Hucknall independents call for unity to fight plans for another 1,650 houses on town's borders

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Hucknall Ashfield Indepedents have called for party politics to be put aside and for all councillors to fight plans that could see another 1,650 extra houses built on the town border.

The Independents were speaking as they announced their formal objection to the new Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan which they say is “foisting additional housing and pressures on the Hucknall infrastructure”.

Labour-led Broxtowe, Nottingham and Gedling Councils and Conservative-run Rushcliffe Council have just finished a consultation on proposals for their “preferred approach” to implementing the new strategy.

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Referring to Hucknall in the wording describing the preferred approach, the documents say: “Ensuring that new development adjoining the built-up area of Hucknall, or in or adjoining, is of a scale and character that supports these as sustainable locations for growth.”

Councillors are concerned that more than 1,600 new homes are to be built on Hucknall's border. Photo: Getty ImagesCouncillors are concerned that more than 1,600 new homes are to be built on Hucknall's border. Photo: Getty Images
Councillors are concerned that more than 1,600 new homes are to be built on Hucknall's border. Photo: Getty Images

The papers go on to detail that Gedling Council will be looking to build about 1,650 homes adjoining Hucknall, with 83 further homes planned for north of Papplewick Lane and 805 homes at Top Wighay Farm already agreed and a further 640 at the site during the plan period.

Existing commitments and possible new allocations at will also be looked at for Bestwood Village, Calverton and Ravenshead.

Now Ashfield Independent councillors are calling on Conservative and Labour councillors in Hucknall to join them in publishing their objections.

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In a strongly-worded objection letter, Hucknall Ashfield Independent councillors Trevor Locke, Nick Parvin, Dave Shaw, Lee Waters and John Wilmott said: “The housing requirement of 1,650 dwellings adjacent to Hucknall will account for 20.75 per cent of Gedling borough’s housing requirements to 2038.

In the letter, they also claimed plans for a new Nottinghamshire Council office block at Top Wighay Farm, in Linby, was “duplicitous” and called for plans to go back to the drawing board.

And they highlighted that the proposals did not make mention of the stresses and strains the housing would put on Hucknall’s already creaking roads infrastructure and medical facilities.

Coun Shaw said: “We are categorically against proposals that will dump thousands of extra houses on our border.

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“These houses will be using Hucknall’s services which are already at breaking point.

“Hucknall has a healthcare crisis that is not addressed in this consultation document.

"We have published our clear objections and we are asking the Conservative and Labour parties in Hucknall to publish their formal objections too, as submitted to the consultation.

"This will send a clear message to Hucknall residents that we are united, putting politics to one side and are putting Hucknall first.”

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Many Hucknall residents, however, while welcoming opposition to these plans, will point to the Ashfield Independents themselves proposing to build 3,000 homes on green belt land at Whyburn Farm before changing course in the face of sustained public opposition and backlash.

A Gedling Council spokesperson said: “The Government has set a housing target for at least 7,950 homes to be built in Gedling Borough by 2038.

"The Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan Consultation sets out the strategy and approach for where these houses will be built.

“Much of the housing has already been allocated on sites across Gedling Borough where developments are well under way including land north of Papplewick Lane, as well as at Top Wighay Farm, where planning permission has been granted for 805 homes.

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“The document ensures that housing is concentrated in the most sustainable locations across the borough.

"Consultation on the preferred approach document took place between January 3 and February 14.

“The responses will now be reviewed and inform a full draft of the Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan which is scheduled to be published later this year, when there will be a further opportunity to comment.”

Your Dispatch has contacted Conservative and Labour councillors for comment.