Village braced for new housing fight

WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED! -- campaigning residents (and horse!) determined to fight the fresh plans
WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED! -- campaigning residents (and horse!) determined to fight the fresh plans

DETERMINED campaigners in Annesley Woodhouse say they are ready to fight for a THIRD time in 18 months against plans for a multi-million pound housing estate on their doorsteps.

Taylor Wimpey wants to build 97 houses on greenfield land off Forest Road — even though similar proposals were blocked by Ashfield District Council last year and in 2009.

Residents say the development would ruin meadowland behind their homes and destroy wildlife. There are also concerns over traffic congestion, pollution, flooding and added pressure on local services.

The group, Annesley Community Committed to Ensuring Sustainable Settlements (ACCESS), has called on residents and councillors to unite against the plan.

ACCESS chairman Peter Olko, of Forest Road, wants them to support a petition.

Mr Olko said: “It’s time the local community stood up and spoke. We need to spit in the eye of officialdom and its rigid adherence to policies, and ensure that local people with local knowledge are listened to — rather than the desktop-generated reports produced by persons remote from the results of their actions.”

ACCESS vice-chairman Bob Collier added: “We’re not surprised that Taylor Wimpey has come back again.

“A company of this size does not want to give in and can only see a profit at the end of it. The plan is not in keeping with the local area.”

Previous applications were thrown out by Ashfield councillors because of fears over traffic, flooding, pollution and the pressures of an increased population.

Taylor Wimpey’s latest application includes 87 houses and ten apartments, as well as car parking. A second application includes work to accommodate a surface-water drainage scheme for the proposed development.

A company spokesman said: “The mix of house types and sizes will help foster a sustainable community, providing family accommodation in the larger dwellings through to starter homes in the two-bedroomed properties.

“In an area where there has been very limited new development in recent years, the introduction of homes that could provide local first-time buyers with a local home is rare and should be embraced.”