Streets paved with gold

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The Yorkstone on Barker Gate looks special in the sunlight after cleaning.
So bright at times, that you wonder whether the phrase came not from the story of Dick Whittington, or whether it wasn’t just a euphanism for making a living is easy, but just the use of Yorkstone.
The photo shows the difference between cleaned and uncleaned stone, highlighted by a local resident’s dog.


Black Boy Hotel exhibition

Demolished in 1970 after Littlewoods bought the hotel in 1964, the hotel was designed by Watson Fothergill and opened in 1897.
People testify to how beautiful and splendid it was with the slightest prompt.
An exhibition is on at Nottingham’s Industrial Museum at Wollaton Hall until the end of August and the highlight is a special model of the building as it was in the ’60s.
Displays tell the history of the hotel, including it being named after King Charles II, who had long black hair.

St.Mary’s and St.George’s Coptic Orthodox Church

A grade listed church on St.Matthias Road, off Carlton Road, in St.Anns; had become  pretty derelict and a focus for ASB; transformed in 6 years by the Coptic Orthodox church, who have 23 millions followers in Egypt.
Consecrated by their Pope, Tawdros II of Alexandria.
And it’s beautiful.  So beautiful.
Paintings and carvings; stories and conviction.
Worth seeing.
A special addition to the city of Nottingham.

Planning committee – March 2017

Supported a retail park in Clifton and a new supermarket in Bulwell as part of a strategy of encouraging retail near existing town centres, where the public transport is already serving.
New NCH housing in Lenton (on the old shopping centre site) is to have solar pipes (looking like chimneys) as part of revisions bringing detail and decoration to make the homes more attractive.
Turns out the planning team won a regional award for their work earlier this month.

Planning committee – February 2017

Permission was granted for the conversion of the Mundella Centre into a block of 10 houses was granted.  There’s no credible request for the retention of the centre for education and was starting to be damaged by vandals.  The new residents will be able to claim parking permits, so the use of parking in the area may change, although the developers would be expected to pay.
The proposal for the Trent Works site was withdrawn.
A proposal to rejuvenate offices on Houndsgate, with a number of social care and housing services coming to the offices, near to Nottingham Castle was approved.  We agreed, even though the Housing Aid office does have a number of incidents every year, but there were no planning powers to prevent the move.  We did require a management plan to reduce the number of incidents and to mitigate the impact of anything that went wrong.
The next phase of the Trent Basin development proposes a pleasant area to walk along by the river, by 5 sets of mews houses in the middle looked a bit brutal.

Arkwright Walk developments

New designs for the apartments at either end of Arkwright Walk have been approved.

It’s envisaged that the housing will be available from a year after construction works, with all housing planned for Arkwright and Blackstone being available after two and a half years.  Works might start in April.
Now we have the full road open again to walking and cycling, we are also planning for midi buses to used the route (NCT Navy 3 and city council LOCALINK 1) both for convenience of local residents and to give the shopping centre a higher profile.
The grass patch next to the play equipment is very worn (the litter bin and the lighting column proving natural goalposts).  Perhaps some proper goal posts, a wicket and some grass mats might give the kids a better experience.

Planning committee – January 2017

350 flats for Hicking Pentecost phase II on Crocus Street agreed again

Planning permission for such a scale of development – similar in size to the flats already on Queens Road – since 2001.
The latest design has street level apartments rather than “live-work” units and a car park at street level too, with a raised garden on top.  Shaped as a large E, there is a variation in the design of the upper floors.
The unit will be run by one management company, offering the flats for private rental.  There is a demand for such property in Nottingham, and hence a renewed urgency to develop, from a firm that purchased the site 6 months or so ago.
During the latest committee process a number of issues have been explored.  An initial pale grey / cream brick will now be an option, with the committee generally preferring a red brick.  The colour to be worked out with actual samples, along with details regarding the lighting and attractiveness of the front entrances along the street.  Concern too about how the top of the buildings will look from London Road and whether the corner of Crocus Street and Summer Leys Lane is attractive enough.
The developers have already taken on board comments about the history of Crocus Street, and the crocus being the symbol of The Meadows – with some saffron colour styling suggested for the ground floor and possibly parts of the building may be called Crocus and Saffron.  Some electric plug-in points for cars are to be provided, further to an interesting idea of private storage cages in the car park area.  A private cycling path to Summers Ley Lane from the car park will also be provided.
Predictions for numbers of children living there is low, as low as the existing Hicking Building on Queens Road.
So many people coming to live in this distinctive part of The Meadows is an inyeresting opportunity to boost usage of our library, our parks and open spaces, and if we try hard enough, Bridgeway Shopping Centre.

Meanwhile an expansion of a nursery on Private Road, Mapperley, has triggered some cotroversy.