King’s School Building

Nottingham City Council propose to meet a shortage of school places in the Meadows by doubling the size of the Riverside Primary School.
There is now a petition proposing King’s School Building should be used as an annexe to Greenfields Primary, instead.
The issues with this counter proposal are –
• the Kings School building has capacity of approximately 160 children. This would not enable the building to accept full forms of entry (i.e. multiples of 30) or to be able to house 210 children overall, which is the minimal requirement in the Meadows based on our pupil projections
• It would also limit our capacity to offer an attached nursery provision which we are keen to offer with all of our schools wherever possible
• Although the building has classroom space already, a number of these are too small for a full class of 30 children which means the building would need to be extended
• Whilst the building may have worked well for a fee paying independent school, operating with smaller class sizes, it is not appropriate for a 210 place primary school
• the council believes it would cost £500k to £750k to bring the building back in to use. In addition, the site would have to be purchased at a cost of £400k
• a new school on the site would require a full staffing structure with less opportunities for sharing costs and flexibility; we would much prefer to avoid a split site for a school.
There’s a lot more that can be said including why re-opening Dunkirk Primary School in Dunkirk has been an acceptable approach, (most obviously there isn’t an alternative), but not recommended for the Meadows.
But to conclude for now, let’s note that the expansion of Riverside is favoured by the Meadows residents as seen in the results of the 2012 consultation.

Who’s laughing now?

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So in December, the ConDem front bench laughed cos they judged they’d wrong-footed Ed Balls by saying the deficit would go down, despite a wider opinion saying it wouldn’t.
This was achieved by claiming the sale of 4G telecom network rights would cover the perceived gap.
Today, the sale figure was announced and it’s £1 billion shy of the target.
Who’s laughing now? Not the people.

New names proposed for tram stops in the Meadows

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There are three tram stops to be built to serve the Meadows. One on Meadows Way West, on the line from Toton Lane and the A52 and two, both on Queens Walk, one by the Park and Community Centre and one at the junction with Sweet Leys Road, on the line from Clifton and the A453.

Until now, the 3 names for these stations have been Meadows North; and then Meadows Centre (by the community centre and park) and Queens Walk. Many have remarked that the stop by the Queens Walk Recreation Park and the Queens Walk Community Centre should be called Queens Walk.

There is an opportunity for us to get the names of the tram stops serving the Meadows right.

The proposals for the new names are:

o Queens Walk (for Meadows Centre)
o Meadows Embankment (for Queens Walk)
o Meadows Way West (for Meadows North)

There are rules and guidelines for tram stop names. The one rule is that they are short enough for all the electronic display systems.

After that, there are a number of criteria which we are suggesting, to get these names right for the near and long term future. The criteria we suggest are:

o Strong association with the location of the stop.
o Minimising opportunity for confusion in the minds of the travelling public.
o Celebration of the Meadows.
o Some recognition that there might be another line to West Bridgford in the future.

o Queens Walk (by the community centre and by the park, for Meadows Centre)
o Meadows Embankment (where New Meadows meets the Embankment, for Queens Walk; other suggestions – Toll Bridge or Wilford Toll Bridge, Victoria Embankment, Meadows Riverside or Riverside Way)
o Meadows Way West (and serving the west of the Meadows, for Meadows North; other suggestions – Meadows St.George’s, Meadows Kelso Gardens, Meadows Beardsley Gardens, Meadows Furlong or Furlongs)

Expanding on the latter two:

Meadows Embankment
The stop is at the junction of Queens Walk and Sweet Leys Road and near to the junction of Victoria Embankment, the Toll Bridge and Riverside Way.

The Toll Bridge is more fully known as Wilford Toll Bridge and that name would suggest it’s in Wilford and not in the Meadows.

Victoria Embankment is a very long road and people who are trying to reach Victoria Embankment properties near Trent Bridge might find such a name misleading. (We might also reflect that a Line 4 might go out that way, crossing the River Trent).

Riverside Way is nearby and the school serving the area is Riverside school. However, passengers might confuse the name with the very well known Riverside Retail Park, which is also by the river bank and which can look proximate on a map, even though it distinctly isn’t by foot.

So we suggest a new combination of Meadows and Embankment to say it’s the tram stop in the Meadows nearest to the river.

Meadows Way West
Meadows North is not a particularly useful name for describing its position in the Meadows.

Queens Drive is a very long road and there are also there are bus stops in the Meadows on Queens Drive.

Meadows Way is a very long road and carries a number of bus stops on its eastern leg. We want to avoid people thinking they’re going to a street off Meadows Way, thinking the tram serves it, and then finding the stop is long way from their intended destination.

Hence Meadows Way West.

The suggested names:

o Queens Walk (by the community centre and by the park)
o Meadows Embankment (where New Meadows meets the Embankment)
o Meadows Way West (and serving the west of the Meadows)

were shared with a number of community activists by e-mail a few weeks back, but we wanted to write again more fully explaining the proposals.

We would appreciate feedback, suggesting either approval or disapproval of the suggested names; and if you favour a different name, a short rationale for the suggestion in the style offered above.

Yours sincerely,

Nicola Heaton

Michael Edwards

Wind turbines for Grove Farm refused

The Planning Cttee. agreed today to refuse the application from the University of Nottingham to build 2 wind turbines at Grove Farm, off Thane Road and on the way to Boots.

For an advocate of green energy, the whole experience has been a bit of a shock. These turbines would have made a huge statement about Nottingham’s commitment to the environment standing high alongside the busiest road in the city – Clifton Bridge.
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The proposed turbines are huge. Picture The Council House, and think on how high it is. Then double it and add a few metres more. That high. Higher than the famous turbines in the sea off Copenhagen. And more powerful. Exciting, with the potential to be a distinctive landmark for the city and picking up on the University’s role in wind turbine design from the seventies.
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But people live in a neighbourhood facing Grove Farm and as a Planning Committee, you act within a range of plans agreed and planning policies enacted.

Whilst the eastern turbine was by tests applied elsewhere, acceptable 690m distant, it was very hard by the same test to see it being acceptable for a more central turbine that would be 450m away.

There were other reasons to object, but I can foresee the sponsors addressing concerns about air traffic control radar and impact on sports fields sometime in the future.

The vote was unanimous, although at least three Councillors said how they would have liked to have voted for some kind of scheme.

20130221-123053 PM.jpgOne Councillor confused matters by –
– saying we should also recognise concerns about health and noise – planning officials have reported no such concerns;
– saying we should go along with Broxtowe Borough Council’s decision to object to a third turbine to the west – well, no, this is a Nottingham decision;
– circulating his own felt-pen drawing trying to show the size of the wind turbine alongside the tower block at Southchurch Drive.
So we spent some time making sure these points couldn’t be perceived as a rationale for the refusal and weakening the case being made. Helped by the Councillor not seeing through his convictions by moving an amendment.

Now we await the sponsor’s next action, probably an appeal against the Broxtowe decision, possibly an appeal against ours, or perhaps a fresh application.

Note, pictures taken from University of Nottingham publication.