Chairman's E-newsletter March 2018 #131
13 March 2018
CHAIRMAN’S E-NEWSLETTER No.131. 13 MARCH 2018.
1. 20171911: ST. GEORGE’S
CHURCHYARD: I met with Cllr. Adam
Clarke on 19 February. His
principal arguments in favour of the City Council proposals were:
· “We need to create an improved and
safer space for people to enjoy, that encourages footfall and thereby improves
natural surveillance”.I agreed with this admirable objective but could
not agree that it would be achieved by such excessive tree loss.
· “We need to improve connectivity
between the St. George’s Cultural Quarter and the railway station”. I
said this was OK with us though we did not think that the Council proposals would
actually achieve this. A greatly improved churchyard environment might induce
people to take this route – but of course only during the day.
· “We need to enhance the setting and
views of the Grade II-star listed St. George’s Church as a heritage asset and remove
the listed Church from Historic England's 'At Risk' register”. I agreed that the latest Historic England Heritage at
Risk Register clearly states: "The church fabric remains at risk from
water penetration caused by the blockages of the high level rainwater disposal
system, due to the proximity of churchyard trees, which are not being
adequately managed". I therefore conceded that the 5 trees in immediate
proximity to the building must regrettably be removed. We will not argue with
Historic England. However, this is 5 trees - not 21.
· “We need to enhance connectivity to
the rear of LCB Depot through the creation of a new path and gateway”. I said
that this was agreed by ourselves from the outset.
I am now willing to put these points, which
embrace the compromises we have made, in writing. And I will do so before the Planning
Committee meeting on 04 April, at which this will be discussed. In addition to
the above Richard went to the Friends of the Earth meeting on 02 March, at
which it was clear that they had gotten nowhere either. Everyone should now re-iterate their concerns by 04 April. As the
decision will be that of the Planning Committee you might in addition like to
write directly to members. Details are on the City Council website.
2. PUTNEY ROAD and
EVESHAM ROAD LINKS: The City Council has entered a consultation period on
the proposal to reopen Putney Road at the Aylestone Road end. This will
immediately create a rat run on Victoria Park Road and therefore put renewed
pressure on the London Road traffic island - which is presumably why Putney
Road was closed off in the first place. But in addition, the consultation says:
that this is a stand-alone project and is not connected with any other road
improvement scheme - either currently being considered, or potential future
developments that may, or may not, ever take place.
This has clearly been
inserted in an effort to distance the Council from widespread public alarm
about a future link westward to Narborough Road across Aylestone Meadows,
thereby creating an unofficial southern ring from Narborough Road to London
Road. (A speculative map has already appeared courtesy of the Leicester Mercury
and that shows a fanciful connexion across British Gas, through the railway
embankment and across the Roman Scheduled Monument at Rawdykes!) However, Cllr.
Patrick Kitterick has already blown the whistle, quoting from the Council bid
for the Putney Road link (£3.4M) submitted to the Department for Transport:
“The Putney Road scheme would greatly improve the
viability of the Evesham Road Link.”
Everyone should now write expressing their concerns by 29
It is of little use only objecting to the Putney Road link if you live in say
Clarendon Park. And it is of little use only objecting to the link across the
meadows if you live on say Evesham Road. This would be exactly what the Council
want you to do. (“Divide and rule”) Everyone must be prepared to object to both schemes, even though the
consultation is currently on the Putney Road link only.
3. 20172677 and 2678 BSS
FACTORY, LEE CIRCLE Two separate applications for the BSS Factory
on Lee Circle. (Local Interest List) They are 'technically' nothing to do with
20172357, (Demolition only) to which we objected previously. We therefore need
to object again to both as they will still involve destruction of the existing
building. This could be a clever device by the developer to try and sidestep objections,
but it won't work as being wholly new applications they will still have to go
to CAP. Don't be put off by the scale of the proposal - destructive rubbish is
destructive rubbish, no matter how big. I've copied my concerns to the
4. TREE STRATEGY: On 09
March I received a disturbing phone
call from one of our members. There is a footpath of about 100 yards in length
from the east end of Corporation Road next to Abbey Pumping Station. It
connects with the riverside walkway along the west bank of the river. This
footpath has 21 mature Lombardy Poplars in a line along its south side. However,
workmen were on site, apparentlyto cut them down. She spoke out and they said
they would be planting replacements - though we all know what that could mean.
I do not think there was planning consent for this, though if it counts as
routine maintenance of street trees City Highways or Parks will say that it
doesn't need it. I could only suggest she ring her Ward Councillor straight
away. Quite clearly we need greater protection through consultation periods
incorporated in the proposed Tree Strategy, otherwise Council departments are
going to be cutting down mature trees all over the place as a part their
5. 2017 AWARDS:
We made our second day of site visits on 17 February. The adjudication panel
made the Restoration Award to Mr. and Mrs. Parmar for Winstanley House and the
New Build Award to Maber Architects for the Lumis Building, Southgate Street.
Commendations went to De Montfort University Business School for the
Restoration of the Great Hall of Leicester Castle, where Maber were also the
architects, and Leicester University for restoration of the roof of the
Engineering Building. Commendations also went to three private houses in
Stoneygate Conservation Area: 15 Portland Road, 16 Burlington Road and No1 The
Many thanks once more
to Peter, Howard, Jennifer, Richard and Ann for their hard work on two
successive Saturdays. We just managed to dodge ‘the Beast from the East’!
Everyone has been
informed and the press release issued. Bookings for the Awards Dinner on 13
April are now open in Leicester Citizen, with a deadline of 05 April. This is
our second year in the great ballroom and growing numbers of some quite
important people come - we’ve arrived at last. Unfortunately the Mercury don’t
see it. This is the second year out of three where I’ve had to repeat the press
release to get us noticed and come the night they never turn up.
DRIVE: I have decided to use our pdf to print 1,000 leaflets on the best
quality paper I can lay my hands on. This will save on a new print before
Gordon’s retirement in a year’s time. However we should be incorporating
something about the General Data Protection Regulation in the renewal letters
due out this April.
The appeal for
someone to take over Twitter has produced an immediate response from Georgina
Sear, to whom I am sure we are very grateful; who I have put in contact with
Howard and invited to tonight’s meeting.
CITIZEN: Citizen was finally issued on 04 March and is hopefully now out
there working its magic. Many thanks to Gordon, Jennifer and Simon, without
whose combined efforts this would not have happened. Bookings are now open for
all events until June.
8. SKITTLES MATCH:
06 April. First of the events in Citizen - Leicester CS v Wigston CS at the
Black Horse, Aylestone. Bookings are open with a deadline of 31 March.
And for your info:
WARD COMMUNITY ENTERPRISE POP-UP CAFÉ: 17 March at St. Anne’s Church Hall,
Letchworth Road. Advertised in Leicester Citizen. I shall be popping up as