Leicester Civic Society
Chairman's E-newsletter August 2017 #124

08 August 2017


1. 20170973: No.1 ST. ALBANS ROAD: As of Sunday 06 August the Council website only showed 38 objections. (70 pages) Some of these were from members of Leicester Civic Society, (including 4 committee members) South Highfields Neighbours Forum and Evington Footpath CA Society. I only hope this is enough. If it isn’t then those who didn’t object are presumably in favour. If not they will only have themselves to blame if it is granted consent. We have seen that mass objection can stop the Council in its tracks. The Black Boy attracted over 600, and that’s only a locally listed building. No.1 St. Albans Road is in a conservation area where there is supposed to be a greater degree of protection and where more people actually live. We shall have to see what happens. The good news is that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet. Every objection makes the points that: a) Nobody objects to development on the car park but it should be two stories lower and to a better design and, b) The frontage of the original house should not be affected and should be restored as far as possible.

STOP PRESS: An official refusal has been received this afternoon. On the face of it this is extremely good news. However, the planning committee meeting isn't until Wednesday and 1 St. Albans Road isn't even on the agenda. But the level of objection means that it should go to committee. The only reason I can think of is there are technical reasons why the application isn't valid and shouldn't have been accepted in the first place. We shall have to await publication of the decision notice. Meanwhile watch this space.

2. 20151948: THE BLACK BOY: As you all know consent was refused last December. The developer has however appealed on 08 June. I didn’t think the statute of limitations was as long as six months but apparently it is. An inspector has yet to be appointed, though a two month delay in this is also extraordinary. I shall enquire further.

3. GREYFRIARS THI: Project Board meeting on 17 July. Minutes copied to committee members previously. After two full years we are having a real impact on the conservation area. Once public realm works on Millstone Lane, Friar Lane and New Street are complete things will start to look increasingly splendid.

4. CIVIL WAR WALK: 05 August: A full house of 30 for my first guided walk since the op - and we all loved it! I repeated Civil War for Newbold Verdon WI on Monday 07. Also successful.

5. HERITAGE PARTNERSHIP: Next meeting at New Walk Museum on 14 August. Presentation by Arts & Museums Service on the “Changing Leicester” exhibition. (See 6 below)

6. MEMBERSHIP DRIVE: Gordon reports only two new members over the last month. However, everything is now in place for a four pronged initiative to attract new members: 1) The “Changing Leicester” exhibition is running at Newarke Houses Museum until 10 September. We are prominently featured in this and I am ensuring that they have plenty of our publicity. Don’t miss it! 2) By reciprocal agreement our membership leaflets are to go into all 600 copies of the Friends of University Botanic Gardens Newsletter to be issued about now. 3) Heritage Open Days: Most important of all. (See 7 below) 4) Front page advert in “The Street” for November to coincide with the November issue of Leicester Citizen. Jennifer, Leigh and I will constitute a small working party in September to design this for submission by beginning of October.


We shall be at ISKCON on Granby Street for all four days from 10.00 to 16.00, a total of 24 hours in a prestigious City Centre location with good City Council publicity. This is therefore a unique opportunity to sell ourselves and is the crucially important part of our membership drive so far. (News item) As previously we shall need volunteers to cover. The roster has got off to a good start and is available as a separate news item with vacancies highlighted in yellow. Thanks to Howard, Ena, Michele, Ann, Richard, Leigh, Peter and Sue we achieved 97% volunteer coverage at All Saints Church last year. Lets all of us make it 100% this year. Please contact me ASAP. We have excellent publicity out at Guildhall, OTIP, Newarke Houses and Visit Leicester in advance of the City Council HOD Brochures and bookings for the free guided walks are going well. Get those leaflets out!

8. KINGS LYNN TOUR: 16 September: With six weeks to go the coach is only two-thirds full. Get those leaflets out. (See news item)

9. CHANGING PERCEPTIONS: Leicester City Council is working with the University of Glasgow to look at people’s attitudes to the historic core of Leicester and our historic buildings. Changing Perceptions Research Is now live and we want as many visitors, residents and businesses to complete it as possible. It would be great if you could share the following link on social media to mailing lists by 01 September. http://www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council/policies-plans-and-strategies/planning-and-development/greyfriars-townscape-heritage-initiative/projects/changing-perceptions-research/

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