Kickstart for Wigwam homes development

A LENGTHY delay in the highly controversial plans to build new homes on Hucknall's Wigwam Lane playing fields is set to come to an end.

For the scheme will be injected with part of a 450 million government investment to kickstart work which has come to a halt because of the economic downturn.

Housing Minister John Healey has given the green light for a total of 54 stalled housing-projects to receive money from the flagship Kickstart programme.

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Hucknall's Labour MP Paddy Tipping welcomes the initiative, even though he has consistently opposed development of the Wigwam and spoke against the proposals at a public inquiry.

He said: "Since the work stopped, the land has become an eyesore and a target for travellers. I hope new work will start shortly and that the site can be improved.

"Four building firms involved in the Wigwam development have been waiting for the depressed housing market to pick up so that they can carry on with the work."

The recession has meant that house-building projects can take years to complete but Kickstart means that once cash has been confirmed, builders can return to work within weeks.

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A total of more than 800 new homes are proposed on the Wigwam and the adjacent Grange Farm site.

The Wigwam Warriors action group conducted a long campaign against the proposals, leading to the eight-day public inquiry.

But they were unsuccessful in a bid for the site to be given Village Green status, which would have saved it from being built on.

Campaign leader Vera Malcolm (81) said she was trying to find out who would be providing the required infrastructure for the site, including a spine road, drainage and sewers.

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The work was to have been carried out by the Birmingham-based Cofton development group, who have gone bust.

Notts County Council sold the 13.5-acre site to Cofton for 5.3 million, despite a covenant insisted upon by former owner Emila Ada Story that the land was to be for permanent recreational use.