MP blasts council report probe rule

Broxtowe MP Nick Palmer has blasted a council ruling which prevents him probing a report about proposed house-building in the greenbelt - due to be presented to councils this month.

Nottingham Regeneration Ltd identified 22 potential sites in Nottinghamshire, including land around Watnall and Moorgreen, and then appointed a firm of consultants to consider the merits of each site.

The firm, Llewelyn Davies Yeang, told Dr Palmer they had instructions from Broxtowe, Gedling and Nottingham councils "not to consult any local politicians" about the sites.

Mr Palmer said: "I'm frankly not willing to accept that the unelected Nottingham Regeneration Limited - which is a company set up by all the local councils to do this sort of study - should be able to exclude elected representatives from the technical assessment stage.

"They are essentially local civil servants working on assessing potential housing developments for local councils.

"It's a very tall order for a London-based firm to complete a study of the entire Greater Nottingham area in six weeks without missing important issues.

"Also, once the technical study is complete and concrete proposals take form, they are hard to stop.

"I am confident that in the end the wilder ideas involved will get rejected by Broxtowe Borough Council.

"But a great deal of time, money and unnecessary worry can be saved if the consultants hear about the snags now."

Local authorities of Broxtowe, Rushcliffe, Gedling, Ashfield and Erewash are expected to receive the report on June 18; the study looks at each site against criteria such as transport links, flooding and proximity to services such as shops, hospitals and schools.

Stuart Byfield, Notts spokesman for the Campaign to Protect Rural England, also called for the report to be made public.

He said: "They should release the entire document. We need as much discussion about these issues as we can have."

Councils are yet to issue details of the consultation process. Once it is complete, the sites still in line for housing will be included in the local development frameworks produced by each authority.

The number of homes needing to be built for Greater Nottingham over the next 20 years is 62,500 according to a draft regional plan produced by the East Midlands Regional Assembly.


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