Secretary’s report for Greater Carpenters Neighbourhood Forum AGM 2017
1. GCNF’s main purpose is to develop a Neighbourhood Plan.
This will set out policy around what our local community would want developed in here in the future.
Neighbourhood Plans take quite a long time to produce (most two or even three years to produce and to be “formally adopted”).
Once “adopted”, it becomes part of London Legacy Development Corporation’s planning policy documents and developers would have to be in conformity with the Neighbourhood Plans policy of what they develop.
2. Our work on the Neighbourhood Plan, over the last year, has included:
- holding monthly forum meetings;
- organising a couple of full open day meetings for everyone in the area around issues relating to drawing up a neighbourhood plan during the summer of 2016 at St John’s church
distributing questionnaires (as a sample survey of households) across the neighbourhood area;
- producing two newsletters which have been distributed across the Neighbourhood Forum area of around 2,200 residential homes (where we have been able to get into blocks) and to local businesses and community centres;
- producing three drafts of the neighbourhood plan;
- holding three meetings with planning officers from the London Legacy Development Corporation (our local planning authority), who are required to provide us with support in developing our neighbourhood plan;
- maintaining and updating our website;
- working on a draft ‘vision’ and ‘objectives’ for our Neighbourhood Plan (a draft of which was distributed at the AGM in 2016) then agreeing specific theme areas to develop policy on – based on discussion at forum meetings, open evens and questionnaires. At first, we were looking at about 10 different themes, but eventually reduced that down to five (with some being merging some together);
- having discussions with stakeholders in the area about the draft Neighbourhood Plan including local shops, services and pubs, trustees of the Carpenters and Docklands Centre, the Carpenters Company and Carpenters Primary School;
- continuing to work with students and academics from UCL around environmental issues – including the carrying out of a sample survey of some households of the Carpenters Estate;
- having discussions with other stakeholders in the area (about our plan) including: the Carpenters Company, Carpenters and Docklands Centre, Carpenters Primary School, local shops, services and pubs.
3. The 5 key themes in our draft Neighbourhood Plan are:
(i) Economy and Employment
(ii) Green space, biodiversity and community gardening
(iii) Homes, refurbishment and sensitive infill
(iv) Transport, connections and movement
(v) Community facilities, ownership and empowerment
Policy in the draft Neighbourhood Plan includes many of the ideas that were included ‘Carpenters Community Plan’ of 2013. This was put together following very detailed consultation on the Carpenters Estate). The Neighbourhood Plan, though, is more detailed and reflects wider comment from across the neighbourhood.
A summary of what’s in our current draft Neighbourhood Plan is included in our February / March newsletter which has gone through every door in the neighbourhood. A full copy of the draft is on our website. We would like you to comment on this – to say whether they support what we are saying or would like additions or changes to what is already there.
In 2016, the Forum has also
- been successful in getting a number of assets of community value in our area listed by Newham Council – that is – Carpenters Primary School, the Carpenters and Docklands Centre, the Carpenters Arms and open green space adjacent to Denison Point on the Carpenters Estate
- continued to battle with Newham Council around our applications to get the former TMO building on the Carpenters estate and the newsagents in Doran Walk also listed as Assets of Community Value.
- responded to two LLDC consultations that may have impact on the Forum – on planning obligations and what’s called ‘carbon offsetting’;
- wrote to Newham Council about its failure to consult the Forum around its most recent decision (made by its cabinet in Dec 2016) to continue with plans for demolition of the whole of the Carpenters’ Estate (which is quite a large section of our designated Neighbourhood Forum Area) and to develop 3,000 homes in its place. This was also copied in to the London Mayor, London Assembly members, all Newham Councillors and the LLDC;
- are in the process of writing to Newham to arrange a meeting with them about the Neighbourhood Plan. The LLDC has also offered to attend this meeting.
We have been supported in our work this year by London Tenants Federation and Just Space, through funding from Trust for London. We would like to thank them for their support.