At Kimberley’s parliamentary hustings on Monday, April 27, candidates for the Broxtowe constituency made solid promises on their commitments going forward.
Responding to a question from the audience David Kirwan, Green, said: “Once the green belt is built on it’s built on forever, the characteristics of Broxtowe, or Kimberley, of Stapleford of Beeston, will be destroyed. We are already seeing the devastation that the tram is causing in Beeston, we’ve got the prospect of HS2 coming, which will be more building on more greenbelt.
“Not only is it going to be devastating to the area, it will make Kimberley become part of Greater Nottingham because we will merge with our surrounding towns and village. We have to find a different way. The different way is brownfield sites, allocating empty home sin the area. We can make good quality apartment blocks.
Frank Dunne, UKIP, said: “They will always choose to build on greenbelt because it’s more profitable. We’ve got to make sure we focus on building on brownfield sites wherever possible, and we do that by looking at tax breaks, making it viable.
“There is 280,000 properties standing idle in the UK. We need to make sure that any property that local authorities have the opportunity to get back in and turn them into housing. We should look at every single option before turning to the simple option because once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.”
Ray Barry, Justice for Men and Boys, said: “Town Centres seem to me to be a prime source for redevelopment. We shop differently these days. We don’t need town centres as places to go and buy things as we used to, we shop online now. I think we can look more imaginatively at developing existing brownfield areas.
“We need the green spaces but we also need to encourage our children to be using them.”
Nick Palmer, Labour, said: “We see a standard pattern of government inspectors coming to Broxtowe and saying you need to build so many more houses so quickly that there is no practical alternative to building on greenbelt. If central government propose new development in Broxtowe after the election, we will oppose it.”
Stan Heptinstall, Liberal Democrat said: “What actually happened is that the government came to us and they gave us a number of houses to build. We looked closely and carefully at the amount of space that was available in urban areas and there was not enough for what was required.
“There are not enough houses for people to live. We need more houses. Therefore we had to sacrifice two per cent of our green belt for those houses. Anna Soubry Conservative, said: “I don’t think that’s true. I can tell you what happened. Broxtowe decided they would go cap in hand to the city council. Nottingham City Council has concentrated all of its efforts on building one and two bedroom flats in the city centre and they haven’t got enough housing for families, so instead of developing their extensive brownfield sites, and said to boroughs like Broxtowe right now you can house our people that we’ve failed to house.”
“But it’s worse than that - instead of putting the brownfield sites first for developers they put two greenfield sites first.
“I brought the Prime Minister here, and we talked about the threat to our greenbelt. I’ve held debates in parliament, I’ve held public meetings to defend our greenbelt.
“In Watnall, and Greasley and in Nuthall, their parish councils have seen off the developers and in Greasley they are now doing a neighbourhood plan. We need strong democratic councils that represent people and work with people so we get the development that we want and we don’t sell out on our greenbelt.”