7th September 2018
30th August 2018
17th August 2018
13th July 2018
At one of the St George’s Barracks meetings recently, the question was raised as to whether RCC had done their due diligence in properly investigating alternative uses for the site rather than just diving in with their crazy ‘let’s dump a town there,’ idea otherwise known as ‘The Masterplan’. Uses mooted included a Solar Farm, Light Industrial units, Science Park etc etc. But, PR Dobbie of Edith Weston has come up with a particularly good plan – Let’s have the development on the edge of an already urban area, with good infrastructure links, namely the current MoD Defence Animals Centre on the edge of Melton and move all the animals to, what after all would be a better environment for them, in the middle of the countryside at SGB. This would also have the spin-off advantage of retaining the airfield for future use if needed and is the kind of innovative solution that RCC needs to be considering instead of always blindly seizing the housing option – especially in a County which is already achieving it’s OAM (Objectively Assessed Need) in housing terms…
5th July 2018
Alan Duncan whimpering again! “If the site is sold by the MoD to the highest bidder, the Council would have no influence over how many houses would be built or what they would look like…” He builds on this theme in his own piece in the paper: “Those who say that the Council could just reject any development at the planning stage are being unwise, to put it mildly, as this decision could just be overturned in an appeal.” Whilst, looking at the mess that Oakham North-West urban sprawl, sans amenities, has become, it’s understandable that our MP and our Council Leader appear to have zero faith in RCC’s Planning Department but it’s very telling that they feel the need to repeatedly spell that out! If you follow their position to its logical conclusion, why not just scrap the Planning Department and save supposed cash-strapped RCC some money! The true reason, of course, is that they’re just bigging up the threat to try to silence those pesky people who keep inconveniently pointing out what a disaster in the making St George’s is going to be for the county. As well as RCC’s incredibly poor track record to date…
29th June 2018
ST GEORGE’S BARRACKS – LETTERS TO THE LOCALS
A letter from Malcolm Touchin, succinctly setting out the CPRE position and one from Joss Wilkins of North Luffenham about Alan Duncan’s ‘whimper of a response’ to the SGB ‘Master Plan’…
22nd June 2018
ST GEORGE’S BARRACKS – LETTERS TO THE RUTLAND MERCURY
Alan Duncan gets off the fence but sadly, as usual, on the wrong side. Parroting the ‘RCC is a force for good and if they aren’t involved via the MoU etc etc then there will be, quote ‘large-scale unplanned housing’. So obviously, like Oliver Hemsley, he appears to have zero faith in RCCs Planning Department. Looking at the Oakham Larkfleet Urban Sprawl (minus any support infrastructure, of course) perhaps both gentlemen’s lack of trust is well-deserved but that’s not a reason to dump a town on the edge of Rutland Water connected to the rest of the world by two minor roads!!! Helen Briggs, promises that ‘changes will be made’ to the Master Plan. Both correspondents ignoring the elephant in the room, that nobody trusts RCC and their promises! Randal Vaughan however hits the nail squarely on the head. The People Don’t Want New Town. Exactly…
15th June 2018
ST GEORGE’S BARRACKS – LETTERS TO THE RUTLAND MERCURY
Fridays crop of letters from the locals:
8th June 2018
ST GEORGE’S BARRACKS – LETTERS TO THE RUTLAND MERCURY
A plethora of letters to the Mercury – none of them in support…..
31st May 2018
ST GEORGE’S BARRACKS – LETTERS TO THE RUTLAND TIMES
30th May 2018
Letter from Paul Cummings and Norman Milne calling for sensible development of the site, 1500 houses over 30 years in three phases.
