Homes on the Bramcote School site?

“Enabling development” refers to development that would usually be considered harmful but is considered acceptable because the resulting benefits outweigh the harm.   Our planning system has developed over the past 70 years into a sophisticated but complex system to help make decisions about land use.  The concept of “enabling development” is one that will be central to the decisions about what to do with Bramcote’s green belt in the coming months.

White Hills Park (WHP) Federation’s advisors consider that building 300 homes on the Coventry Lane playing fields to be enabling development – this much is not news. However they also consider development for housing on the current site of the Bramcote School to be enabling development too.  Yes, they talk about 40+ new homes on that site.

The harm is clear enough. Housing on the Bramcote School site. A figure of 40 homes or more has been mentioned in correspondence between WHP advisors and County Council officials. This would change the character of the area, reduce options on where to redevelop a leisure centre in Bramcote and fly in the face of the Broxtowe Councillors’ decision to allocate that land for educational or leisure uses.  That is also the site that the Bramcote residents most want to see developed for a new leisure centre before or at the same time as any school building.

So what might the benefits of building 40 or more houses on the Bramcote School site be? Principally building those homes it seems would raise some £2million for the County Council so it can expand Bramcote Hills Primary School to accommodate extra children from all the new housing in the area.

So because WHP cannot afford to build its new buildings, it wants Notts County Council to gift it land to raise the £20 million for the new buildings. And, because of the extra children, Bramcote Hills Primary School will need to be expanded. And to pay for this, Notts County Council needs to sell the site of the Bramcote School for housing.

I wonder when the councils involved were planning to tell us?

Perhaps it is time not only for Public land in public hands but also for state schools in public hands!



Paul Nathanail

The Independent Candidate for bramcote & Beeston North.

Please consider voting for PAUL NATHANAIL on 4 May 2017 to help retain land and school buildings in public ownership.



Promoted by Peter Nathanail on behalf of Paul Nathanail, both of 86 Moor Lane, Bramcote, Nottingham, NG9 3FH

Candidate’s log Friday 8 May

Start with end in mind.
The end of this particular chapter came at about 5pm today when the Returning Officer called Bramcote Ward’s candidates and agents to show them the results, before announcing them to the assembled crowd.

11 candidate, 4 parties (and an independent – that’s me in case you hadn’t realised) and 3 seats. Well, Conservatives swept the board taking all three seats followed in the first instance after just SIX votes by the Liberal Democrats, then labour and then me – with an astonishing 377 votes!


So it seems that a significant number of Bramcote voters value the purposes our green belt serves to spare a vote for an indepedent when many voted en bloque for the party they’d supported for the general election.

So this is the end… of the beginning.

Au revoir.

Candidate’s log Thursday 7 may

A strangely quiet day. The lull before the storm. The end of campaigning and the time for control to be put where it belongs: firmly in the clutch of the pencil wielding voter in the privacy of the voting booth.

If you voted today, well done.

If you voted for me today, thank you!

Back to the count at the Pearson Centre… even though the council votes aren’t counted until friday afternoon. There are no exit polls for council elections but the voters know what they want.

Candidate’s log Wednesday 6 May

Wow! The last blog of this campaign and my penultimate as a candidate.

Last night’s brace of public meetings exceeded expectations (which admittedly weren’t high!). 20 or so people braved the elements to hear my reasons for standing, to have their questions answered and at the end of it, unbidden, most chose to pledge their vote.

Green Belt has five purposes and we need it to serve all five for both Bramcote’s and Beeston’s tomorrow. A secure Green Belt will drive better development and foster creativity that will give us all a better place to call home.

I hope whoever reads this makes the effort to vote tomorrow, even if they choose not to vote for me (but even better if they did!)

Canidate’s Log Tuesday 5 May 2015

Almost like buses but not quite – today I will be holding not three but two back to back public meetings to allow Bramcote’s residents to hear why I am standing for election to the Borough Council and to ask me any questions they may have.

In finalising what I plan to say, I reviewed the present Conservative/ Liberal Democrat coalition government planning guidance on the green belt. It is here:

The coalition Government reminds us that “The fundamental aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open; the essential characteristics of Green Belts are their openness and their permanence.” The Government says that it “attaches great importance to Green Belts”.

Those green belts serve five purposes:

  • to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas;
  • to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another;
  • to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment;
  • to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns; and
  • to assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.

The new council will decide the extent to which it will use its local plan to protect our green belt and seek more sustainable solutions to meeting our housing needs than sprawl and the associated car dependency.  Successful service and retail sector businesses thrive on footfall. Innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity are fostered in urban places where we can meet, interact and colaborate. Beeston Town Centre can be such a place. Better public transport connections between Bramcote and Beeston can benefit us all.

I hope to see some of you this evening and will post a summary of the proceedings in tomorrow’s  blog.

In the meantime do think about voting for an independent voice on our Borough Council in the run up to Thursday’s ballot.

Candidate’s log Monday 4 May

A slightly longer than usual blog in which I answer questions posed by a local resident:

1 About you

Q. Your CV shows expert knowledge on land use and some thoughts here. Will you/ do you have any conflict of interest with potential developers?
Do I? – A: No, I am not working with any developers in the Broxtowe area.
Will I? – A: As an environmental consultant I have clients from both private and public sector – usually in relation to land contamination aspects of redeveloping land. I would not work for developers with interests in Broxtowe.

