‘Housing site is a haven for local wildlife’

Trevor Westbrook, Peter Fletcher, John Handley, Meryl Topliss and Liz Williamson at their preferred site for development on Cordy Lane, Brinsley.
Trevor Westbrook, Peter Fletcher, John Handley, Meryl Topliss and Liz Williamson at their preferred site for development on Cordy Lane, Brinsley.

Villagers in Brinsley are fighting to stop 110 houses being built next to a local nature reserve.

The proposed greenbelt site in Church Lane is a haven for wildlife and development there would also join Brinsley up with Eastwood.

If plans go ahead it would mean children having to cross the busy A608 twice a day to get to and from school.

Brinsley parish councillor Liz Williamson said: “Church Lane backs on to a nature reserve and is a wildlife corridor. The majority of villagers are opposed to it, as are the councillors.

“As well as spoiling the character of the village, the children in the new homes would have to cross the A608 twice a day and it’s an extremely busy, dangerous road.”

A public consultation was carried out on where to build the new homes in Brinsley, residents voted for land off Cordy Lane.

Parishioners feel they have now been ignored, Coun Williamson said.

“Broxtowe Borough Council decided to ignore everything we had done,” she told your Advertiser.

“It makes a mockery of the Neighbourhood Plan. They completely ignored the wishes of everybody here.

“The Cordy Lane site is arable land, uninteresting green pasture.

“There’s no significant wildlife or birds, whereas on Church Lane there are rare flowers and a lot of wildlife and bats. It has just this week been awarded a green flag status again.”

Coun Williamson said the 110 homes would amount to about a third of the green space off Church Lane.

But she said Broxtowe Borough Council has admitted it would eventually take the whole swathe of land over time for development.

She added: “We have only got greenbelt so something has got to give but the people of Brinsley want the site that would have the least environmental damage.

“The main reason the council is opposing the Cordy Lane site is because it encroaches on to the Ashfield boundary, said Coun Williamson, who has lived in the village all her life.

“It appears Ashfield District Council has more of a say about Broxtowe than Broxtowe Borough Council,” she said.

Brinsley Parish Council has received letters of opposition from English Heritage, the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and the DH Lawrence Society, as the land features in the writer’s works.

“We will pull resources and take it to the Government inspector, who makes the final decision,” Coun Williamson said.

A borough council spokeswoman said: “The jobs and economy committee carefully considered the options in Brinsley, including requests from Ashfield council and the Underwood Neighbourhood Plan Group, who have a draft plan in place close to the area and had concerns about development on Green Belt and the merging together of Brinsley and Underwood.

“The committee agreed a 4.2 hectares area of land, off Church Lane, and there are no proposals to build on land other than the 4.2ha site identified.

“The council has worked to ensure sufficient housing allocations for Brinsley and the rest of the borough to help protect green spaces and wildlife sites.

“No concerns have been raised by Nottinghamshire County Council regarding road safety.”