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Farnsfield Parish Council FAQ's
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 Why has the option of using Cotton Mill Lane been rejected because it is not wide enough for two vehicles but the design for option 3 is to create a single lane road?


The key reason long term access via Cotton Mill Lane may not be an option is that the bottom part of the route is a designated bridleway. If residents decide traffic flow along Cotton Mill Lane has become too high, they could seek to use the legal process to close the bridleway to vehicles. The only way to avoid this would be for the council to seek legal recategorization of the route as a public roadway, a very expensive process that would mean the bridleway would have to be brought up to highway standards.

Given the popularity of SUV vehicles and small trucks within the village it would not be possible for these vehicles to cross on the part of the Cotton Mill Lane classed as a bridleway. It is impossible for Quaker Lane, which would be used by vehicles approaching the site from the east of the village, to carry two-way traffic. Neither Tipping’s Lane or Beck Lane, which are the only other options for approaching Cotton Mill Lane, are really suitable for two-way traffic.



Do we have an estimate of how many vehicle movements we expect on the new road and will it be many more than those presumably using Cotton Mill Lane for access now?


Consideration has been given to the increase in vehicle movements but there are many factors, including the nature of the facilities to be built, their attractiveness to users and their management, all of which would need to be taken into account. If the council is successful in gaining funding for a 3G football pitch this would be in frequent use and could alone generate up to 60 vehicle movements per hour as users cycle through the facility. In addition traffic would derive from the allotment users, people seeking to park and walk in Millennium woods and the users of any other facilities. Elements will be added to the area over time and traffic may not significantly increase until some point in the future. This is why the council does not intend to immediately build the new road but simply reserve the necessary land for that use if it becomes necessary.


Has the Council though about the impact of increased traffic to new football pitches?


Careful consideration will be given by the council to reducing the impacts of increased traffic associated with the facility on all residents across the village who may be directly affected by any changes.


Is the proposed road through Hadleigh Park going to be voted for by the residents?



The constitutional process does not require such a vote to be held. However it is within the power of the council to implement such a vote if they believe this necessary or beneficial.


If there are restrictions on building on Hadleigh Park, why will a tarmac road be allowed?


The restrictions relate to the building of enclosures which would restrict the use of the ‘Public Open Space’ to certain individuals or groups e.g. if it was wished to place a building on the area for use as a nursery this would not be allowed as access would be restricted. No decision as to the surface of the road would be made until it became necessary, sometime in the future, if at all, to build it.


Is there a more cost-effective alternative to tarmac and what is the environmental impact of tarmac? Are there alternatives with a lower impact that could be considered?


This is something that can of course be considered in the final design of the road and carparks. It may be the case that future technological developments will provide even more solutions for effective road surfaces.


Why plan a road when there is no detail or plan for what the road is to lead to? How do the Council even know that a road is necessary


The council needs to balance the risks associated with the expenditure of public money in all its decisions. If it were to invest in increased facilities in the Acres area without having an idea of how it could secure access to them in the future, it would be derelict in its duties to the public. Many councils, including our own, have examples of decisions made without understanding their full consequences, which have led to problems further down the line. The residents of Farnsfield deserve a council who take care to future proof their decisions and protect their investments in the village. FPC anticipate more football at the Acres and that this will increase traffic and potentially the number of car park spaces needed. The existing access to car parking at the Acres via Cotton Mill Lane may not be an option if traffic increases so we are investigating the feasibility of accessing Reynold's Field to use as an alternative car park


Why not expand the existing car park and let people walk over to any facilities on the other side of the field?


Part of the design brief is to expand the existing car park as it is currently near capacity at peak times of use. The proposed redesigned play facilities at the top of Hadleigh Park will increase its popularity helping to relieve the current overcrowding issues in the centre of the village around the Lady Goodwin play area. However, this will not meet the expected demand or counter the natural tendency for users to desire to park as close to their destination as possible and continue to use the route via Cotton Mill Lane and park at the top of the Acres.