Q. If elected how would you deal with the developers who approach you?
A. I would welcome the chance talk with anyone who wants to invest in Broxtowe! Throughout my professional life the possibility of conflict of interest has come up from time to time. If I think there is a potential conflict of interest, I would take advice and seek to err on the side of caution by turning down work if I thought there was a conflict between the work and being a Councillor. I am a recognised expert in my field and I would seek to use that expertise through my role as a Coucnillor.

Q. Would you consider becoming a school governor at Bramcote?
A. I have considered this from time to time in the past. School governors are an important part of the way the County Council runs its schools however I am standing for election at the Local Government level and if elected I will focus on serving as a Borough Councillor.

Q. Your literature is about land/soil but the bigger picture needs to come out somehow for the development of Bramcote.
A. My literature is about a lot more than land and soil. My position is about creating places where people can thrive without destroying their own environment or passing on the problem to the next generation. This involves making better use of our resources and facilities, avoiding creating the need for car journeys to carry out the basics of everyday life and protecting the environment that supports us all.


Q. Siting the new school is important but getting better results is the key.We have seen bright new schools being built around the country and results do not always follow. New house in the area will generate more school places and parents will want to see far better performance.
Some ideas- link the school to George Spencer somehow?,link both Universities to the school.
A. Your ideas are interesting, but I’m not sure that Borough Councillors would be in a position to move them forward. White Hills Park is a Federation and as such is independent from all other schools. The extent to which they want to be linked to other schools in the area is a matter for their directors and governors. The Universities have increasingly good links to local schools – especially in the sixth form.

3 HS2
Q. Are you in favour of HS2?
A. We need to continue to invest in our infrastructure and if HS2 attracts the investment support it needs to be built then yes I would favour it; specifically I would favour the East Mids station being at Toton. It would help regenerate the area and link to the new tram extension. Better public transport links to East Mids airport and to Derby and Leicester would be needed.
Although the question was not asked, I would be equally in favour of other improvements to rail infra such as HS3 and the Cambridge-Oxford link.

Q. What are your views on job creation in the area -are their any sites that could attract factories/offices?
A. There are plenty of employment sites in the and the Universities are accelerating their role as engines of growth. Wealth creation needs to be at the centre of any area’s growth. For example, he City Council has worked with the University of Nottingham to support local small businesses improve their performance on many generic aspects of growing their business – I know because I took part in and still benefit from the Growth100 programme.


Q. You have mentioned that Bramcote will not [directly] benefit from the tram. Would you support better bus links [from Bramcote] to the terminus?
A. Yes I would support – and use – better bus links to Beeston! We are fortunate to have good bus links into Nottingham City Centre but the L10 bus that links Bramcote to Beeston is only an hourly service. For it to be an option for those who could drive to Beeston but would choose to go by bus it needs to be a much higher frequency than that – I would say every 15 minutes. I say this as someone who has a car and chooses to travel to work at University Park by bus.

Q. The census figures show an increasing number and would you support a retirement village in Bramcote?-assuming it were in planning terms in the best position.
A. Yes, I think retirement complex providing suitable accommodation among the community for our elderly residents is a good idea. It would mean that long standing residents could stay in their community and would probably hasten the release of family homes for younger people to buy. It would need to be located either close to existing shops and services or close to high frequency bus routes to such places. I do not think the golf course is a good site for a retirement village as it will build over currently open land which has significant wildlife value.

In addition, I think that we could make much better use of what I call ‘pocket brownfields’ – those small bits of awkwardly shaped land in among our houses which no-one makes much use of – to bring services and facilities closer to where people live.

Q. Would you align yourself if elected to parties who would protect the green belt and would you say this before the election next week? I think that Labour have said they will not protect the green belt
A. I am standing as an independent and have no wish to align myself with any party – why else would I stand as an independent? I would oppose inappropriate development on Green Belt land and would oppose any development on Bramcote’s open spaces.

Q. How would you vote if elected on say raising council tax, reducing services………………. in other words the big financial stuff
A. I would want to see the details of what the tax was being spent on to ensure we were getting good value for money. My experience in other parts of the country are that public sector procurement rules do not necessarily seek value but the cheapest price. Last year Broxtowe had an online consultation where you could make changes to the budget to increase or decrease spend and the level of services offered. I recall my overall answer (after cuts in some places and increases in others) would have been a small reduction in the council tax. However we need to be aware that most of our council tax is spent at County not Borough level.

Candidate’s log Saturday 2 May

The need to deliver around 3,000 leaflets this weekend meant I was most grateful for supporters who gave up their afternoon to help out. My Election Agent has split the ward into 11 routes and leaflets were distributed at 7 of them today.

I have been struck by how varied our area is. Houses with individual architecture abound and each one has been personalised further by ornaments, plants and even signs warning of ferocious – or in one case timid –  animals of the canine and occasionally feline variety. It is also quite hilly – and many houses ‘benefit’ from rather steep drives!

One resident emailed a long list of questions – which I will, with their permission – answer on Monday’s blog.


Candidate’s log 1 May

Having made all the arrangements for a public meeting early next week, it was a great relief to receive 5,000 copies of our second leaflet late this afternoon. Now we are all ready to distribute over the weekend.

The meeting will be held in Bramcote College on Moor Lane. In fact there will be two back to back meetings – one at 7pm and one at 8pm.

Despite campaign fever still managed to make it to our regular dancing class for a chance to go over our beginners Foxtrot routine.

Candidate’s log 29 april

A trip to London for a meeting where the skills needed to ensure homes built on brownfield were safe was the main topic. I knew many of the people there so took copies of my campaign leaflet. No votes to be had but plenty of interest in and support for my ideas. Turns out there are others standing in their own elections, one for the Green Party and another as an independent.