Summit to thrash out plans to build thousands of homes

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A COUNCILLOR has urged Hucknall to “fight with all its might” against an option to build thousands of houses on the town’s outskirts.

Coun Mick Murphy (Con), a Hucknall member of Notts County Council, was referring to a controversial option unveiled last year by Gedling Borough Council for up to 4,500 new houses at the Top Wighay Farm site (pictured) on the Hucknall/Linby border.

The greenfield site has been pinpointed by Gedling as ‘Option One’ in a range of schemes to meet housing needs over the next 18 years.

But protesters have reacted with dismay and pledged to battle against any such move.

They say such a huge number of houses — when combined with proposals for up to 600 homes on land north of Papplewick Lane — would strangle Hucknall’s infrastructure, with added pressure on schools, doctors’ surgeries and health services.

Now some of the protesters will get the chance to voice their concerns direct to high-ranking officials from Gedling Council at a special meeting set up next month.

The event has been lined up by the Hucknall Partnership Group at the Under One Roof Project on Vine Terrace on Monday March 5.

Local groups will be represented and gustes invited to chat with council officers about the Top Wighay site and future plans.

But Coun Murphy, who will be at the meeting, said: “Top Wighay Farm is a massive issue for the community and we need everyone’s support if we are to stop any development.

“The only way we are going to stop it is through people power.

“Residents in the west of Hucknall might not think it affects them. But it affects everyone in the town. The residents need to come out in force and say we are not going to tolerate this.”

Calls are still being made for a full-scale public meeting to discuss the Top Wighay proposal and other housing plans in Hucknall.

There are also fears the town could be ‘penned in’ if land off Watnall Road, which comes under Broxtowe Borough Council, is sold for housing.

There are also proposals to build extra new homes in Bestwood Village.

Also at the Under One Roof meeting will be Hucknall’s Conservative MP, Mark Spencer, who is a former member of Gedling Borough Council.

He said: “I am wholly opposed to the idea of development at Top Wighay Farm and I get pretty grumpy that Hucknall is picking up the strain for Gedling and Ashfield when it comes to housing.

“Clearly if these developments go ahead, Hucknall will reap all the stress of traffic and over-subscription at doctors’ surgeries and schools while other councils get the financial benefits.

“It is fundamentally unfair. We do not want the houses. I am disappointed that the message doesn’t seem to be seeping through and I will continue to be as direct as possible on this.”

Coun John Wilmott (Lab), of Hucknall, who is deputy leader of Ashfield District Council, said: “We are still concerned about this possible development and others proposed for Hucknall.

“We will try to change the mind of Gedling Council and will be speaking out vigorously against this proposal.”