Leicester Civic Society
Chairman's E-newsletter September 2017 #125

12 September 2017

CHAIRMAN’S E-NEWSLETTER No.125: 12 SEPTEMBER 2017.

1. 20151948: THE BLACK BOY: The developer’s appeal has been accepted by the Planning Inspectorate and all original objectors should have been contacted by City Planning. The strict deadline for any further remarks is 18 September. Remember you must write to the Planning Inspectorate not the City Council, you must quote their reference and you must send three copies. I have done so on our behalf. Also you may not comment unless you objected to the original planning application. There will be a Public Hearing on 24 October at the Town Hall. I have informed the Inspectorate of my intention to attend and speak.

2. 20170973: No.1 ST. ALBANS ROAD: Planning consent was refused on 08 August. The decision notice repeats all the points made by the objectors and more. The developer may resubmit attempting to answer these, or he may of course appeal; not least on the grounds that he wasn’t given the chance to make his case to the planning committee. But that’s his problem. In the meanwhile - we’ve won! Although there was no Mercury publicity there was plenty on our website. Well done Howard.

3.1. HERITAGE PARTNERSHIP: 14 August. We had an excellent meeting. There were first rate presentations made on, the "Changing Leicester" exhibition at NH Museum, new entrance and staircase at NW Museum by Maber Architects and ongoing marvellous work at Glenfield Tunnel by Leicestershire Industrial History Society, which I intend to feature on the front cover of November’s Citizen.

3.2. St. Nicholas Circle: I raised the proposed new zebra crossing at St. Nicholas Circle that was supposed to replace the late unlamented Harvey Walk footbridge, now demolished almost 2 years ago. Sir Peter said he had only recently raised this with City Highways who argued that it was no longer necessary as it was now far easier to walk between JW Museum and Castle Gardens than it had been. I disagreed and received support from the Victorian Society and many others present. Sir Peter said that in view of these strongly expressed opinions he decided we would have the crossing. Stan Warren informs me that this is also being chased by the Local Access Forum. However, the subject of the coach drop off was studiously avoided and I felt it better not to push my luck at this stage.

3.3. New Walk: I also raised misuse of New Walk by cyclists that had now reached epidemic proportions. Sir Peter said that there would appear little that could be done until the new cycle lanes were in place on London Road. Even then we could probably only hope to educate cyclists not to use New Walk. This wasn't good enough for me. I said that the Council needed to take some action now (Pity that Cllr. Clarke wasn't present) and that I did have some positive ideas that I would be raising.

3.4. Following this I did have a response from City Council Community Safety but it was inadequate. It stated that there was a limited amount they can do as New Walk is by definition a roadway - it has no pavements. Also not all entrances carry No Cycling signs. I have replied that this was ridiculous: New Walk is by definition a pavement. There is no road, traffic having been banned since 1824. The City Council should ensure that every entrance carries a No Cycling sign and the bye-laws enforced.

3.5. I have the idea of a few strategically placed 'chicane fences' on New Walk. These would not be a barrier to pedestrians, including those with wheelchairs, but would physically oblige cyclists to dismount, make life very difficult for delivery bikes with wide loads and completely halt tricycles. Painted black the railings would not impact on the vista up the walk. Indeed such barriers at say Park Street or Salisbury Road wouldn't need to be across the line of the walk at all. There would have to be gated sections for emergency vehicles and we also need more effective "No Cycling" signs but that still respect the historic setting.


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4.1. MEMBERSHIP DRIVE: The “Changing Leicester” exhi bition at Newarke Houses Museum has now closed. We have no way of knowing what good it did - but it can’t have done any harm.

4.2. Gordon is delighted to report that the mail drop to Friends of University Botanic Gardens has produced seven new members to date.

4.3. HERITAGE OPEN DAYS: THURSDAY 07 to SUNDAY 10 SEPTEMBER.

Without doubt one of our most successful events ever. Thursday 69, Friday 65, Saturday 198 and Sunday 124, Total = 456 visitors. We also had 61 for the two guided walks. We had 4 new members and parted with hundreds of leaflets and back copies of Citizen. Many, many thanks to Michele, Howard, Ena, Jim, Olwen, Geoffrey, Haward, Peter, Gordon, Ann and Richard, who worked really hard. I have written to our friends at ISKCON to thank them for their wonderful hospitality.

4.4. 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.

5. KINGS LYNN TOUR: 16 September: Our coach tour sold out but two seats have now been cancelled due to illness. Any takers?

6. 2017 ANNUAL DINNER : I am saddened to report only nine bookings to date - though I have been told to await four more. We shall publicise it at HOD’s and on the Kings Lynn coach but if this figure does not dramatically improve by the booking deadline of 29 September we shall be returning to “1573” next year.

For your further info:

· 13 September: I am to give “More Delights of Old Leicester” to Leicestershire Family History Society at Wigston.

· 14 September: I have been invited to have lunch with the Dean to further discuss the “Leicester Cathedral Revealed Project”.

· 27 September: I am to give “Delights of Old Leicester” to Market Harborough Civic Society.


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