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Calls made for council to scrap consultation on controversial planning document that puts green belt land in Stoke Bardolph at risk

Trent Valley Councillors Sam Smith and Mike Adams made the call today ahead of a vote at Gedling Borough Council's Cabinet meeting tomorrow (8)

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Two councillors have called for Gedling Borough Council leaders to abandon plans for a public consultation on a controversial housing document that, if approved, could put green belt land in Stoke Bardolph at risk.

Trent Valley Councillors Sam Smith and Mike Adams made the call ahead of a vote at Gedling Borough Council’s Cabinet meeting tomorrow (8).

The Cabinet will use the meeting to decide on whether to launch a public consultation over their Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan Preferred Approach document.

PICTURED: Stoke Bardolph village
Civic Centre in Arnold
PICTURED: The Cabinet meeting will take place at the Civic Centre at Arnot Hill Park

The ‘Preferred Approach’ document outlines how Gedling Borough Council would meet strict housing targets set out in the Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan.

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The document reveals that a number of sites across the borough have been earmarked for development, including green belt land at Stoke Bardolph to create around 300 new homes.

The Stoke Bardolph proposal has sparked anger amongst villagers who have now launched a petition calling for the land to be spared from development. So far the petition has attracted over 800 signatures.

Cllrs Smith and Adams wrote to Leader of Gedling Borough Council, John Clarke, earlier today requesting he abandons plans for a vote on the consultation.

They claim forthcoming planning legislation changes mean plans to meet the housing targets ‘won’t be needed’.

They wrote: “Item 12 of the Cabinet agenda is to issue the Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan Preferred Approach document for a period of consultation.

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“As part of Gedling Borough Council’s contribution to the Greater Nottinghamshire Strategic Plan, and if item 12 is passed by you and your Labour Cabinet colleagues on Thursday, the Council is proposing to remove parts of Stoke Bardolph’s beautiful Green Belt land and allocate it for yet more housing, subject to consultation.

“Like many residents across Trent Valley, in Stoke Bardolph, Gedling and Burton Joyce, we’re fed up with our precious Green Belt and green spaces being concreted over with yet more housing. We’ve all seen the devastating impact this has had by causing the recent flooding in Burton Joyce.

“It also impacts on our infrastructure such as roads, schools and access to GPs. That’s without mentioning the negative environmental impact concreting over the Green Belt has, such as the erosion of wildlife habitat and taking away a natural environment that many residents enjoy.

“A petition has been launched by Stoke Bardolph residents which requests that the Council you lead withdraws its plans for increased housing allocation in Stoke Bardolph and that the Green Belt land and flood areas remain protected. We, as the local Gedling Borough Councillors for Stoke Bardolph, in partnership with Tom Randall MP, wholeheartedly support that request and it has so far been signed by over 800 residents.”

The councillors say forthcoming changes to government legislation could mean that the targets set become advisory rather than mandatory.

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They wrote: “Although the Council’s proposals will be subject to a consultation, there does not need to be a vote on them at all.

The Council’s Chief Executive has confirmed to us that there is no legal deadline on when GBC is required to submit its contribution to the Greater Nottinghamshire Strategic Plan and the Government announced this week that legislation will be introduced that removes housing targets, making them advisory.

“Green Belt protections will also be strengthened as part of the Conservative Government’s ‘Levelling Up & Regeneration Bill’, with new guidance setting out that local Councils are not required to review Green Belt to deliver homes. A vote by MPs in relation to these protections is expected to take place in the House of Commons next week and a written Ministerial Statement regarding these changes has been made in Parliament.

“With this in mind, we call upon you to withdraw item 12 from Thursday’s Cabinet meeting agenda. Doing so will not only save the taxpayers of our Borough money from a now unnecessary consultation, it will also protect our floodplains and precious Green Belt in Stoke Bardolph and across Gedling from being concreted over.”

On the plans, Gedling Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Growth and Economy, Councillor Jenny Hollingsworth said previously:“The Government has set a housing target for at least 7,950 homes to be built in Gedling Borough by 2038 and The Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan Preferred Approach sets out how and where these houses will be built.

“Most of the houses allocated are being built on brownfield sites across the borough, however, in order to meet the Government’s target, we have to look at other suitable sustainable locations near built up areas, such as extending the development at Teal Close.

“The Preferred Approach is due to be considered by Cabinet Members and if approved, will be followed by an eight-week public consultation, where residents can have their say.”

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