More questions than answers over huge housing plans

WITH regard to the Rolls-Royce plan for houses and new jobs in Hucknall. Firstly, I would like to say that the bus used for the consultation was in the wrong place if this is ‘Hucknall’s Future?’ (Dispatch Friday September 7).

It should have been on Hucknall Market Place, then there would have been a lot more than 400 people visit, which is a pathetic number and can’t in any way be used as a true guide as to what Hucknall people think.

Having visited the Muse bus at Rolls-Royce, I was very disappointed by the poor quality of the exhibition. The plans were quite small for such a large-scale development and not all that clear as they were part aerial/Google satellite maps, which were fogged, and part-imposed development detail.

Another big disappointment was that there were no printouts to take home and study more deeply at one’s leisure. Good job I had the forethought to take my camera (to the surprise of the Muse people). Not good but better than nothing, at least I am able to magnify them slightly on my computer.

The very first problem I and many more people did not like (I was told by the man from Muse) was the fact that the housing development for 900 homes has only two access/egress roads, BOTH of which lead onto Watnall Road via two roundabouts (traffic nightmare).

The 900 homes could quite easily generate 1,500-plus more vehicles using Watnall Road each day. The road is almost impossible to get onto now in the morning and evening rush hours and will only get worse (if you live on Watnall Road you will know).

I was told this would be offset by Rolls Royce’s 800 workforce and the business park traffic (an estimated 2,000 extra workers) using an access/egress road on the bypass via a roundabout. Will not some of these same workers have to use Watnall Road to get to the bypass in the first place?

Have these Muse people seen Watnall Road and the bypass in the morning and evening rush hours? I know they haven’t because they do not live here — I asked! One small accident and it’s gridlock.

All they could say was consultation had taken place with Notts County Council, Nottingham City Council and the Highways Agency and surveys had been carried out. Well in that case, they must know about the gridlock at Moorbridge island up the bypass and along Hucknall Road every weekday, or did they have their eyes shut?

They also had plans for the recently improved junction at Watnall corner. Why? Is this a sign that it’s a done deal and is part of the agreement?

I would be very interested to hear the views of the emergency services about the delays this extra traffic could and does cause, because they use Watnall Road quite a lot.

I was also told by Muse that the housing development can’t go ahead if the business park does not.

The planned housing estate has some good features — allotments, sports pitches, play areas, cycle paths.

But we need answers to other proposals:

A Primary school, but where do the pupils go when they leave here?

A pub/restaurant, which would be built right next to a proposed care home for the elderly. Is this to keep them awake at night or so they can nip out for a nightcap before bed.

I am sure Rolls-Royce Leisure would welcome more trade and they already have a restaurant and many other facilities, not to mention the Queen’s Head at Watnall and The Masons Arms in Hucknall. So why another pub?

The plan shows convenience stores, four small and one that looks big enough to be just right for a Tescoo Express. Oh sorry, am I being sarcastic?

Why can’t the Air Training Corps have a purpose built base/youth centre on the site?

There is no mention of a medical centre! Presumably the approximate 2,500-plus people who will live there are immune to all illness. Why not change the pub to a medical centre? A much better use I think.

I would just like to say that although it may seem like it, I am not totally against the scheme, but I think this plan needs a great deal more innovation putting into it before it gets any sort of approval, especially the road infrastructure, which is totally inadequate for a development of this size.

I look forward to seeing what other people think, but with only 400 visitors I’ll not hold my breath.


Watnall Road,