A radical idea that will let the people decide on housing plans

FOLLOWING the excellent letter in the Dispatch recently from Neil Clurow regarding the planned housing developments at Top Wighay Farm and Papplewick Lane in Hucknall (‘Good Decision-Making Has Saved Hucknall From Decay’), and the various views expressed at a recent public meeting on the issue, this seems to be the perfect time to introduce a new and bold idea — DEMOCRACY.

Though this concept may be new to the good councillors of Gedling with, what I feel, was a strange attitude to consultation and openness, the quaint notion of democracy might be of use to us all here.

Given the huge opposition of Gedling residents locally to the plans, matching the huge opposition of affected Hucknall residents, might I suggest that Ashfield District Council makes an approach to the Boundary Commission seeking changes in our district-council boundaries.

The proposal would be to change the boundary of Ashfield to incorporate the area of land from the A60, north to south, from the Mansfield District Council boundary in the north to Gedling in the south at Redhill.

This whole area would become part of Ashfield District Council, incorporating the villages of Linby, Papplewick, Newstead and Bestwood — areas that, by their very nature, have an affinity with Hucknall, geographically, socially and culturally.

This proposal could then be placed before the residents of the area covered by the change, allowing them to decide whether they wanted to reside under a council determined to build houses in the least appropriate place or one that is committed to preserving green space and build houses, as Neil Clurow pointed out, within the principles of the National Development Framework.

At a time of the Arab Spring and with even Burmese generals speaking of democracy, surely there is no better time to turn to that old battle-cry — LET THE PEOPLE CHOOSE.