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QCG News Update 11 June 2015
Significant Step Forward for QCG Project: Consultation Period for Planning Application NOW running
The planning application for proposed change of use of Queen's Crescent Garden from private open space to public open space; to support community aspirations for the Garden may now be found on the council's weekly planning list dated 11 June 2105, with the number 15/0610/03.
To find the application online, click here. Alternatively visit the Civic Centre and quote the number 15/0610/03.
PLEASE WRITE TO THE PLANNING DEPARTMENT TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!
The QCG Project Group has been working hard on your behalf since 2013 towards the realisation of the community's vision for the garden; now is the time for you as individuals to write in support of the change of use to public open space as the next step towards the achievement of the community's aspirations for the garden. Consultation period runs for 21 days, so please write soon and don't risk missing the deadline of 2 July!
Please write in one of the following ways:
- a letter to the Planning Department, Exeter City Council, Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter, EX1 1JN
- email to the case officer, Chris Westlake, at email@example.com
- or simply make your comment online. click here to be taken to the consultation page for the application and then click on the link marked for Public Representations.
Tips for writing:
- Letters and emails should start: RE Planning Application No 15/0610/03: Proposed change of use of Queen's Crescent Garden from private open space to public open space; to support the community aspirations for the Garden
- Keep it brief and to the point – this application is for change of use from private to public open space only.
State that you are writing in support of the application.
- It will be helpful to have support from local residents as well as those who live outside St James, so please state which applies to you.
- If possible briefly state your own personal reason for wishing to see the garden opened up to community use.
- Individually worded comments are preferable, but if you need more guidance (click here) for a sample letter on which you can base your own.
Tea in the Garden!
Thank you to so many of you for the magnificent response you made to the request for cakes, plants and help for this event held in Queen's Crescent garden on 28 May 2015.
Blessed with fine weather, a wonderful time was enjoyed by all who came along. New members signed up, children played happily while adults enjoyed chatting together, soaking in the special ambience of this, our future community green space (if all goes to plan!). Delicious cakes were eaten and cups of tea sipped, as plants were bought and carried away to enhance the private gardens of St James!
The fantastic sum of £256.77 was raised for the Queen's Crescent Garden fund.
At the same time Exeter Police Cadets, advised by members of University of Exeter's grounds staff, cleared ivy from a section of the perimeter walls.
Many thanks to them and to a team from Exeter Round Table who have rescheduled their attempt to cultivate a border in which it is proposed each child at St Sidwell's C of E Primary School will be involved in planting. Thus, even though Phase One of the Masterplan's transformation may still be a little way off, some interim activity and colour is demonstrating our intentions for the community garden.
Before our landscape architects can continue the development of this option into a complete detailed design, a meeting has been arranged with an ECC Tree Officer to discuss the issue of the removal of some of the existing trees, and conservation of others, as shown in Option 3. Following this, a review meeting is to be held where key stakeholders, members of ESJF Steering Group and Chris Westlake, Landscape Architect for ECC, as well as the QCG Project Group, will have the opportunity to discuss Option 3 and its implications further with our landscape architect consultants. Further work on the design will then take place, alongside development of a Business Plan and a planning application prepared. It is anticipated the final design will be unveiled and presented on the day of the Forum's AGM, 14 June. Make sure you mark this date in your diary to join us at this significant milestone!
The research in advance of the Compulsory Purchase Order for Queen’s Crescent Garden has found a descendant of the last known owner – an interesting development, but which inevitably is causing some further delay while all members of this person's family are contacted. Meanwhile Exeter City Council Building Control has looked at the garden walls and they do not feel they classify as a 'Dangerous Structure' under the Building Act 1984.
The Forum is currently being guided through the process of setting up a community benefit society – Exeter St James Community Trust Ltd – which will have wholly charitable objects. Likely incorporation date is the end of May or early June. Exeter City Council has confirmed it would approve such a legal body as future owner of Queen’s Crescent Garden, following compulsory purchase. It is hoped that the poor (though not dangerous!) condition of the walls will act in our favour when negotiation over purchase price takes place!
Public Consultation Event 15th February
We were delighted to welcome over 100 people to the public consultation on Queen’s Crescent Garden on 15th Feb at St Sidwell’s C of E Primary School.
ESJF introduced the meeting with a brief update on the project - including progress so far towards a Compulsory Purchase Order by Exeter City Council and the Forum’s next task of setting up a Community Business which will act as a Community Land Trust for the Garden as well as other possible future projects
LDA, the consultants appointed to help us with the project, talked the audience through the design considerations and processes involved in forming practical and functional ideas for the garden, using some inspiring illustrations and examples of similar projects.
There was also a large display of colourful and imaginative ideas generated by pupils of St Sidwell’s C of E Primary School, which will also be taken into account in the next stage of the design process.
Following the initial presentation those attending were invited to work in groups of 8 or so, generating, exchanging and agreeing ideas that were then presented to the the wider group at the end of the workshop session.
There was a surprising but satisfyingly consistent view in favour of accessibility, a permeable hard standing which could be used for a variety of purposes, areas for play, wildlife and seating. The consultants took away lots of material and ideas from which they will produce designs for the next stage of the public consultation.
Last but not least! A huge thanks to all who made and brought along some fantastic cakes for the afternoon tea. We made just over £125! All proceeds will support the Queens’ Crescent Garden project.
University student green team at work in the garden, February 24th ...the Good Deed Day for student volunteers
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