Press release from STRAG:
This is to be the first phase in a 450-house development which was granted permission in November 2014 on land previously part of the Green Belt.
Stapleford and Trowell Rural Action Group (STRAG) has been opposing the plans for 16 years to retain the ecological and recreational value of the area. After outline planning permission was granted, STRAG proposed that measures be taken to spare the most valuable parts of the site (its north-eastern corner, bordering the Local Nature Reserves of Stapleford Hills Woodland and Pit Lane) by using higher densities in the parts directly adjacent to existing buildings. This alternative received very strong support from the public (74% positive comments to our email survey). Steffen Saunders, Head of Neighbourhoods and Prosperity at Broxtowe Borough Council, stated at a meeting that he would be delighted to see a solution to reinforce the wildlife corridor, and that increasing densities to that effect was a perfectly sound principle. The developer agreed to look into it.
The plans now published take no account whatsoever of this suggestion. In fact, they only give details for a first phase in the south-western corner of the site and no insight into a “bigger picture”. Plans are for a rather unimaginative development with an average density, which would not leave any flexibility to reduce the damage in other parts of the site. None of the high-quality family apartments suggested by STRAG, which can increasingly be seen in other parts of the country, save vital space and sell extremely quickly, is included. Community involvement by the developer has been very poor and only 20% of visitors were in favour of the preliminary plans presented at a public display in September.
It this plan goes ahead, a unique opportunity for a flagship, environmentally-friendly new neighbourhood in Broxtowe will be lost. The public is urged to comment on the application until the deadline of Monday, January 25th on http://planning.broxtowe.gov.uk (reference 15/00841/REM).