Homes plan is ‘rape’ of moor

VAST swathes of green belt land could be offered up to housing developers in what one councillor has dubbed the ‘rape of Trowell Moor’.

Broxtowe Borough Council’s latest document detailing potential housing sites over the next 15 years suggests that 5,578 homes could be built on a huge corridor of green fields between Nottingham and the M1, effectively joining Trowell and Stapleford to the city.

Cllr Ken Rigby, who represents the village on the parish, borough and county councils, has revealed this week that developers have put forward draft plans to build 2,000 homes on farmland to the north and south of Nottingham Road, known as Trowell Moor.

He said: “This amounts to a rape of Trowell Moor.

“I am absolutely livid that the developers want to get in on this land because it means the rest of the area of green belt could now be vulnerable

“The whole area could be swallowed up by the city.”

Cllr Rigby said that a report four years ago had identified the land as being technically suitable for development, despite being in green belt.

But head of planning at Broxtowe Borough Council, Steve Dance, urged residents not to panic about the high figures.

He said this was the start of a long process which will probably see ‘nothing like’ the figures being put forward now actually being built in the borough.

The figures in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). are available to view on the council’s website.

“Not even for a minute are we suggesting that all these houses will be built,” explained Mr Dance.

“The figure is more likely to be nearer to 2,000 in total.

“But the SHLAA is part of a long process which is open to the public at all stages.”

He said the next stage is to look at small brownfield sites in urban areas for housing.

Last week Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced plans to slash red tape from the planning system in a bid to boost the house building industry.

By the end of the year, the Government will have completely overhauled national planning policy, making it easier to get big developments through local planning systems.

Despite this, the Department for Communities and Local Government has said it remains committed to protecting greenbelt.

Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry this week blasted the council for not listening to residents and the Government.

“Broxtowe Borough Council continues to fly in the face of local opinion and Government policy,” she said.

“It is a disgrace that they are continuing with a fundamentally flawed set of proposals.

“They continue to draft a plan that would see thousands of houses being built on our green belt land when they have failed to demonstrate the need and in defiance of public opinion and Government policy.”

She urged the controlling Labour and Lib Dim group at Broxtowe to ‘rip up’ the plan and start a new plan which protects the green belt.

“There is brownfield land in the borough which the Government’s policy framework says should be developed first,” she added.