Minister site visit to meet campaigners

PLANNING minister Nick Boles visited Top Wighay Farm last week to look at development plans and hear campaigners’ views.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Planning visited the Sherwood constituency on the invitation of MP Mark Spencer.

He spent an hour at the site of Annesley Road listening to the views of county and parish councillors who have staged a long campaign against Gedling Borough Council’s plans to sell the land off to developers for housing on the farm land.

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“Mr Boles did listen to our concerns and was quite receptive to our comments but he was limited to his responses because of his position, which I understand,” said Linby Parish Council chairman and leader of campaign group Brownfield 1st, Bob Brothwell.

“Unfortunately it was a very foggy day so he was unable to take in the full site and its splendour but at least now he knows we are here.”

Several Conservative county councillors were also in attendance including Coun Mick Murphy who helped form the fight. Parish councillors and a few Hucknall residents also pitched their objections to the plans.

Coun Brothwell said he was pleased their representations were made.

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“The county councillors and our MP fought our corner and it was good to see we were all singing from the same hymn sheet.”

Mr Spencer was glad the minister agreed to the visit to enable the protestors to tell him their concerns.

“Campaigners were very robust in getting their views across and in expressing their frustration at the planning process,” he explained. “Mr Boles did give some pointers regarding the lack of communication between the councils which has been a big issue from the start.

“We now have another argument to take to the inspector.

“I’mglad he came and listened and recognised how important the site is to Hucknall people.”