East Midlands Labour Party in The Meadows

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TO BE WRITTEN UP.

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Architectural Technology and green opportunities

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Architectural Technology students at Nottingham Trent University are exploring developments that could see changes to the way our buildings operate and our streets look within a few years.

Cross Laminated Timber
Easy to forget that many nations still work with timber to build homes and offices.
Arguably, we’ve had a downer on timber, and straw, ever since Three Little Pigs.
Yet wood can be incredibly strong – remember the WWII fighter-bomber called the Mosquito?  Made out of plywood.
Sustainable Chemistry cnl-cnl-01-340x220Cross Laminated Timber is the latest way of creating a strong material to build with, and can be as strong as concrete reinforced with steel. Gluing and pressing lumps of work in alternate directions to create a medium that is being used to create 8 or so story buildings in London and elsewhere, and is being planned to build much higher buildings in China.  The Sustainable Chemistry building at University of Nottingham’s Jubilee Campus has been made using CLT.
Large components / panels designed on computer and cut in factories before being delivered to site for fast assembly on site – which may well have worked to advantage on Arkwright Walk in The Meadows since residents have suffered from weeks of limited access.
nytimes clt 9 storey block in hackney d133f6de66a21625c5d2e480bd91c3fbBuilding using CLT currently can cost as much as more traditional buildings cos you still have to prepare the site and connect the site, and cos considerable effort goes into designing and manufacture off-site.
Challenges will include reputation on appearance (current wooden panels are often allowed to go grey and appear drab), strength, pre-fabricated buildings, and on fire risk (sprinklers systems and treatment are the lines of defence), being part of a first wave on a new technology and the actual challenge – getting owners to embrace the more frequent maintenance measures such as re-applying water-proofing measures.  Decoration with external boards are often part of the design – or use other materials like brick panels – but a defining style might also be a challenge (or an opportunity).
CLT is made from green materials, that have captured carbon dioxide, unlike concrete and steel which increase its emissions.
One factory unit in Greater Nottingham has already started manufacturing panels to allow construction of 2 or 3 floor homes.

Urban Farming, including Hydroponics and Tall Gardening.
First mentioned to me by a rep of Notts Farmers who I met at the County Show, hydroponics is a water based farming that uses 70% less water than conventional farming, I think in part cos of using gels.
Requiring upfront investment and a level of expertise, it can be used underground as well as alongside buildings.  Can grow certain types of vegetables, and the remaining mass/media can be a fuel or be digested to produce natural gas.
Farming can be encouraged in the design of the building, or take advantage of existing spaces, such as perhaps the 600 or more caves underneath Nottingham city centre.  Like the growing trend in farming, companies could hire the space to grow the food.
I understand hydroponics are being developed in Birmingham.
Tall gardening is a variation on this, but are more effective than the green walls that can be seen off Maid Marian Way in Nottingham.
Nottingham has a reputation for urban gardening – often winning “In Bloom” awards – but urban farming would require a step change and need to be commercially viable.

Ground Source Heat Pumping, and Storage.
That 30 feet or so underground, it’s always 12 degrees Centigrade, and therefore a natural place for heat pumps to draw heat from to warm buildings in Winter, and to send heat to so as to extract heat from buildings in Summer, has been compromised by how it seems to be rarely done in practice.
A frequent solution has included laying arrays of piping before a building has been constructed.  It’s a bit of a retrofit if the building already exists.
What may be overlooked is the potential to use piles to support buildings as the basis of a heat pumping solution, storing heat from systems such as district heating schemes in the Summer, and reducing the peak load on a heating system during the Winter.  Or, even more dramatically, to send to “reservoirs” of water underground, such as disussed coal mines.  (There’s a trial taking place in Glasgow.)

Qualifications.
I need to get this article reviewed by others more in the know, as well as improving the grammar.
There may be other innovations to include, such painting roads white to reduce city centre ovens, and consequent demands on air cooling systems (though this may not be needed in Nottingham.  Other innovations, such as glass roads, using excesses of recycled glass, especially for car parks and cycle paths, with underground lighting and lining, have perhaps already failed to take off.

Gist is, if anything can be foreseen to be the standards of 10 years time, now is the time to invest, both in setting new standards and in creating the capacity to manufacture locally for local jobs.
TO BE REVIEWED AND UPDATED.

Ward Walk – February 2018

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In the south-west of the New Meadows.
Neighbours wanting to smarten the neighbourhood enjoying the Centrelink buses now they stop along Meadows Way (near “ng2”); a pleasant nine-month old dog; and the new housing, including on Bosworth Walk, awaiting snagging works for pavements, fencing and planting.

Meanwhile, uniformed officers dealing with a difficult situation nearby recently, received recognition from the Chief Constable.
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Housing development in The Meadows

Keepmoat’s development along Arkwright Walk are to be marketed as “The Edge”.
New dates for the developments have been published.
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Blueprint’s scheme for Wilford Crescent East will be marketed “Meadows Green”.
They have achieved planning permission for Mundella House.  Planning permission for Trent Works has been agreed subject to s106 agreement, which is currently with lawyers.  Start on site expected early/mid 2018 with 12 months build for both.

