Claims housing plans ‘politically motivated’

Top Wighay Farm
Top Wighay Farm

STRONGLY-opposed plans for 1,600 new homes to be built in the Linby and Papplewick area are ‘politically motivated’, it was claimed at a public meeting.

Linby parish councillor Bob Brothwell accused the Labour-controlled Gedling Borough Council of targeting rural areas for major development because they were largely Conservative.

One thousand homes are proposed for Top Wighay Farm (pictured) between Hucknall and Linby and the other 600 would go on land north of Papplewick Lane.

The meeting, held at Papplewick and Linby Village Hall, was attended by about 220 people, many of them having to stand.

Coun Brothwell said a minimum of 30% social housing was proposed for the two sites, which was a departure from Gedling’s policy of no more than 20%.

Only one elected representative from Gedling Council was at the meeting. There were no officers there.

The Dispatch made the council aware of the allegations made by Coun Brothwell but it did not respond directly to these.

At the meeting, Coun Brothwell said the impact of a big population increase as a result of the proposals would be ‘devastating’.

For instance, local doctors’ surgeries were already full and a sudden influx of new patients would cause ‘havoc’.

Coun Chris Baron, a Hucknall Labour member of Ashfield District Council, revealed that Gedling had ‘thrown in’ a third local site for potential development in the last four weeks.

He said the land earmarked for this purpose would be next to Moor Road, which could be opposite Papplewick Lane or on Goosedale Farm.

Coun Brothwell said members and officers of Gedling Council were invited to the meeting, But its only representative there was Coun Patricia Andrews (Con), who represents Linby and Papplewick on the council.

“The fact that we have been ignored in this way shows that Gedling is treating us with contempt,” said Coun Brothwell.

The chairman of Ravenshead Parish Council, Coun Joe Lonergan — a former Conservative member of Notts County Council — told the meeting that out of a total of 5,500 homes which Gedling Council was having to find space for in its government allocation, 4,400 were in parishes.

But Coun Brothwell claimed there was enough brownfield (already used) land in Gedling to cover the whole of the council’s housing allocation.

Coun Baron said Ashfield Council would be objecting ‘all the way’ to the proposals. He pointed out that up to 900 homes to be built on Hucknall’s Rolls-Royce site would go hand in hand with up to 2,000 new jobs.

In contrast, he claimed, Gedling Council appeared to have given little thought to the required balance between homes and employment in the Linby and Papplewick housing proposals.

The objectors have taken on a planning consultant to deal with the responses to Gedling’s proposals, for which forms were distributed at the meeting.

Reacting to the meeting and criticism of a lack of Gedling Council representation, a spokesman for the authority said: “The leader and deputy leader of Gedling Council were away on other council business, and so were unfortunately unable to attend the public meeting.

“However, the date for an alternative meeting has been arranged with Linby Parish Council where a representative from the borough council will be in attendance.

“The Aligned Core Strategy includes a proposal to allocate the North of Papplewick Lane site for 600 homes.

“Details of plots and access have not yet been determined and will be addressed through the masterplanning exercise and the submission of the planning application, both of which will include extensive public consultation.

“Ashfield District Council also have plans for development in the area and should be contacted for details.”