On Friday 23rd March the Chairs of North Luffenham and Edith Weston Parish Councils met our MP, Sir Alan Duncan to discuss the Barrack Development programme and our recently published ‘Concerns’ paper. We had a wide-ranging discussion and in particular raised the following issues:
Scale – Proposal to build up to 3,00 homes – compared to the housing requirement noted in the local plan.
Representation – Refusal to allow Parish Councils to be part of the decision making process
Governance – Perception that the project is being ‘driven’ by RCC Executive and MoD rather than elected representatives
Consultation – Perception that the public’s concerns are not being addressed properly by the County Council. RCC.
Buffer Zones – The Need for effective buffer zones between existing villages and the development and the new development and the proposed quarry
Officers’ Mess site – a lost opportunity to build a Hotel and leisure centre to attract inward investment and tourism to the County
Style of affordable homes – Proposal to build 3 storey ‘blocks’ to provide ‘affordable’ homes.
Is RCC, as a public body, the appropriate organisation to manage a huge commercial development such as this. Is it resourced for this type of complex ‘business’?.
Sir Alan was very receptive to our concerns and assured us that he would discuss these with the County Council.
If you have not yet read the Concerns Paper, it is attached:
CONCERNS PAPER V1.1
Tel: 01780 720124 / email@example.com
The development of St George’s Barracks is continuing apace and we now await the publication of a draft Master Plan which will identify what the outline proposals are. Local consultation seems a low priority for RCC and therefore the Parish Council are keen to keep Villagers up to speed with developments. I will be holding the Annual Parish Meeting on 16th April and will ensure that you get a chance to raise your concerns at that meeting. I am meeting Sir Alan Duncan MP tomorrow to discuss the ‘Concerns Paper’ that we published earlier in the week. Meanwhile the following notes help to show the pace of progress.
Yesterday I attended RCC to listen to the Cabinet discussion on the development of the Officers’ Mess site. The relevant discussion paper is attached. It was agreed by Cabinet at that meeting to allocate a sum of £850,000 to enter into negotiations to acquire the site (4 Hectares) by the County Council with an intent to build 70+ homes on that site. The proposal is that the Council will acquire the site and take forward the development outside of the main St George’s project. It was confirmed that at least 30% of these homes would be ‘affordable homes’ which included starter homes. The funding will be required to “develop proposals at The Officers’ Mess up to the point prior to the issue of tenders for the contractor that will deliver the works element of the project.”
Barracks Paper – 5 Mar 18
Today I received the following note from CE RCC:
I am pleased to say that a bid for national funding for investment in infrastructure to support the redevelopment of the St George’s barracks has progressed to the next stage. The bid is primarily designed to ensure that development on the site happens in a sustainable way with the appropriate investment in infrastructure such as roads, transport. schools and healthcare. Speaking after the announcement was made, Rutland County Council Leader Oliver Hemsley said: “The HIF is a new source of funding set up specifically to support local authorities who are planning for sustainable housing growth in their areas.
“We’re clear that any future development on the St George’s site must have the necessary infrastructure needed to support both new and existing communities.”Stage two of the HIF bidding process involves the development of a business case to support the proposal for funding before a final decision on the allocation of funding is made in summer 2018.
Rutland County Council and the Ministry of Defence have been working and will continue to work with local communities as part of the planning for St George’s. Focus group meetings held in January were attended by more than 150 people and local communities will soon be asked share their views about the first draft of a high level master plan for the site.
PBG CUMMINGS Chair NLPC
Tel: 01780 720124
This evening I forwarded the following note to Oliver Hemsley, Leader RCC and Helen Briggs – CEO RCC:
“We write as the Chairs of North Luffenham and Edith Weston Parish Councils.
Please find attached a paper written by the Joint Edith Weston / North Luffenham St George’s Barracks Working Group. The paper is an initial draft of a document that will evolve over time. Its aim is to encompass the concerns of our respective Parishioners regarding the proposed development at St George’s Barracks. We would be grateful if this document could be shared with the team writing the First Draft Master Plan, to enable them to take into account some of the very real concerns and considerations of those that are likely to be most affected by the development. We will circulate the document widely including all County Councillors and all Parish Councils.
We will look forward to your proposed consultation to enable us to expand upon the themes contained within the initial draft paper.
Paul Cummings – Chair North Luffenham Parish Council
Norman Milne – Edith Weston Parish Council
Note to Parishioners:
Please scan the attached paper and let me have your ideas for further issues that should be included in the next draft of the document. Of course at present we have yet to have sight of the initial draft of the Master Plan document that will tell us much more of what is proposed. The Joint Parish Councils’ Working Group have met frequently and have been pressing RCC for further consultation before any Plans are published. This has now been agreed and we will be meeting in the near future.
How can you influence the process ?? Might I suggest that you write to Sir Alan Duncan your MP and to the local papers to express your concern – you might find some useful themes in the Concerns Paper. To start the ball rolling I have written to the Mercury this week expressing our concern about the scale of the project and highlighting the fact that according to RCC’s Local Plan these homes are not required in the period 2016 – 2036.