What is the point in making the Hadleigh Park area less safe for children, dog walkers and other users by building a duplicate road around the edge of the green space?


If the access road becomes needed in future years, the access track would be separated from dog walkers and other users by a knee-high fence, protecting their safety. New footpaths through the area would provide direct access from the car park to the bottom of the area and encourage children and dog walkers off the footpath associated with Parfitt Drive where they are forced to cross two residential access roads and Parfitt Drive itself.


Would a knee rail fence be needed for option 2(b)?


A knee rail fence would be required to stop accidental incursions onto the trackway for options 2(a), 2(b) and 3


Would filter drains be needed for options 2(a) or 2(b)?


The current scheme proposes a Dutch drain along the trackway Option 3. This serves a dual purpose as it also provides for drainage of the extended car park. It may be possible to drain options 2(a) and 2(b) into the attenuation pond but this may still require a Dutch drain running along the Hadleigh Park boundary for the extended car park depending on the surface used.


Would traffic calming be needed for options 2(a) or 2(b


Options 2(a) and 2(b) may need traffic calming measures on Parfitt Drive they may also need traffic calming to be built into their new surfaces which will need to be considered at the final design stage


Inspire have identified that re-alignment of the sewer pipes would be required for option 2(b). What is the reason for realignment in this case and can the design avoid this?


The reason for the realignment is that the trackway would cross the sewer pipes in the direct area where the pipes enter the attenuation pond. If the road is to run behind the attenuation pond there is no way a reconfiguration of the sewers in this area can be avoided. Options 2(a) and 3 simply cross the pipes at a point where they are at an appreciable depth below the surface. The only works that might be necessary for these options is to reinforce the area above the pipes if required


Why have the Parish councillors who live on Parfitt Drive not declared an interest in this project?


Only one councillor lives on Parfitt Drive. A declaration of interest is noted in meetings against specific agenda items. It is a matter for all councillors to declare interests in those

items where, knowing the relevant facts, a councillor’s personal interest is so significant that it is likely to prejudice their judgment of the public interest. In this case the councillor must leave the meeting before the agenda item is discussed. It is not appropriate for any councillor to declare an interest in the ESP as a whole as there will be many decisions to be made regarding many different aspects of the project. Where a councillor might be assumed by the public of having a greater interest than others in a decision, but this is not considered prejudicial by the councillor concerned, the proper process is for them to disclose their interest, but they may stay in the meeting, speak and vote.


Has the Council produced an outline of costings for the whole project and is it affordable?


No outline costings for the full project have been made because an overall plan has not been presented. As part of the design brief Insight were allowed scope to plan the ideal facility for the village without budgetary constraints for the solution. It is recognised that this would not be affordable in the first instance, but it would provide the village with a future proof development plan which it could unite behind in carrying out fund raising activities and seeking additional funds and grants from charitable institutions and other sources. The intention would be that those elements that were affordable and provide the most immediate benefit to the village would be prioritised for early completion. Other elements would be pursued as funds could be secured.


Why wasn’t there a competitive tender for the design company?


Farnsfield Parish Council financial regulations outline that when it is to enter a contract of less than £25,000 in value the Clerk or RFO shall obtain 3 quotations, where the value is below £3,000 and above £999 inclusive of VAT the Clerk or RFO shall strive to obtain 3 estimates. Otherwise, Regulation 10.3 above shall apply “All members and officers are responsible for obtaining value for money at all times”. At any time, the Council can choose to suspend financial regulations with good reason.

When the council sought to appoint a specialist design company, the number of companies with the necessary expertise was limited, even on a national basis. The onset of COVID control measures further limited the number of companies with the necessary resources to accept commissions outside of their immediate areas. Given the need to spend the available developers’ funds within a relatively short time period, a conscious decision was made by the council to appoint Inspire who were able to offer the service, had worked with Nottinghamshire County Council and had a demonstrable track record of successful developments.


