Public cast views on plans for hundreds of houses and jobs

ON SHOW -- visitors to the Rolls site check out the plans
ON SHOW -- visitors to the Rolls site check out the plans
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A GROUNDBREAKING masterplan to create hundreds of new houses and jobs on a vast section of Hucknall’s Rolls-Royce site will give the town a ‘tremendous boost’, it has been claimed.

The multi-million-pound scheme includes the building of 900 new homes, a new sheet-metal factory for Rolls-Royce and a 68.7-acre business park.

Leading UK regeneration specialist Muse is Rolls-Royce’s development partner for the far-reaching project.

A Muse spokesman said: “The site has huge potential to deliver an exciting new future for the south-west of Hucknall, which will benefit the town has a whole.

“The design team has carefully assessed and analysed the site to ensure that the masterplan creates sustainable job opportunities and a self-contained new neighbourhood.”

The development would be carried out in phases over the next ten-to-15 years.

Muse has held a public consultation on the site and a double-decker bus was used to display the plans. Three sessions were held and they were attended by a total of about 400 people.

The proposed housing estate — with affordable homes — would include shops, a pub/restaurant, a primary school, play areas, sports pitches, allotments, footpaths and cycle routes, and a care home, said the Muse spokesman.

Two accesses would be provided with roundabout junctions off Watnall Road, while the Rolls-Royce site would eventually be accessed by a new road, also with a roundabout, from Hucknall bypass. A new bus route would connect the site to wider areas.

The spokesman said the new factory for Rolls-Royce, which could be operational in 2014, would safeguard 230 existing jobs.

He claimed that a variety of factory sizes was planned for the business park, tailored to meet the requirements of occupiers.

The spokesman added that the ‘memory’ of the historic aircraft runway on the site would be reflected in the housing layout.

But Merlin Flying Club would no longer be able to use the site and Hucknall’s Air Training Corps would have to move from its present base.

Mixed views were expressed by people who attended the consultation.

Michael Jones (62), of Ascot Drive, Hucknall, said: “If 900 homes are to be built on the Rolls-Royce site, I think that is enough for Hucknall. I therefore think there is no need for all the homes planned for Top Wighay Farm.”

But James Fielding (32), who lives in Watnall, claimed that so many houses in one place could create ‘urban sprawl’.

A woman resident of Hucknall who did not want to be named said she was worried about the traffic impact of the proposals. She thought it would bring more congestion at the Bulwell end of the bypass, which was already gridlocked at peak times.

She thought the potential loss of the flying club was ‘very sad’.