‘BUILD more houses, build as many as we can get! Never mind those trees and hedgerows and the creatures and community that live there. After all we desperately need more homes in Hucknall’.
Is this my view? No. It seems to be the view of Ashfield District Council (ADC), which seems determined to allow housing on every available bit of green space it can. I am writing with particular reference to the proposed housing allocation on gardens on a section of Nottingham Road, Hucknall.
When I first moved to Nottingham Road, my home was surrounded by Green Belt. Over time there have been new homes built across the road from me on the former zoo site and next to The Bowman and on the Broomhill Farm land, only a few yards away from the bottom of my garden. And the Rolls-Royce site in Hucknall is earmarked for a large housing development. With the proposed development of our gardens as well, the area will be transformed into one large housing estate!
Anyone who lives in Hucknall cannot fail to have noticed many new building developments springing up everywhere. My question to ADC is: why do we need all these houses in Hucknall, particularly as the housing quota requirement for our area, demanded by the Labour government, has been lifted?
Authorities are ploughing ahead, increasing housing density without regard for the pressure on schools, jobs, medical and transport services.
Currently, a developer from out of this area, is buying properties for the gardens along a section of Nottingham Road to assume control of the land for new housing. Despite many gardens still being in private ownership, they appeared on the Ashfield Local Plan Preferred Approach consultation document as proposed housing allocation.
According to the council’s website, these have ‘the benefit of planning permission’ and all this has happened without residents who own the land being informed personally. How can this be right? We should have had the opportunity to lodge our objections to both being on the Ashfield Local Plan before publication and to the application for planning permission. As it is our properties are devalued and less attractive to other potential buyers.
In the council’s ‘Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment’ for Nottingham Road this proposed development area is ‘achievable and highly suitable’ for an estate of 53 dwellings. This, together with the apparent planning permission, appears to me to give the developer a green light to buy the remaining properties. I cannot blame his company for grasping the golden opportunity of acquiring 1.58 hectares at low garden-land prices with its potential as building land.
I also object to allowing the destruction of this important green space with its beautiful trees and established hedgerows that provide important wildlife habitats. Housing here will have a serious impact on the bio-diversity with limited availability of alternative habitats.
I have just looked into my crystal ball and seen Hucknall ten years into the future. It is one giant housing estate with very limited flora and fauna and we shall have Ashfield District Council to thank for that.
NOTTINGHAM ROAD RESIDENT,