Make sure your voice is heard against housing plan

THE Dispatch has featured a number of articles and readers’ Letters about proposals for housing development sites as councils across Nottinghamshire seek to meet their housing-land targets.

In particular, proposals from Gedling Borough Council for sites at Top Wighay Farm in Hucknall and land north of Papplewick Lane, Hucknall have been highlighted.

Gedling has already dropped sites in the Mapperley area from its proposals. That means there is greater pressure to find other sites to replace the 1,900 houses estimated for those sites. There are rumours that, in addition to Papplewick Lane and Top Wighay, a further site on Moor Road in Bestwood Village/Papplewick might now be considered.

Gedling Council failed to consult residents of Hucknall, or our local council, on its proposals. That did not stop huge numbers of residents making their views known when options were published last year.

A petition with almost 300 signatures and some 70 individual comments was sent to Gedling in the autumn to object to the inclusion of land north of Papplewick Lane. Linby and Papplewick Parish Councils also objected.

Proposals here are for 600 houses. That is 200 more than the last time this site was proposed. Key concerns are:

THE impact on wildlife along the River Leen, which is a key breeding-site for water voles and crayfish;

THE habitat for a range of animals, including stoats and weasels, and birds, including skylarks, partridges, buzzards and lapwings;

THE impact on heritage sites such as Moor Pond Wood;

THE fact that part of the site is a flood plain;

AND the significant increase in traffic on the Vaughan Estate and Papplewick Lane in Hucknall.

Notts County Council’s highways department has confirmed that enquiries have been made about access off Papplewick Lane and that this would be permitted if the developer can satisfy visibility requirements.

It is understood that the landowner has already bought at least three houses along Papplewick Lane, midway between Hayden Lane and Moor Road, so it seems clear that access will be sought there and is likely to be acceptable in highways terms.

The highways department has also advised that for a development of 600 houses, further road-access points would be required. Access points off Hayden Lane cul-de-sacs have been proposed previously.

Over the last few days, there have been survey teams out on Papplewick Lane, looking at potential access-points and measuring up the fields behind Papplewick Lane and the Vaughan Estate.

Gedling originally published proposals for 4,500 houses at Top Wighay. In a report to Gedling’s Cabinet in December, it appeared to accept that this is not a viable option but will look to do more than the 500 already allocated at this site.

The county council is a key land-holder here. Is it too simple to suggest that county councillors who are opposed to this development have the option of refusing to sell the land for housing development?

Gedling Council was due to consider a report on Wednesday this week when proposed housing sites were to be confirmed. Objections will be reported in this.

The key issue for Hucknall residents is that we don’t vote for Gelding councillors. But that should not stop us having a voice. There will be further formal consultation and inquiry stages prior to any final adoption.

I would urge local residents to find out what this report says. Read next week’s Dispatch. Go to Gedling’s website or ring the council up.

Be sure to make your voices known on the proposals over the coming months when the next stages of formal consultation take place. If you want to know more, or to talk about what you can do as a resident, I can be contacted on 07722 595851

MRS BOBBIE NORRIS,

Papplewick Lane, Hucknall.