Plans for a ‘sports village’ on green belt land near Kimberley have been slammed by Green Party members - as developers prepare to submit a third planning application.
Multinational sports equipment company Oxylane wants to build a leisure complex on land at Verge Wood between Swingate and the M1.
Two previous planning applications have been refused but last month Broxtowe Borough Council agreed to create a joint proposal with Oxylane which they are currently preparing to submit and have put forward £15,000 for the application.
Kimberley Town Councillor Kat Boettge, of Broxtowe Green Party, spoke out this week against the proposed development and said the land should be preserved for wildlife.
She said: “Kimberley is already facing a huge housing influx, some of it on green belt, which must be protected from development.
“We want the site to remain a refuge for wildlife which is being put under growing pressure by the expanding city.”
Richard Robinson, councillor for Kimberley and Cossall at Broxtowe Borough Council, has defended the plans which he believes are eco-friendly.
He said: “The land is low quality green belt and the proposals include some very green measures such as a new bus service, creating cycle lanes and planting new shrubs and trees.
“This is something the Green Party should get fully behind rather than bickering about from the sidelines.”
Green Party members also expressed concerns about the future of local leisure facilities.
Cllr Boettge added: “Oxylane is yet another example how politicians appear to push a development through without local support.
“What concerns me is that the local town council may have concerns about the inadequacy of sports facilities which are suffering as a result of the Government’s cuts to public services and I fear that the borough council will choose to use these concerns to support the Oxylane proposal.
“Should that private facility be built, they will then be able to cut funding further to local facilities many of which will close.”
But Cllr Robinson said there are no plans to cut funding to leisure facilities if the Oxylane complex is approved.
He added: “That will not be a decision for the council but will be a decision for the school now it is an academy.
“Oxylane is a once in a lifetime opportunity to provide young people with jobs and state of the art leisure facilities.”
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