Hucknall: Fears of 'done deal' for 3,000 homes at Whyburn Farm - but council says nothing has changed

Concerns have been raised over surveyors spotted at Hucknall's Whyburn Farm site, which is targeted for up to 3,000 new homes.

Monday, 23rd May 2022, 8:00 am

The green-belt land is included in Ashfield's draft local plan, which is currently 'on pause'.

But the sight of several workers in high-vis coats and using theolodites (measuring tools) has sparked fears that the 'pause' isn't all it seems and that a deal has already been done and housing to go ahead on the land.

However, Coun Matthew Relf (Ash Ind), portfolio holder for regeneration and planning, said there was no ‘done deal’ of any sort and nothing had changed.

Surveying activity at Whyburn Farm has raised fears among campaigners against plans to build 3,000 homes on the site

One Hucknall resident contacted the Dispatch to ask: “Does someone know something that the rest of Hucknall is unaware of?

“There have been surveyors working in the fields behind Whyburn Lane and on Whyburn Lane itself for nearly a week now.

"This suggests that the developer believes it is a ‘done deal’.”

And it has led to members of the Hucknall Against Whyburn Farm Development (HAWFD) Facebook group also taking to social media to express their concerns.

Comments included:

"I wonder if these surveyors are gutted about the plans when they see how lovely the land is and the wildlife, I can only think it's those who are raking the money in who are apathetic.”

"When I spoke to one earlier in the year, he said it was ‘a real shame to build here and it’s really quiet nice’ – his own words.”

"I suppose there only doing their job, they don’t make the actual decisions.”

“I thought the plan was 'on hold?’ Who are they trying to kid?”

"Really not happy to see, okay a pleasant enough man, but doing a survey of our road (Whyburn Lane) to see if it would be suitable as access road for the 3,000 houses they want to build at the back of us.

"Did try very much to encourage him to put in his report it is absolutely not suitable and neither is it suitable for them to build those houses here.”

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Coun Relf said: “The draft local plan remains on pause due to the lack of clarification from the Government over whether or not they will continue to force their housing targets on councils, forcing them to permit greenfield development, orc indeed, whether the Conservatives will continue to try and hit their manifesto housing targets.

“With regards the local plan process, nothing has changed.

"Only the first round of consultation has been done.

“We have been reviewing the consultation feedback which will be used to amend the draft local plan but we need to know the details of the changes the Government are due to announce before we can fully amend the draft plan.

"Nothing is a done deal.

"Private land owners are free to have any surveys done on their land at any time and it is perfectly normal for this type of work to be done on any land an owner would like permission to build on.

"It does not indicate any certainty of them being successful."