Council votes against a 'planning free for all' in towns like Hucknall

Controversial new planning reforms from the Government have been rejected by Ashfield councillors after they voted to oppose them.

The new proposals would according to one councillor, be ‘a disaster’ for towns like Hucknall.

Coun David Shaw (Ash Ind), who represents Hucknall North, was speaking on the motion at a meeting of the full council.

And he said the Government’s plans would reduce the ability of Hucknall residents and councillors to object to planning applications and make it easier and quicker for developers to built on open spaces.

Coun Shaw fears a raft of new developments is turning Hucknall into a concrete jungle. Photo: Google Earth

He said: “Every bit of Hucknall’s open spaces could be up for grabs if the Tories get their way.

“If these plans go ahead – it will be a disaster for places like Hucknall where I represent.

"There will be a planning free for all as profits are prioritised above all other concerns.

"Hucknall already has too many houses – our infrastructure has already passed squeaking point.

"Now the Government want to make the system easier and faster for developers – that is not acceptable.

"We will now be writing to the Hucknall MP Mark Spencer asking for an assurance that he is against these plans that would lead to Hucknall becoming a concrete jungle.

"He’s said nothing so far on the biggest issue facing our town so it’s time he spoke up.”

Coun David Hennigan (Ash Ind), who represents Sutton Central & New Cross, said the plans could even put the future of local newspapers like the Dispatch at risk.

He told the meeting, “Everyone knows that I am a champion for local journalism.

"Conservative plans would remove the legal responsibility to formally advertise planning applications in local newspapers.

"Apart from the questions of a removal of transparency, it would mean our local papers would take a massive hit in revenue and this would be devastating.”

Coun Jason Zadrozny, council leader, will now formally write to Mr Spencer and Ashfield MP Lee Anderson on behalf of all councillors asking for a commitment to voting against this bill when it comes before MPs, to issue a public statement opposing the bill and for a guarantee that they will use any influence they have to persuade their colleagues in the House of Commons to do the same.

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