PBG CUMMINGS – Tel: 720124
CONCERNS PAPER V1.1
The Chairs of North Luffenham and Edith Weston Parish Councils have written to RCC on behalf of our respective communities to express our concern at the proposed scale of the development of St George’s Barracks (1,500 – 3,000 new homes). We commented that the proposal to build a new town, the size of Uppingham, in an area which has hitherto been predominantly rural in nature, had created near unanimous opposition to what is being proposed. We indicated that there is strong support in the local area for a development of no more than 500 houses phased over an extended period. The letter has been released to Local press and a number of radio interviews have been arranged. A copy of our letter is attached:
Development of St George’s Barracks – Mar 18
We have been advised that Rutland County Council’s Cabinet intend to consider a proposal to release £850,000 of funds to support the redevelopment of the Officers’ Mess Site at St George’s Barracks. The full details of the proposal are in the attached document.
Summary of Proposals: The Officers’ Mess site is a 4 Hectare (10 Acre) brownfield site, which is adjacent to, but entirely separate from the Barracks on the South side of Edith Weston Road. The proposal is to build about 70 homes on the site of which at least 30% will be affordable homes. The intent is that Council acquires the site and takes forward the development separately from, and in advance of the full Barracks Development. The Council have committed to consulting with Parish Councils and the Community to understand our ‘ambitions’ for the site and has committed to holding meetings with stakeholder groups to set out their proposals and to understand and mitigate our concerns, which where practicable will be incorporated into the design.
Action by the Community: This development of at least 70 new homes on a high value site overlooking the Chater Valley, is going to have a significant impact upon our village communities and Edith Weston in particular. Bearing in mind that this initiative is to be funded by local authority money, we need to ensure that we ‘hold the Council’s feet to the fire’ and that our concerns are heard. Silence will inevitably be considered as acceptance or at least acquiescence. The Parish Councils of both villages will continue to seek to influence the Council’s decisions and to represent your views.
Please do read the document.
Barracks Paper – 5 Mar 18
Please find attached a progress report from the Joint Edith Weston / North Luffenham Working Group, which explains what the Working Group has been doing to date and what its future tasks are.
At the Focus Group meetings held on 29th Jan we were advised by the County Council that the current proposals would see both a development of 1,500 – 3,000 homes on the Western end (Edith Weston) of the site, and in addition the development of a substantial part of the Eastern (North Luffenham) end of site for the extraction of limestone. The report attached includes a map highlighting the area designated for mineral extraction.
The aim of the Working Group is initially to gather the information necessary to influence the development of the site. The first step in this will be to present a paper highlighting our concerns to the County Council in early March before any decisions are made.
PBG CUMMINGS – Tel: 01780 720124
SGB Update – Feb 18 Meged
RCC have published redacted versions of the Memorandum of Understanding with the MoD regarding the St Georges Barracks development
MoU – Overarchjing Document
MoU – St Georges
These documents outline the structure and responsibilities of the organisation managing the St Georges Barracks redevelopment, the high level aims of the development and the main risks to the project
Letters have been sent out today by email to all those that have expressed a wish to attend the 2 x Focus Group Meetings scheduled to be held on 29th Jan 18. If you have yet to register and wish to attend please send an email to the project email address, confirming that you wish to attend. RCC will then arrange for an invitation to be sent back to you. The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would urge as many as possible to attend to find out what is planned and the impact that it might have on our village.
On Thursday 7th December the Parish Council hosted an open meeting in the Parish Church to discuss the proposed development of St George’s Barracks by a Public / Public Partnership formed by the Ministry of Defence and Rutland County Council. Cllr Cummings explained the rationale for holding the meeting which was to help gauge opinion and to encourage others to join the Working Group, to enable the Parish Council to better understand the Villagers’ concerns and aspirations regarding the development of the site. A summary of the meeting is attached. Further meetings will be held to enable all villagers to express their views. As noted in my previous posting all villagers are urged to contact their local MP to ensure that he is best placed to represent your views: email@example.com
Summary – Mtg 7 Dec 17 V2
The County Council will hold a consultation event for local residents keen to participate in focus groups on 29th Jan in the Officers Mess. Capacity will be 200 or so. There would be 2 x sessions one in the afternoon and one in the evening. Individuals wishing to participate in this consultation event will need to register their interest using the RCC feedback proforma which is available below and should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org . If you have a interest in the long term development of the St George’s Barracks Site I urge you to apply to attend.
Paul Cummings – Chair NLPC
Parish Feedback Form
On Thursday 30th November, The Chair of the Parish Council together with the Chair of Edith Weston Parish Council met with the Chief Executive of Rutland County Council to further discuss the proposals for the development of St George’s Barracks. The record of this meeting is attached.
The issues arising from this meeting and how the Village would wish the Parish Council to respond, will be discussed at the Open Meeting to be held in the Parish Church on Thursday 7th December at 7.30pm.
