some politicians. Many if not most Councillors it should be noted work hard to represent their constituents and do not deserve such critique. I would reiterate the Planning Committee is Non Party Political , members voting individually and unbiased on each planning application. Referencing members by their Party and therefore implying it was a political decision is/was quite wrong and I would ask that correspondents reflect on their comments and retract their implied assertions and desist from such point scoring in the future It does them no credit.

    Perhaps my suggestions of the Owners of the site and Council Leadership revisiting the plans are not technically possible but I would hope our Representatives at least think it’s worth a try,!!

    For my part these and previous posts are completely personal with no a party political motives. My only wish is to ensure a mutually agreeable development for residents and Council alike.

    Good wishes,

    Martin P

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    1. How much is the site worth in today’s money? I viewed the cottage in the 1970s with the intention of purchasing it but it proved unsuitable for our family.

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  10. For the record I would repeat that in my first post I was only ASKING IF our representatives had the opportunity to discuss with the Council ruling Group their and residents views on developing the site WELL BEFORE the plans that were submitted to the Committee last week. As I and others believe it should have been??
    This was certainly no critique of all the hard work and meetings with residents etc by our representatives opposing the plans submitted to the Committee.

    I cannot disagree with Rich Hartmans views on who might be to blame and a response to his and my questions together with the possibilities of a ‘revisit’ by the Borough Council site owners would be possible?

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  11. Delighted to hear at tonight’s Bramcote’s CAT Meeting that our Borough Councillors are to press for a revised plan that hopefully will be to the satisfaction of both the owners of the cottage and site BBC, and residents alike.

    We learnt also that our Councillor’s did have the opportunity well BEFORE the plans were developed and brought to the Committee last week to raise with their Coalition Leadership ideas/vision for the site but were apparently overruled by the majority of Coalition members.

    Clearly any BLAME for the plans being approved lie solely with the Coalition Leadership/Group for not taking account of our local Councillors strong views. If those views had been successfully heard what time, effort heartache and energy would have been saved.

    We can only trust that the same Coalition Leadership/Group can be NOW persuaded to revise the plans with all the extra costs.

    IF only Bramcote’s early views had been accepted
    and wish our Councillors well in their endeavours

    By all accounts they may have their work ‘cut out’ and I am not holding my breath. But remain optimistic not least for the 185 petitioners and all those who have worked so hard for a satisfactory to all outcome.

    Thank you too for an excellent informed meeting.

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    1. We have HOMES . Is it a Christian act to deny that opportunity to others because it seems inconvenient ?

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