Plans for new homes on a controversial site near Hucknall and Linby have been approved - in a decision that has been branded ‘immoral’ and a ‘mockery’.
On Wednesday, Gedling Borough Council met to discuss plans by Strata Homes to build 38 homes on land off Annesley Road and Wighay Road.
It had deferred making a decision in January but has now approved the plans, despite local campaigners urging planners to delay a decision yet further.
In effect, the Strata Homes development will be the first phase of the development of the whole site that will eventually see around 1,000 homes being built.
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But the decision has been branded immoral by Sherwood MP Mark Spencer, who has now written to planning minister Brandon Lewis to ask him to call in the application.
While only around 30 or 40 decisions are called in for close inspection every year, Mr Spencer says that he will press Mr Lewis on the matter.
Speaking to the Dispatch, Mr Spencer said: “During the structure plan and inspector’s meetings, there were assurances that transport and flooding assessments would be made.
“The whole site needs a plan and should not be done piecemeal. Fundamentally, it’s immoral. I feel cheated. I accept that we fought the plans for 1,000 homes and we lost but promises were made and now they are backtracking. This is unfair.”
He added that he could forsee a time when Linby could be flooded and people will be saying that plans should have been in place for ponds.
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The controversial site forms part of the Gedling’s Aligned Core Strategy but because of the potential impact on the Ashfield district, it has prompted much debate.
Local resident Roberta Norris said: “As a local resident who sat through a number of sessions, where commitments were made to the planning inspector by Nottinghamshire County Council and Gedling Borough Council that there would be a new masterplan for the Top Wighay allocation and a fresh transport assessment, that commitment has been reneged upon.
“The current development brief does not allow for access off Wighay Road. It makes a mockery of the whole process.”
Coun Bob Brothwell, chairman of Linby Parish Council, said that he also believed that the decision made a mockery of the whole planning process.
He said that, in his opinion, the decision was political, and added: “It was being treated as a separate item to the Top Wighay development but it should either be in the local plan or not.
“As a community, we accept that the homes will be built but all we ask is that we can work with the authorities and the developers to get something we can work with.
“I feel that every time we get round a corner, we get mugged.”
“In looking at this individual planning application for 38 houses the County Council, as highway authority, is satisfied that the impact on the local highway network will be minimal but has requested some improvements to pedestrian facilities in the vicinity,” said Neil Hodgson, interim service director for highways, Nottinghamshire County Council.