Why wasn’t a proposal for spending public funds on design consultancy, including budget allocation, put to the public before proceeding?


The design consultancy produced an itemised financial quotation for their work in response to the project brief produced by the council. This was discussed in public meetings and agreed via the normal council process.


How much is being allocated for each part of the process?


Costings for each area of engagement with the design consultancy are available on the FPC website in the ESP project area. The details of any additional costs not covered within the original agreement, but found necessary to progress the project, which themselves must be approved via the normal council process, are also available in this area


Facilities upgrades have changed from a relatively straightforward concept of improving the existing play area to include a concrete skatepark at Parfit Drive and upgrading the existing football pavilion and pitch, to now include an access road, a new sports hall, and other elements that were not given priority in the Neighbourhood Plan (or given very low priority). Please can you explain why, especially since the available budget has not increased to support this.


The Neighbourhood Plan, created in 2016, includes many elements that were prioritised at the time. Four categorisations were chosen:

Ø Low Complexity/Low Impact

Ø Low Complexity/High Impact

Ø High Complexity/Low Impact

Ø High Complexity/High Impact

Since this date much progress has been made in the Low Complexity/High Impact category although, ‘Village Hall renovation & Facilities’ was only started and completed under the current council and ‘Better football pitch & nets’ has only just been started with the recent purchase of new football posts and nets by the current council.


Until the agreement of the ESP no progress had been made on the first and second priorities in the High Complexity/High Impact category (namely ‘Young Peoples Facilities’) and ‘New Football Pavilion’. Clearly these facilities require additional infrastructure which is why they are in the High Complexity category. The council is dedicated to the realisation of the Neighbourhood Plan and the ESP addresses these two High Impact/High Complexity areas


Why is Council asking Inspire to make influential decisions on behalf of the village without also requiring them to consider feedback from previous public consultations undertaken by the Council?


Inspire cannot make any decisions on behalf of the village. They are using their professional expertise to design the best possible use of the space available whilst taking into consideration the East Side Brief agreed and sent to them by Council.


What facilities have you proposed specifically for Reynolds Field and The Acres versus those proposed for Hadleigh Park?


At the start of the project all the villagers were asked by the council to submit their ideas for the additional facilities to be included in the design of the area. Many were received by email and letter and others were received during the open evening to which all residents were invited to discuss the proposed development. All ideas presented were collated and added to the East Side brief. The council have not proposed specific locations for any of the individual elements with Inspire as the essence of the brief was to allow Inspire to use their expertise to best match the technical constraints of the area with the requirements of the village and thereby achieve an optimum plan.


How have you determined the level of community support for each of the proposed facilities please


At the point the ideas were collated the council grouped similar suggestions together with the frequency of occurrence giving an indication for the level of community support. The council accepts that this is not a rigorous methodology as it can underrepresent the views of groups who are unable or unwilling to participate in the process, and can amplify the views of active special interest groups. This mechanism was deemed appropriate at the time given the limited resources available to the council.


Why has the wheeled facility not been built, while the village hall has had the allocated funding spent on it?


A wheeled facility is planned as part of the ESP and an extension to the LIS (Local Improvement Scheme) grant awarded by NSDC to contribute towards the costs of this is currently under negotiation. If a suitable location can be agreed within the ESP its construction could be started within the next 12 months. Money has been spent on the village centre because it had a Fire Risk Assessment carried out in August 2018 which identified serious breaches of the Fire Regulations:

· 4 major concerns that warranted serious urgent attention

· 23 Priority 1 matters that required immediate attention over the next month,

· 15 Priority 2 matters that should be completed over the next 3 - 6 months


These works have now been carried out to make the village centre a safe, secure and a pleasurable asset which the village should be proud of owning, that is well used by a full cross section of the community.

