Grill firm on plans for 900 new homes

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A SPECIAL meeting has been arranged to give Hucknall residents a chance to ask questions about the groundbreaking masterplan for a vast part of the town’s Rolls-Royce site.

Organised by Hucknall’s Reach Out Residents group, the meeting will take place at the Hillcrest Centre of Holgate Comprehensive School, Hucknall, next Tuesday, starting at 6.30 pm.

A representative of nationwide regeneration specialist Muse, which has become a partner to Rolls-Royce for the multi-million pound scheme will attend the meeting.

The large-scale plans are for 900 new homes alongside a business park which, it is claimed, would create up to 2,000 jobs.

The housing development would make for a whole new community within the town, including a new primary school, a pub, shops, play areas, sports pitches and allotments.

Access to the new homes will be from two entrances off Watnall Road and a separate approach to the Rolls plant and business park will be provided via a proposed new road off Hucknall bypass.

A public consultation about the masterplan took place on the Rolls site last month and was attended by about 300 people.

But Reach Out chairman Sally Wyatt said: “I feel a lot more consultation with local people needs to take place.

“Hucknall people know what will and what will not work in the town. But information so far provided is impossible for most people to understand. It is complicated and wordy.”

Critics of the project claim that the development would be too large for the existing road infrastructure in and around Hucknall to cope with.

They point out that traffic from the proposed new ground of Hucknall Town Football Club would also come on to Watnall Road, which could not sustain so many extra vehicles.

Worries have also been voiced that there is no mention of any improvements to the section of road between the Bulwell end of Hucknall bypass and Moorbridge roundabout, which also experiences severe congestion at peak times.

Calls have been made to ensure that all gateways to Hucknall are improved as part of the development.

But at a meeting of Hucknall Area Committee this week, Coun Chris Baron, a Labour member for Hucknall West ward on Ashfield District Council, said he thought the crucial point about the proposals was that the business park would provide much-needed new jobs.