Fury as council approves plans for house on Hucknall site which has become ‘thriving wildlife habitat’

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Residents who have lost their fight against a new-build on a Hucknall cul-de-sac say it will cause ‘great harm’ to locals.

Members of Ashfield Council’s planning committee were told that one elderly woman had already moved away because she was so worried about it.

The three-bedroom property will be built on the site of a demolished garage on Munks Avenue, which has become overgrown with wildlife.

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Concerns were raised about the street’s parking and problems, as well as a family of ducks which have made their home there.

An increased flooding risk was one of residents' big concerns over the plans. Photo: SubmittedAn increased flooding risk was one of residents' big concerns over the plans. Photo: Submitted
An increased flooding risk was one of residents' big concerns over the plans. Photo: Submitted

The application was approved by a planning committee on June 12.

One of the residents, Jamie Hastie, told the meeting: “The stream through the site floods on a regular basis and, if building goes ahead, it will happen even more often.

“I was told that there couldn’t be any building on the site or I would have bought it myself to preserve it for wildlife.

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"It’s vital habitat and wildlife groups want to get it back to how it should be.”

Coun Lee Waters said the increased parking issues on the already crowded street was 'an accident waiting to happen'. Photo: SubmittedCoun Lee Waters said the increased parking issues on the already crowded street was 'an accident waiting to happen'. Photo: Submitted
Coun Lee Waters said the increased parking issues on the already crowded street was 'an accident waiting to happen'. Photo: Submitted

Speaking to your Dispatch afterwards, Mr Hastie added: “Let me make it clear, this is not a NIMBY objection, I am a mortgage broker and am acutely aware of the need for more housing.

"This proposal, however, is not the answer – the land is completely inappropriate to be built on.

"I can confirm that it does flood on a more increasingly regular basis and if this building goes ahead this will just get worse.

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“Loss of habitat is a real worry, we get such a wide variety of wildlife here, magpies, blackbirds, waxwings, collared doves, sparrowhawks and song thrushes regularly nest in the trees.

"And in the evening you can see bats flying around, as well as owls.

"Someone from the council recently told me that we have white-clawed crayfish in the watercourse, which I understand is a protected species

“Loss of privacy is a big worry for me and for the people living adjacent to the site.

"I am recovering from cancer and my garden is my sanctuary.

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"The loss of privacy and sunlight by the overshadowing of this building is going to be a real hit to my mental health and I know that many others feel the same.

This building will benefit one, maybe two people, whereas it is going to have a devastating effect on more than 50 people.”

A total of 12 objections from residents were submitted to the plans.

Coun Lee Waters (Ash Ind), who represents the Hucknall Central ward where the site is located, also spoke against the proposals.

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He said: “When residents are home, the street is crammed with cars.

"This end is used to turn around.

“If it was built on, they would have to reverse the full length onto a busy road – an accident waiting to happen.

“It’s simply wrong to destroy a thriving wildlife habitat appreciated by the community.”

The applicant, Maria McCulloch, didn’t speak at the meeting.

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A similar application was rejected last year for being too close to the properties on Linnet Way.

But council officers were satisfied with the amended version and the planning committee narrowly voted to approve them.

Following the vote, Mr Hastie called out: “Who do we put claims into once it floods?”

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