NEWS from your BCP Ward Cllrs. Margaret Phipps and Vanessa Ricketts
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In the last newsletter, we told you that BCP Council had set up a Company, which it owns, called FUTURE PLACES. Margaret is also Chairman of Hurn Parish Council, and has invited James Croker, the Future Places Corporate Engagement Director to the Hurn Parish Assembly to give a short talk about the company and answer questions. We thought it might be of interest to you:
Presentation from “Future Places”
Your Opportunity to ask Questions
Monday 11th April 2022, 7.30pm
Hurn Bridge Sports Club, Avon Causeway, Hurn, BH23 6DY
A bit of background:
The formation of BCP Council in 2019 brought together all the land and property assets of the three previous councils.
In 2021 BCP Council set up Future Places to accelerate development and regeneration across the new BCP Council area. Future Places is funded directly from the BCP budget, which is of course paid for by residents’ council tax. They have already been given £8 million of BCP funds as a working capital loan. Therefore, we believe it is in everyone’s interests to understand what the company is about, and what it is being paid to do in our area. Controversially, two of the Company Directors are the Leader and Deputy Leader of BCP Council.
We know that residents across our Ward value where they live and want to protect the natural environment from over development. This new company will be responsible for bringing forward development across BCP, and initially they have 15 sites earmarked, mostly for residential. However, their remit in the long term, could cover anything at all, including employment sites or promoting leisure proposals if they felt it appropriate. This is an opportunity to ask questions about what is planned for Christchurch and BCP as a whole.
The Planning System
In March we commented on how the BCP planning system is just not working properly for Christchurch. Last time we gave you two examples where Bournemouth and Poole Cllrs. with little local knowledge, had dominated controversial decisions in our Ward. Only 3 of the 15 planning committee members are from Christchurch. We would remind you that a Highcliffe resident has set up a petition seeking a debate at Council for a separate planning committee for Christchurch. You can sign it here:
There are often still long delays in dealing with planning applications and we both receive complaints from applicants and their agents on a regular basis. We always do our best to try to speed up the process.
Knapp Mill Water Treatment Works
There is a current application for the substantial redevelopment of the Knapp Mill waterworks. We understand that the Treatment Works which date back to the 1930s requires major investment to upgrade the infrastructure to modern standards. Full details can be found here:
Last time we told you that despite over 700 objections from residents and environmentalists, a waste incinerator was granted in Hurn by the BCP planning committee. Following a request from an environmental group for the Secretary of State (SoS) to “Call In” the application for scrutiny, we have heard that the SoS has issued an order preventing the Council from granting permission without special authorisation from him, while he considers the matter further. Also, as Ward Cllrs, we have jointly requested that the matter be brought back to the planning committee and reconsidered in the light of a new material consideration which has arisen. That consideration, which was not discussed at all at the committee on 8th March, is that the Government have announced a target to halve landfill and incineration by 2042, which is within the lifetime of the proposed Incinerator. Reducing and halving incineration would mean a reduction of feedstock for incineration, increasing the risk of incineration overcapacity and reducing the justification for the proposal. We await outcomes, and will keep you informed.
Tree Planting has happened!
Finally – success. After requesting the replacement of missing roadside trees in many locations, we are told that planting has been carried out. There were only a few trees which could not be planted as cars were parked across the tree pits, so they were put in at other locations instead. If you have a new tree near you, please water it to help it survive through the summer.
Last year the mowing regime, which trialled some areas being left unmown, meant that many parts of the Ward looked very untidy. We spoke with BCP officers well in advance, and have been assured that a normal mowing sequence will be in operation this year. Therefore, we very much hope that we will not have the same problem as last year.
If you wish to contact us about any issues:
Cllr. Margaret Phipps – firstname.lastname@example.org
– Tel: 01202 478266
Cllr. Vanessa Ricketts – email@example.com
– Tel: 07760 391467