Campaigning residents save ‘precious’ Newthorpe nature reserve

The future of a cherished Newthorpe nature reserve has been “saved from decimation” following a six-year campaign by residents.

The site at Smithurst Meadows nature reserve, off Acorn Avenue and near the Giltbrook Retail Park, had been earmarked for a flood attenuation feature to accompany a nearby housing development.

However, residents living on nearby Acorn Avenue, Rolleston Drive and Thorn Drive opposed the plans because it would mean “encroaching on nature and require destroying something which is valued” to the public.

The residents, led by Nigel Lowe and supported by the developer Langridge Homes, campaigned to move the pond plans to a nearby wasteland, which Mr Lowe said was “perfect” for the water feature and would not affect the reserve.

The area has been a hotspot for flooding in the past and residents agreed that the water feature was “necessary”, with homes on all streets nearby badly damaged by floods six years ago.

Following a campaign by your Advertiser in September 2018, plans were put forward for the separate site, led by Mr Lowel and John Fletcher, Langridge Homes manager.

In a meeting of the planning committee on February 13, Broxtowe Borough Council approved the plans – to Mr Lowe’s delight.

He said: “After six long years dealing with Broxtowe Borough Council, common sense and logic finally came into being and the scheme was approved.

“This now means that, not only has the nature reserve has been saved from decimation, the pond will also now be positioned directly below Langridge’s site – making it safe from adding to our flooding issues.

“It’s been a long hard battle trying to establish sensible planning in our area.

“This year it will have been six years since 24 properties were flooded, 12 internally, on Gorse Close, Thorn Drive and Rolleston Drive.

“Let’s now focus on resolving the flooding issue for the whole catchment area – it’s only been six years with nothing to show.”

A council spokesman said: “We resolved to relocate the flood facility in the location supported by Mr Lowe and most other residents.

“We can now keep the existing nature reserve free from built development.

“The facility will provide flood attenuation to the required standards and we will continue to work with developers to ensure it happens.”