A Nottinghamshire MP has joined growing opposition to a plan to build 3,000 houses on green belt land.
Mark Spencer, Tory MP for Sherwood, called Ashfield District Council’s draft local plan that proposed 3,000 new homes on the Hucknall Greenbelt “lazy”.
He joins the great public opposition to the plans which have proved controversial with the people of Hucknall.
Spencer said: “They made it easy and bundled these houses together without giving it too much thought throwing them at Hucknall in a way that looks like laziness. The PM has made it clear that brownfield development is the way to go. priority.
“It is also a bare lie that the government forced Ashfield council to pass this plan, as has been said the government is pushing for more houses to be built for the people. But the Prime Minister has made clear recently that brownfields should be a priority.
“They need to think more about it and prioritize brownfield sites to be developed – why not use places like the old police station or the seven star pub for houses.
“Current developments are not even met and the developments foreseen in the plan would double Hucknall’s size in 10 years.”
A Facebook group opposed to the Whyburn Farm plan has reached nearly 4,000 members and a petition submitted to Ashfield District Council has over 2,000 signatures.
Residents have already spoken to Nottinghamshire Live about the issues they face with the development, highlighting the impact of residents’ loss of green space and the historic significance of the land.
Mr Spencer added: “The people of Hucknall were definitely wrong, there is no doubt – they are the most affected by this plan.
“I find it hard to think of anything that created the same public engagement as this plan. I get dozens of emails a day about Whyburn Farm in particular.
“The people of Hucknall want to be represented by people who are willing to put in the effort to make decisions that will affect them for the rest of their lives. Once you tear apart the Greenbelt, it is gone, it is no longer there. will not come back.
“Well done, this plan could have had a positive impact on Hucknall, but I sincerely hope he doesn’t go ahead.
But those behind the plans have expressed their opinion that it is the least damaging way to meet the housing targets set by the government.
Councilor Matthew Relf (Ash Ind), Regeneration and Planning Portfolio Holder, said: “We are doing our best, but we have had an arm tied behind our back by the government and its goals.
“I don’t recognize the fact that this plan is lazy, it was carefully and meticulously planned and we made sure it had a proven strategy. To suggest that we have been lazy is ludicrous.
“There are tough goals we need to meet and we’ve included every parcel of brownfields, but just developing these areas would cause us to miss the government’s goals significantly.
“Accusing of rejecting local plan developments far from our core areas is just plain wrong, one of the two larger developments is in my own neighborhood – the plan is positive for Hucknall as the site will have its own infrastructure and bring more ‘businesses in the city center.
“We have no problem with objections and we encourage people to share their views, but there has been a lot of political expediency on this development from people who don’t seem to have really read or understood the plan.”
About 200 members of the public attended a Whyburn Farm development consultation meeting at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 16 at the John Godber Center in Hucknall.
During a meeting Councilor John Wilmott, who represents Hucknall North for the Ashfield Independents, spoke out against the plan.
Cllr Wilmott said: “I stand before you today to categorically state that the Hucknall Ashfield Independent Council stands by your side and is against these plans.
“The Conservatives told us to authorize 8,226 homes by 2038. That’s 456 homes every year for almost three decades.
“If we don’t, as the South Oxfordshire Council has been threatened – we will face severe penalties.
“These penalties include asking County Council to take over our planning service – meaning that decisions will be made in West Bridgford or even Whitehall, and removing the ability for developers to contribute to improve our infrastructure in order to deal with additional housing.
“The Ashfield Local Housing Plan project that got the town of Hucknall talking. My colleagues Jim Blagden, Trevor Locke, Dave Shaw, Lee Waters and I are strongly opposed to this local plan project which places 3,000 homes in Whyburn Farm Green Belt Land and threaten other areas around Hucknall.
“If the Prime Minister keeps his word, our housing targets will be drastically reduced. From 8,226 houses to only 1,109 houses. This would mean that the development of Whyburn Farm and other areas of the green belt in Hucknall would be permanently banned.
“I would hand an olive branch to anyone who wants to get involved in opposing the destruction of the Hucknall Green Belt. We have to put politics aside and work together to say enough is enough.”
Ashfield District Council Chief Cllr Jason Zadrozny claimed the plan had been twisted, but praised the public’s engagement at the meeting.
He said: “I was happy to attend the meeting – but slightly disappointed that I did not have the opportunity to set the record straight on a number of false statements by members of the Conservative parties. and Labor.
“I can assure all residents that I listened to all of the concerns expressed at the meeting. I would encourage everyone at Hucknall to speak up, participate in the consultation and ask them to continue to put pressure on Tory MP for Hucknall Mark Spencer asks his mate – Boris Johnson to keep his promise and not force councils like Ashfield to give permission to build on our precious green belt.
This would eliminate any need to consult even on the construction of the Hucknall Green Belt. “
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