Mtg Notes – 30 Nov 17 – V2
As previously published, the Parish Council has created a Working Group, whose role will be to work with the Village to identify the key concerns relating to the proposed St George’s Barracks Development. The Group will advise the Parish Council and help to deliver research and feedback. The Group will provide a conduit to Rutland County Council and seek to influence the Project Board’s thinking. The PC Members of the Group are Paul Cummings, Tim Smith and Pete Burrows. Tim Collins has agreed to join the group as an advisor and lead on environmental matters.
To let us properly gauge opinion, it is proposed to hold a public meeting on 7th December at 7.30pm in the Village Church, to enable the Parish Council to understand concerns and aspirations regarding the development of the site. The meeting will also provide an opportunity to identify villagers willing to join the working group to assist in their work.
Last night the Parish Council agreed to create a Working Group, whose role will be to work with the Village to identify the key concerns relating to the proposed St George’s Barracks Development. The Group will advise the Parish Council of village views and concerns and will help to deliver research and feedback. The Group will provide a conduit to Rutland County Council and seek to influence the Project Board’s thinking.
An early action will be to hold a public meeting to enable the Parish Council to understand your concerns and aspirations regarding the development of the site. The meeting will also provide an opportunity to identify villagers willing to join the working group to assist in their work.
Details of the Public Meeting will be published next week.
North Luffenham Parish Council St George’s Barracks Working Group
Tel: 01780 720124
Please find attached Helen Briggs’ (CE RCC) Site Map including Parish Boundaries and the presentation that she made in the School Hall on Thursday 26 Oct 17
RCC St George’s Barracks Web Site
St Georges Barracks with Parishes in colour
St George’s Presentation October 2017
Over 150 people crammed in to the School Hall last evening, 26 Oct 17 to hear Helen Briggs, (CE Rutland County Council) present on the outline proposal for redevelopment of St George’s Barracks.
The presentation was very clear, and though many inevitably felt unhappy with the proposals to build a new ‘Garden Village’ which could be somewhere in the order of new 3,000 homes so very close to both North Luffenham and Edith Weston, it was good to be told in broad detail what was planned and how the project would be run. The top level ‘Master planning’ for the project will begin early in the New Year and the combined North Luffenham and Edith Weston Parish Council team will strive hard to ensure that our voice is heard and that the villages are kept informed of progress throughout.
Thank you to all that attended the meeting and for the excellent and very clear questions that were put to CE RCC. We will add a copy of Helen’s Presentation to the site as soon as it is available. I have attached the initial Question and Answer Brief that was published last month.
St George’s FAQ
Don’t forget that Helen Briggs, the Rutland County Council CEO will be giving a presentation on the proposed developments for St Georges Barracks this evening at 7pm in the School Hall.
The development will inevitably mean a substantial change the nature of our rural village, and so don’t miss out on an opportunity to hear about the proposals directly from RCC, to ask questions and open the debate on the potential impact.
There will be a public meeting in the North Luffenham School Hall on Thursday 26th Oct 17 at 7PM to discuss the proposals for the future development of St George’s Barracks. The meeting will be addressed by Helen Briggs, Chief Executive of Rutland County Council who will discuss the outline proposal and explain how the proposed Partnership with MoD will work.
This is an opportunity to hear at first hand what is proposed and to address the Chief Executive. This initiative will have a significant impact on the village over the next 20 years and I do hope that as many as possible will take the opportunity to hear what is planned and to have an opportunity to help shape the future of the Barracks site, a significant portion of which currently lies within the village boundary.
More background information here:
Future of St George’s Barracks
Should you have any questions or would wish to register questions in advance of the meeting please contact:
Paul Cummings, Parish Council Chair – Tel: 01780 720124 or email@example.com
On 25th Sep Cllrs Cummings and Smith attended a briefing held jointly by Rutland County Council and the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The aim of the meeting was to outline how the County Council and MoD intended to work in Partnership to identify the most appropriate future use of the site in line with the Councils objectives and requirements and to secure the best possible outcome for St George’s site, local communities and the wider county.
The key points raised by the Chief Executive in her introduction were:
- The MoD decided last year that St George’s Barracks would close by 2021 – this decision at present remains extant.
- Since then MoD and RCC have been in active discussions about the possibility of developing a Private/Private Partnership designed to maximize the potential for the site.
- The site was a 300 Hectare Brownfield site with enormous potential in a most favorable position close to A1 / A47, and Rutland Water.
CE RCC identified the shared vision that was being developed. The intent was to create:
- A new ‘Garden village’, – the new village would be well-designed, built to a high quality and attractive to meet local housing needs, including affordable housing.
- A business enterprise zone
- Leisure and recreation facilities
- Minerals extraction
She indicated that this would be a long term project with phased development over 10-15 years. With supporting infrastructure, including roads, Utilities, Broadband etc being put in place prior to development.
The Parish Council have indicated their wish to work closely with MoD and to be able to represent the views of the villagers of North Luffenham. Helen Briggs, the Chief Executive has agreed to come to North Luffenham to present the Council’s vision to the village. Plans are being drawn up to hold this meeting on 25th or 26th October. Further details will be published in due course.
A Question and Answer brief prepared by Rutland County Council is attached.
Q&A Brief – Sep 17
Chair North Luffenham Parish Council