Fight to save Wigwam from houses goes on, vows veteran Vera

THE BATTLE ISN'T OVER, says Wigwam Warriors activist, great grandmother Vera Malcolm
THE BATTLE ISN'T OVER, says Wigwam Warriors activist, great grandmother Vera Malcolm

A DEFIANT pensioner has vowed to continue the campaign against house-building on Hucknall’s Wigwam Lane playing fields — despite yet another setback.

Members of Ashfield District Council’s planning committee have given the green light for a cluster of 77 houses to be built on the site.

The properties, which are planned by Barratt Homes, form a small part of the controversial scheme for more than 700 homes on the Wigwam and the adjoining Grange Farm site.

Councillors previously deferred a decision on the 77-home application because of concerns over an access road. But when the proposal came before them again, the vote went in favour of the developer.

However Vera Malcolm (82), a leading member of the Wigwam Warriors action group which has opposed the plans for several years, says the battle isn’t over.

“We’ve never stopped fighting,” added Vera, of Leadale Avenue. “We don’t want anything at all on that site.

“Everybody thinks it is an absolute sin that this field is going to be built on.”

The land has been earmarked for housing since 2002 under Ashfield Council’s Local Plan.

Campaigners previously applied for ‘village green’ status in a bid to halt the overall development. This was rejected in 2008. They have now launched a fresh application with Notts County Council.

However this had no bearing on the Barratt application. The company had already been given the go-ahead to build the houses and the latest proposal was simply to vary the size of some of the houses planned.

Coun John Dymock (Con), of Hucknall, raised concerns about the safety of an access road into the site.

But when it came to the vote, councillors went with officer recommendations to give approval. Coun Dymock voted against the plan.

Robert Galij, planning director at Barratt East Midlands, said: “The scheme will contribute towards the provision of community facilities, including a primary school, sports pitches and public open space — as part of the overall development.”