25th May 2018
DEVELOPMENT OF ST GEORGE’S BARRACKS
HAVE YOUR SAY BECAUSE THIS WILL IMPACT UPON YOU
The County Council has now published the proposals for the future of St George’s Barracks. However, it has done so without the matter being discussed at all in full Council. The Cabinet and Executive have decided that it isn’t necessary to discuss their proposals through the normal democratic forum, until the decisions are all finalised and planning permission is sought. Indeed, only a limited few Councillors had sight of the proposals before they were presented to the public, in what looked remarkably like a fait-accompli. The future of the County has been sold-out, based on some very suspect assumptions and a need to reduce the current growing budget deficit. As has become clear in recent weeks we have been faced with a changing story of the scale of the development, which is likely to continue to grow unless the public raises its voice in a concerted way and says that enough is enough.
This public consultation is however hugely important because what is proposed will impact on every individual in the County. What is proposed is a new town in the heart of the county, directly on the edge of Rutland Water. The proposed development will dwarf Uppingham in scale and there are fears that the whole development could grow to the size of Oakham. This has been hidden under the sobriquet of a “Typical Rutland Garden Village”. However, what is planned at present is : first 70 homes as soon as possible on the Officers’ Mess site, then 3,000 on the main site within 10 years and finally a further 500 once the minerals have been extracted. And this new town won’t even look like Rutland. The proposal includes terraced houses, 3 storey town houses, apartment blocks and properties without gardens. What impact will all this have on all future planning decisions in Rutland’s villages and towns?
We would urge every Rutlander to take time to view the proposals in detail and look beyond the numerous platitudes and vague promises for a better future, to the reality, which will be a huge urban sprawl dumped in the centre of this rural community. The proposals will bring an estimated 7,000 cars onto our small roads with no extra roads to aid traffic flow. There is little in the report to address the County’s transport problems, which include access to AI, A47, A606, A6003 let alone the choke points at the North Luffenham Rail Crossing, Manton Top, and Edith Weston village. Much is promised in respect of infrastructure funding, however the Government’s money tree is unlikely to provide sufficient funding to do all that is required to deliver the promises made.
Though largely hidden in the glossy brochure, a huge quarry which will cover some 350 acres is proposed on almost half the site. This is euphemistically called a ‘Country Park’ which be a blight on the landscape and the environment for the next 30-40 years.
3,500 new jobs are promised, however to date Rutland’s success in attracting high value employment to this rural county has been entirely ineffectual, and Page 2 of 2 the vast number of our qualified young people inevitably migrate to our cities and major industrial conurbations. Rutland is, what it is, a beautiful rural county whose major industries are tourism and agriculture. The proposal to build over a thousand ‘affordable’ homes sounds good, however the local authority cannot create jobs and it makes no sense to industry to create jobs in the heart of an industrial desert. There is a real danger that RCC will inadvertently create a dormitory town for commuters, or a sink estate with no hope for many of its largely imported residents.
It is time to “smell the coffee” and to force RCC to understand the real concerns of those that it represents. A development of this size will affect us all and needs to be rethought in every detail. Please take the time to read the presentations and make your view heard – it will affect you both directly and indirectly. Please respond to RCC’s consultation by 14th June using the feedback form provided in the Consultation pack or on line at: https://www.stgeorgesrutland.co.uk.
Chair North Luffenham Parish Council
Chair Edith Weston Parish Council
24th May 2018 – Letters to the Rutland TImes
24th May 2018
Edith Weston St George’s Barracks ‘Presentation & Drop-in Session’
Last night’s follow-up to the tumultuous North Luffenham one raised even more questions than answers and Parish Council Chairman, Norman Milne, deserves our thanks for ensuring that, this time, a Q & A session did take place.
For example, one could ask, if a build out of over a thousand houses is a precursor to ‘sustainability resources such as schools etc’, as the Council Leader repeatedly asserted, then where is the new school and doctor’s surgery for the 1500+ houses being added to Oakham? Or, since when did mown grassland become ‘brown field’ as claimed by the RCC CEO, (the runways and buildings only comprise a quarter of the whole site). Or why the agreed ‘Local Plan’ can be arbitrarily ramped up at will? Or where the new figure of 3500+ houses has come from?
