OF COURSE jobs and homes are important, but those responsible for the proposed development at Rolls-Royce in Hucknall to build hundreds of new homes and create new employment seem to have turned a blind eye to the health and safety implications in their haste to get this off the ground.
I went to the consultation where one of the team from MUSE, whom I noted lived in the south of england, tried to convince me that studies of the vehicle movements on Watnall Road had shown that it had spare capacity and could easily accomodate the additional traffic from the 900 new homes — an extra 2,000 vehicle movements per weekday.
Try telling that to anyone who lives on this road, especially pedestrians attempting to cross two lanes of traffic at peak times. Councillors who now seem keen to promote this project have previously voiced their concerns about the unacceptable levels of traffic on the road and one wonders how they will explain their new position.
It was only last week that you reminded us of the toxic mix of cars and pushbikes with the untimely deaths of two Hucknall youngsters.
There have been three deaths on our stretch of Watnall Road to my knowledge and one wonders how much more of this has to happen before the powers that be wake up to the reality that the road infrastructure round this town cannot cope now.
Our friendly man from Muse however explained that by tweaking the island at Nabbs Lane corner and with the addition of two more islands near the develpment, all would be well.
The present economic downturn has meant that many people cannot afford a holiday and rely on local amenities to provide leisure opportunities.
Recently a network of magnificent woodland walks has been created round here — the old muddy tracks have been properly surfaced, trees and shrubs have been cut back and streams and ponds cleared.
The work is still not complete. Woodland sculptures have still to be installed but the paths are already well used and when walking them there is an overwhelming sense of tranquility and a genuine feeling of being well away from the hurley burley of life in Hucknall and Bulwell.
But guess what? The proposed road in and out of the industrial bit of the development will cut straight across this network and emerge on the bypass opposite the end of Farleys Lane. What a waste of money and a loss for ever to all those who value the countryside and its wildlife.
Holgate Comprehensive School in Hucknall has gone from strength to strength, thanks to the dedication of the staff. But no thanks to the buildings, which are both relics of the selective system.
In all the years I taught there, I cannot recall any serious capital expenditure on the buildings, yet other local secondary schools have benefited from several expensive makeovers — think Alderman Derbyshire, River Leen and Bulwell Academy.
According to the formula used by the Rolls team, the 900 new homes will generate more than 100 additional secondary pupils. Assuming that they are able to safely negotiate Watnall Road, where will this cohort be accoMmodated with Holgate already on overspill into temporary acccomodation? Back to the drawing board!