BBEST AGM Announcement

This is to let you know that the delayed BBEST AGM will take place via Zoom 2-4pm, Saturday 13 March 2021 – watch out for more details and full agenda. We have made good progress over the last few months, and the final version of the Plan is almost ready to go. The attached newsletter, also included in the emails, gives full details of what has been happening over the last few months.

Please feel free to forward this email to friends and neighbours who live locally.

I look forward to seeing you on 13 March.

Regards,

Kath O’Donovan

Secretary to BBEST


BBEST REPORT TO FORUM February 2021

Following on from our report to the Forum in November last year, we can report that a final referendum version of the Plan has been submitted to Council. The intention is that this goes to a Referendum alongside other elections on May 6th (or as a later stand-alone referendum if the elections are delayed) to be voted on by those on the electoral register for local elections and living within the BBEST boundary.

As we noted last time there has been a 100 page independent examiner report (received at the end of September), and a Council response to this which accepted all major policy recommendations (in mid-January 2021). We have reworked the Plan to represent the examiner’s views (as legally we must), and submitted that to the Council. They tell us that they plan to publish that on March 12th. Once the Council issues a decision statement containing a detailed intention to send the Plan to referendum then the Plan can be given significant weight in planning applications.

A number of our policies, as we said in November, did not survive the examiner’s scrutiny. Some because they would be enacted in other ways (for instance around a number of environmental aspects, and some housing issues), and some because they were not allowable in a neighbourhood plan (active travel policies for example had aimed to reduce road transport impact, but were not allowable as they covered transport issues rather than spatial ones – a major problem for the planning system in our view). In due course we will review with the Council the seven year process that has led to this outcome. In the meantime we can be very pleased that we have some substantial policies, that, over time, will substantially improve our neighbourhood.

The Plan’s policies will:

• protect two well used public open green spaces: St. Marks Green and the triangle of land outside the Hallamshire Hospital,

• protect two key areas of green space which are important settings for local buildings: The Nottingham House and the Spiritualist Church,

• enhance the quality of new build student accommodation, possibly reducing pressure on houses

• make all substantial new housing development provide for some family units (3 bed),

• improve the design of conversions, and avoid over-dense developments,

• encourage a better designed and more lively retail centre,

• enhance shop frontages and design, ban externally mounted shutters, and make building heights appropriate in the retail centre,

• safeguard walking as a key means of movement in the area,

• establish some overall design principles for planning applications,

• conserve the character of the Endcliffe area.

We will now hold the AGM, by Zoom, on the 13th March, probably from 2-4. At this we can discuss the current progress the council is making with our Plan and do our best to answer any questions people have about it. We will be asking for nominations for the Steering Group. Please do consider joining this.

The role of BBEST will be changing after the Plan referendum, assuming it issuccessful, to a monitoring role, which is important, but substantially less work than developing the Plan! Possibly three meetings a year of the Group, one with all the Forum and one with Development Management to review the Plan’s enactment in the past year.

Professor Peter Marsh, Chair BBEST Neighbourhood Forum


BBEST – report on progress in 2020

This email is to bring you up to date with what has been happening with BBEST over the last few months.  As with everything else, some things have slowed down, but in some ways it has been a busy period for BBEST.

Progress through the Neighbourhood Planning process.

You’ll remember that Sheffield City Council organised their own consultation on the draft documents in February and March 2020. The next stage of the process is the appointment of an External Examiner to review the documents and processes and decide if the draft Plan meets all requirements.  I’m pleased to tell you that an Examiner has been appointed and is currently reviewing the BBEST Plan and hopes to report in July.  A period of discussion with the Council will follow.

The next stage will be the Referendum of all residents on the adoption of the Plan.  Clearly the timing of this will be linked to decisions on the process for this and other elections.  Local council elections in March 2020 were postponed until next year and we do not yet have details on how elections will be carried out if social distancing is still required.

BBEST has commented on two major developments in the last year.  The University’s Social Sciences building is now underway.  A second University plan is to demolish the former Psychology building and replace it with a new building.  BBEST commissioned professional planning advice and submitted a comprehensive comment on this plan. 

Monitoring planning applications in the BBEST area –  An option for the Autumn – 4 volunteers needed

Once the plan is ‘made’ (ie post referendum and adoption by the Council, which we hope may be autumn 2021) BBEST has a role to monitoring the Council’s appropriate use of our policies. Before that it would be helpful to have an idea of the number and type of planning applications, and the way that our policies might be used and affect them. The Officers have begun to trial this idea, but cannot undertake the extra work beyond the summer. If we were to do this it would need a small number of volunteers (say 4), who could, with help, undertake this work, from around September this year to around September next. This would involve monitoring planning applications in the BBEST area and commenting on their impact in relation to BBEST policies.  It would be great if we could do this – to find out more about what is involved, get in touch via <info@bbest.org.uk>

Steering Group

The BBEST Steering Group has met virtually over the lockdown period, most recently on Monday 29 June, and has remained supportive of the BBEST work.  We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the members for their continued support. The next meeting is scheduled for 17 August.