Councillor denies pushing for houses

THE Rolls-Royce site in Hucknall
THE Rolls-Royce site in Hucknall

A HUCKNALL councillor has strongly denied that he is ‘pushing’ for the groundbreaking masterplan for 900 new homes and a business park on the town’s Rolls-Royce site to get the go-ahead.

The claim was made by a Hucknall man at a meeting of the town’s Reach Out Residents group.

The man, who declined to tell the Dispatch his name, said he was ‘disappointed’ that elected councillors were fully supporting the multi-million-pound project ‘when it seems that the majority of tenants and residents don’t want it’.

“I appreciate that the scheme is expected to create a lot of new jobs but the councillors must listen to people,” said the resident.

Coun Chris Baron, a Hucknall Labour member of Ashfield District Council, replied that a planning application for the scheme had not yet been submitted and in no way was he trying to pre-determine the outcome.

“I have always indicated the advantages of the scheme as well as the disadvantages,” said Coun Baron. He added that after a public meeting the previous week to discuss the masterplan, more people who contacted him were in favour of the scheme than those against.

Reach Out chairman Sally Wyatt said the public meeting, attended by representatives of Rolls-Royce and regeneration specialists Muse, had proved ‘very useful’.

She said: “They seemed unaware of a natural spring near the route of a proposed new access to the Rolls site off Hucknall bypass, I am worried about water in the spring being contaminated.”

Malcolm Hodgkinson, who owns land near the site, said he was ‘very concerned’ about the impact of the development on rare crayfish in the area.

He said shale had previously been deposited on the airfield and, if disturbed, it would have a ‘poisonous’ effect.

A representative of a shooting club at Rolls which would be affected by the development said members were against a suggested merger with a club at Derby.

The long-established Merlin Flying Club would no longer be able to operate on the site if the masterplan goes ahead and the Hucknall squadron of the Air Training Corps would have to find a new base.