A COUNCIL has given its backing to a development blueprint that contains strongly-opposed plans to build more than 2,100 new houses in the Dispatch district.
The document from Gedling Borough Council pinpoints 1,000 homes for the Top Wighay Farm site between Hucknall and Linby, 600 for land north of Papplewick Lane in Hucknall, and a further 579 on land in the small community of Bestwood Village.
All three sites are on the periphery of Gedling, so objectors say the impact — and pressure on infrastructure such as roads, schools and health services — will fall on Hucknall, which is governed by Ashfield District Council.
The move has sparked anger, with the deputy leader of Ashfield Council, Coun John Wilmott (Lab), of Hucknall, saying it is “devastating”.
“Initially there was a suggestion of 800 houses, then this went up to 1,100,” said Coun Wilmott. “Now it is more than 2,100. Is that consultation? All it is doing is dumping Gedling’s housing allocation on us.
“I’m very cross. There will have to be a public inquiry and we will fight at that inquiry.”
Gedling Council needs to find space for a total of 7,250 homes by 2028 to meet its government quota.
Plans for Top Wighay are among the biggest in its ‘core strategy’. The site has been earmarked for housing since 2005 when it was initially pinpointed to accommodate up to 2,000 homes.
This was later reduced to 500. But last year, the Dispatch revealed a document that suggested the 116-hectare site could cope with a staggering total of 4,500 homes.
The latest plan also proposes that 30% of the housing at Top Wighay and on the land north of Papplewick Lane will be ‘affordable housing’ for families on low incomes.
None of the allocations in Ravenshead (446 homes) and Calverton (1,548) contain any ‘affordable housing’ requirement.
Coun Bob Brothwell, chairman of Linby Parish Council, said: “This is ridiculous. If these plans go ahead, it would be like dumping residents who are in most need of jobs and help in life furthest away from easy access to Nottingham.”
Coun Ian Morrison (Lab), a Hucknall member of Ashfield Council, said: “As far as I’m concerned, Gedling has failed categorically to consult with its partner council in Ashfield.
“It has failed to consult with the people of Hucknall and, as a result, this plan must be in jeopardy.”
Gedling did conduct a consultation with the public last year. Another on the ‘core strategy’ will be open from Monday June 11 to Monday July 23.
The council points out that developers would be asked for £2.76 million towards the building of a new primary school and developing existing secondary schools in Hucknall.
A spokesman for Gedling Council said discussions had taken place with senior officers at Ashfield Council about the “impacts of development”, and a “constructive and ongoing dialogue” would continue.