Shock plans to 'dump' 3,000 new homes on Hucknall green belt land slammed as disastrous

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A controversial new local plan includes a proposal to build a staggering 3,000 new homes on green-belt land at Whyburn Farm in Hucknall, the Dispatch can reveal.

At a meeting of the council Cabinet on Monday (September 20), the ruling Ashfield Independents agreed to go to public consultation on their new local plan, which would be a blueprint for development across the district in the future.

But shock has been caused over a suggestion that 50% of new housing needed across the district could fall in Hucknall – and the plan includes a new development of up to 3,000 extra houses on the green belt at Whyburn Farm in the town.

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Astonishingly that is just a stone’s throw from the current Top Wighay Farm development of hundreds of houses on the opposite side of the Annesley bypass.

The proposed new housing would be on Whyburn Farm landThe proposed new housing would be on Whyburn Farm land
The proposed new housing would be on Whyburn Farm land

Plenty of criticism has already been voiced in Hucknall with the town’s infrastructure, including doctors’ surgeries and schools, under increasing pressure.

Now the town’s Labour district councillors have blasted the Independents over the proposal, which is currently in its draft stages and will be consulted on.

Coun Lauren Mitchell, leader of the Labour on Ashfield Council, and who represents Hucknall South, said: “In 2018 the Ashfield Independents threw out Labour's local plan because the now council leader, Coun Jason Zadrozny, claimed it ‘wanted to build in the green spaces we hold so dear’.

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"The Ashfield Independents are now planning on dumping 3,000 houses on the green belt in Hucknall.

"Obviously the green spaces that the Independents holds so dear don't apply to Hucknall.

“These plans would be disastrous for Hucknall and will increase the pressure local services are already being put under.

"We are encouraging residents to make their voices heard by submitting their views to the consultation when it is launched, in addition to holding a public meeting in early October to encourage Hucknall residents to come together to oppose these plans.

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Coun Mitchell’s Labour and Hucknall South colleague, Coun Kier Morrison, added: “The amount of new houses planned for Hucknall is untenable.

"Not only are the Ashfield Independents planning on bulldozing our green belt but this will also put further strain on the town’s healthcare crisis.

"Hucknall hasn’t got the infrastructure to cope with more new builds, we’re not against new development but let’s have the schools, doctors and necessary services in place first.

John Wilkinson, from the group Hucknall Needs More Doctors, added: "The Ashfield Independents have failed to give us the doctors we need for houses already built – now they want another 3,000 houses in Hucknall."

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Coun Jason Zadrozny replied: “I must point out that these plans are in draft and were drawn up by a cross-party group of councillors which included Labour and Conservative councillors and Labour councillors have voted for this draft plan every step of the way.”

"We would welcome any comments from members of the public who have any concerns about these enforced plans in Hucknall and across the Ashfield district.

"I must point out that the council is being forced to submit these outline plans to meet Conservative government housebuilding targets.

"As a council, we promise to listen to each and every response and act accordingly.

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“We have always been clear that any local plan must work hand in hand with significant improvements to infrastructure including more doctors, better roads, more school places and much more.

"This is something that Labour, when they ran the council, failed to deal with effectively.

"This led to the Hucknall health crisis including poor access to GPs that residents are suffering from to this day.

"With regards to the ‘super health centre’ planned in the centre of Hucknall – we are making significant progress after pledging £1million to the project.”