Controversial proposals to build more than 2,000 homes in the Eastwood and Kimberley area have been approved despite protests from campaigners.
Protestors packed Broxtowe Borough Council Town Hall as councillors gave the green light to potential sites for homes contained within its core strategy document, which will act as a blueprint for development in the area.
Campaigners were bitterly disappointed approval was given to the plan which includes 2,350 new homes on sites in Eastwood, Kimberley, Brinsley and Awsworth. Sites include land at Walker Street and Newmanleys Road in Eastwood.
There was fierce debate among councillors over the controversial sites at Beeston Town Hall on Wednesday, September 17, as the ‘core strategy’ document was adopted by the authority by 23 votes to 15.
The document says 1,250 homes can be built in Eastwood, 600 in Kimberley, 350 in Awsworth and 150 in Brinsley by 2028 on a mixture of Greenbelt and brownfield plots.
The core strategy become one of the first in the country to be given approval by a Government inspector without any modifications before it was formally adopted at Wednesday’s meeting by the council.
Campaigners, concerned residents and Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry had gathered outside the town hall and chanted, ‘Save our Greenbelt, as councillors entered the building for the crunch meeting.
During the debate numerous councillors voiced their worries about the use of previously undeveloped land which had been until now been reserved for agricultural Greenbelt.
However, Cllr David Watts, former chairman of Broxtowe’s development control committee said although two per cent of Broxtowe’s Greenbelt would be lost under the plans, it would be protecting the remaining 98 per cent.
He said: “If the strategy is rejected, the Greenbelt will be left vulnerable to private developers.
Leader of the borough council Milan Radulovic agreed with Cllr Watts and said: “The alternative to not meeting the figures will result in a planning free-for-all where developers could cherry-pick sites throughout the borough.
“It is a responsible attitude that we have taken and we are protecting the environment.”
Labour councillors also said that sites for 1,400 homes in Broxtowe were already being planned for brownfield plots rather than Greenbelt.
However, several councillors who opposed the plans also expressed concerns about Broxtowe becoming a ‘commuter belt’ borough, traffic issues and that the smaller villages such as Greasley would lose their identity as they were swallowed up by neighbouring homes developments. Tory councillor Richard Jackson said: “Nottingham should not be allowed to merge with these towns and lose their individual identities.
“Broxtowe is already the most densley populated district in the county -we need more housing but the problem is how many and where.”
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