Former Clifton Miners Welfare site: 18 council bungalows proposed and plans submitted 25.10.17. Expecting developers to be on site in February 2018 with 10 month build.

Former Meadows police station site: 22 NCH market rent apartments – no planning application submitted yet but expected to be on site March 2018 with 14 month build.

New council homes Meadows West: 22 homes have been let including 3 to former Q block residents

New routes, housing, play equipment and lighting in The Meadows

Further to the end of month report, more detail regarding Bridgeway Shopping Centre, proposed housing developments in the ward, news on playing equipment for The Green and on Victoria Embankment.

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Bridgeway Shopping Centre
is more open following the removal of the metalwork. The cafe could well be back in use within some weeks and we are still seeking tenants for the empty half of the Co-op supermarket – and the council needs the rent.

Arkwright Street is being opened up as a through route for walkers and cyclists; and preparations will also further prepare the route for NCT to run their Navy 2 & 3 services through The Meadows, along with the LocalLink L1 electric bus service. Main aims are to provide more residents with some services that are more acessible and to provide bus stops near Bridgeway Shopping Centre.

The high demand for new housing is driving developments at –
– London Road Island (70-odd apartments for private renting by Monk Estates;  granted planning permission in September);
– Arkwright Walk and Blackstone Walk (a mixture of owner-occupied flats and semi-detached & terraced housing by Keepmoat; due to go to planning committee in November);
– at the south end of Wilford Crescent East, housing on the former Trent Works site  (25 or so properties) and the conversion of Mundella House (12 or so); by Blueprint, designs were to go to committee again in December, but this may be delayed.
Worth remembering that long-standing plans envisage hundreds of new properties in The Meadows (along Crocus Street) and beyond (east of Meadow Lane).

The council is exploring options for 22 or so apartments on the site of the closed police station and around the former miners’ welfare club.

The west of The Meadows has been without proper playing equipment for a while and the good news is that the charity that allocates development money for such projects has now endorsed the project for The Green with an offer of £40k.  Consultation is underway on the layout of the equipment and we hope to have the equipment available in March.

Parks are also working on improving Victoria Embankment, and further to the new Meadows Cricket Pavilion and the recently set out tree trail in the Memorial Gardens, the newly installed lighting along the carriageway may be brought into operation on Thursday.


General concerns over lack of money in people’s pockets remain. Also concerns regarding crime (not as such reflected in the official statistics) and (for want of a better term) strutting behaviour.

Further cuts to the City Council’s budget next year of £20-£25 million will also mean bad news breaking over public services in January.

Green Progress in The Meadows

Further to a post celebrating progress by Nottingham city, a short summary of the progress in The Meadows, with an update on Project Sensible and a link to the Jeremy Corbyn video that draws heavily from experience in The Meadows.

Such green achievements in The Meadows include –
– bus priority measures – the bus lane along Meadows Way East;
– tram services at 3 stops in The Meadows plus ‘ng2’ and Midland station;
– decades of taking heat from waste before landfill at Eastcroft (Meadows);
– new green housing off Green Street, and off Wilford Crescent West; and new green council housing in the west of The New Meadows; and and an exemplar green house;.
– helping solar panels to be installed on properties, by both NCH and MOzES – the Meadows own energy services company;
– a hundred and more enjoying lower price energy using a council owned business – Robin Hood Energy – whose income is ploughed back into lower prices, and have amongst the cheapest pre-payment schemes;
– planning policies to reduce the need to travel, and improvements to walking and cycling routes; to require greener buildings, including in the newest council housing;
– warmer homes through the decent homes programmes for council housing;
– energy efficient street lighting; with new lighting being provided at the end of this month for walkers and cyclists using Victoria Embankment;
– simple recycling (mainly doorstep) available to every household;
– schools involved in growing their own food (Greenfields and (I think) Victoria (ex-Riverside);
– testing the use of batteries to store energy rather than immediately send it into the grid (Project SENSIBLE).

On Project SENSIBLE, Julian Marsh reports
“The tenders for the domestic batteries and monitoring systems is currently being sought with prices expected back at the end of the month. This will enable us to firm up on numbers. It is hoped that we can start the meetings with the final volunteers in November and December and then begin the installations at the beginning of the New Year.
“The School system is currently having its tender documents put together and this will be tendered mid-October. Installation will either be Christmas or Easter in the School breaks.
“The Mundella Building is currently having its performance specification finalised and prices for that will be put forward by the Design and Build Contractor.
“Some of you will have been at the Meadows Library … to hear Jeremy Corbyn launch what we hope will be the Labour Party policy on energy – based largely on a community model. Mozes has helped by putting forward ideas for this and so we got the honour of being the location for the press release and for the attached little film which focusses specifically on what we are doing in the Meadows.”

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The video can be seen at – https://youtu.be/y5t8m1RXG9A