For me, the most telling fact to come out of the meeting was a political one. The fact that the Memorandum of Understanding with the MOD had been agreed by the Cabinet. The MOU may well turn out to be the single worst decision taken by RCC, but yet again, it’s been taken by just six Councillors, none of whom represent the Ward most affected – Normanton. This is a repeat of the One-Way debacle where the decision to proceed was taken by just five Cabinet members.
Until we change the Council Chamber and replace party-political members with local independent representatives and get rid of the Cabinet system, so those members can truly represent their Ward, this situation will never change. Rutlanders have a chance to start making this change at forthcoming by-elections and in May 2019. Let’s hope the lessons of the One-Way fiasco and the looming St George’s one are being learnt by the Rutland electorate.
17th May 2018
16th May 2018
Democracy Rutland Attended The Presentation and Drop-In Session at North Luffenham School
St George’s Barracks Development
Last night’s ‘Presentation & Drop-In Session’ at North Luffenham proved to be poor fare indeed.
We were expecting a detailed presentation giving further insight into the plans for this land at the very heart of our county followed by a probing Q & A session. However, the Council Leader, clearly unnerved by the deservedly hostile reaction of a full-house audience, rushed through a presentation of information which was largely already in the public domain and the Q & A turned out to be only the opportunity to have a chat with the RCC consultants assembled there. Let’s hope that the Edith Weston event, scheduled for 23rd May is done better.
If I were the organiser of the local campaign to pressure RCC and MOD to deliver the best possible outcome for local residents then I would arrange my own Public Meeting. I’d ensure it was heavily advertised well in advance, held in a location such as Victoria Hall, as I am sure the turn-out would again be good and invite RCC, elected Members, their consultants (at least one of whom appear to be the ill-starred AECOM) and our MP to attend and to take questions from the public in a Question-Time type format chaired by a truly independent Chairman. As has been openly admitted, Rutlanders do not trust their Council, even with the new ‘era of openness and transparency’ that the current Council Leader’s election supposedly heralded and filling in feedback forms will not cut the mustard this time around. A proper public Q & A session is the only way to start to gain the public’s trust and confidence in the St George’s plan.
Of course, if the invited parties decline the invitation to attend then Rutlanders will draw their own conclusions – none of them positive.
13th May 2018
ST GEORGE’S BARRACKS – THE REALITY REVEALED
Posted: Sun, 13 May 2018 09:55 by Norman Milne on the Edith Weston Parish Council Website.
ST GEORGE’S BARRACKS
WHAT WORTH THE WORD OF OUR COUNTY COUNCIL ??
Click here to read the full article.
11th May 2018
Rutland County Council releases the so-called ‘Master Plan‘.
4th May 2018
Ex Deputy Council Leader, Terry King, on Rutland’s history of overheating housing targets and the fact that many new homes being built in Rutland will not be counted towards Rutland’s housing target…..
4th May 2018
Tim Hawkins neatly summarises the fundamental issue that RCC’s CEO appears to have arbitrarily declared the whole of the St George’s Barracks site as ‘brownfield’ thus easing the planning path considerably – when in fact that does not appear to be the case.
30th April 2018
Letter to RCC Councillors from the Chairmen of North Luffenham and Edith Weston Parish Councils: http://www.edithweston.com/uploads/letter-to-cllrs-24-apr-18.pdf
28th April 2018
A concerned Rutlander writes… I think I can answer his question about ‘what Alan Duncan will do’… Sit on the fence until the last possible moment trying to be all things to all people. Please don’t expect him to take a stand on behalf of the County he is supposed to represent…..
18th April 2018
Council Leader Oliver Hemsley has said that publication of initial proposals for the redevelopment of St George’s Barracks next month will mark the start of an important conversation about the future of the site.
St George’s Barracks was announced for intended disposal by the MOD in November 2016 and is due to be vacated by the army by 2021.
Read more: https://www.rutland.gov.uk/my-council/council-news/draft-plan-will-set-out-proposals-for-st-georges-site/
12th April 2018
Rutland Times – 29th March
Alan Duncan MP on the ‘Garden Village’
Rutland Times – 22nd March
The Chairman of North Luffenham Parish Council on the proposed ‘Garden Village’