The majority of the funds spent on the centre have been those allocated from developer funds. These funds would have had to be returned to the developers had they not been used. This has all been achieved due to the determination of this council to use those funds to for the benefit of as many members of the community as possible.


With the exception of the already earmarked developer funds for playground renovations, all the proposals for the ESP are just proposals. The final decision on what the ESP will or will not consist of will be the decision of the council, taking into account all the proposals made to the council, and with due regard to the residents’ wishes.


Would the attenuation pond need to be completely relocated to support option 2(b)?


Any further design considerations regarding potential changes to the attenuation pond would require significant design and planning works and interactions with Severn Trent Water which would attract water authority fees. FPC could request this work to be carried out but this investigation is not currently itemised in the agreed contract of works and would attract an additional cost.


Why the attenuation basin is considered an additional amenity within the Village?


All assets owned by the council should be of community amenity and if they are not consideration should be given to their disposal as the costs associated with their maintenance and management give no public benefit. The attenuation basin was given into the council’s care with the transfer of other land associated with Hadleigh Park. In hindsight the council should probably have adopted the same policy as other councils have recently taken towards attenuation ponds and refused to accept responsibility for its care and maintenance, as this could result in expenditure which provides little value to the village at large and places a significant risk on the council should it fail to fulfil its purpose. The council’s ownership of the attenuation basin cannot be reversed but happily it has become of public amenity as in the summer months it is dry and children often use its boundary to delineate different types of games. This attenuation basin is also naturally suited to the staging of outdoor theatre productions such as the council’s 2020 production on Reynolds Field which suffered somewhat due to the low sun behind the stage. This would not be an issue for productions staged within the confines of the attenuation pond as trees screen its south-west perimeter.


What proportion of the available funds are Councillors prepared to commit to the construction of an access road?


All councillors hope an access road does not become necessary but if that eventuality occurs it will be the responsibility of the elected council at the time to agree a budget via the normal council process.


What are the construction/long-term maintenance costs and liability risks arising for the Council from the various access route options?


The construction costs for upgrading Cotton Mill Lane from a bridleway to a highway would be high, as the standard would have to meet requirements set down by Nottinghamshire County Council for roads, which include drainage, lighting, minimum road and footpath dimensions, and construction methods. Construction and maintenance costs would have to be met by Nottinghamshire County Council as they own the land to the end of Footpath 9 where it enters the Acres area. Whilst this is a low-cost option for the village it is highly unlikely to receive the necessary funding from Nottingham County Council. Currently Nottinghamshire County Council are happy for FPC to carry out minor track surface repairs

to the bridleway portion of the road on the basis that it is vehicles traveling to council owned facilities that cause surface degradation.


The construction costs for any access route impacting the attenuation basin would be high as the new attenuation basin design would have to be approved by Severn Trent Water and would have to comply with new planning conditions. This would result in a requirement to increase the capacity of the pond to meet new flood guidelines and installing new equipment to control possible inflows and outflows. Comparing the existing basin with the new attenuation ponds on the Bellway and Miller estates gives an idea of the engineering works that would most probably be required. It should be noted that the Hadleigh Park attenuation basin serves a much larger area of land than either of the other two. As the owner of the attenuation basin, FPC carries liability if this facility should fail to meet its purpose and there are consequential claims made by householders. Leaving the attenuation basis in its original form may allow some protections against claims, as the design of the basin met planning conditions in force at the point of its construction.


Both the construction and maintenance costs of an access route along the boundary fence of Hadleigh Park would be under the control of the council as it would be classed as a private road and the council are free to choose the construction method to be used. There is a balance between construction and maintenance costs dependant upon the type of construction to be used, i.e. a green surface may be less costly to construct but more costly to maintain, a tarmac surface would be more costly to construct but less costly to maintain. No decision as to the surface of the road would be made until it became necessary, sometime in the future, if at all, to build it, and at that point the elected council would have to make a decision on the construction mechanism to be employed by the proper council process.