PLANNING MATTERS – JUMPING THE GUN?
A planning application has been submitted on behalf of Langridge Homes Ltd for up to 79 houses at the western end of the village on a site to the south of Main Street (at the junction with Hollinwood Lane).
It is extremely disappointing that this application has been submitted in spite of a hard fight having been made for the site to be deleted from Gedling’s emerging Local Planning Document (LPD).
At the time of writing, Gedling Borough Council’s (GBC) new local plan has not been adopted and the Inspector’s final report and recommendations have not yet been published. The fact that this planning application was submitted and put out for public consultation (now closed!) whilst still technically being a Green Belt site is curious – it implies that the developer is very confident, despite strong community objections, that the planning inspector will side with GBC and agree to the site’s removal from green belt.
The development site is located within a part of Calverton that has been termed the ‘Southern Ridge Area’ – of great local importance with respect to its visual and historic amenity. This particular site is in direct view of the Scheduled Ancient Monument (Roman hill-fort) at Cockpit Hill.
Strong efforts were made through the Neighbourhood Plan process to protect the Southern Ridge Area from future development. Unfortunately, last July a planning inspector determined that the ‘Southern Ridge Area’ policy should be deleted before the Calverton Neighbourhood Plan could proceed to referendum.
It was stated in the inspector’s report that protecting this area from development would not afford GBC sufficient flexibility in their site selection process.
It is interesting that even documents submitted by the developer, as part of the planning application, acknowledge the historic wealth of this area of Calverton:
“…in light of the considerable evidence for Prehistoric and Roman activity within a 1km radius of the proposed redevelopment site there is significant potential for Prehistoric and Roman sub-surface remains within the area of proposed redevelopment.”
Whilst GBC have repeatedly demonstrated, with allocations like Dark Lane, that they are not receptive to the community’s attempts to protect heritage assets, it is still hoped that it is not too late for them to listen to the public’s concerns with respect to this proposal.
The application states that there is a preference for archaeological investigations and evaluation to be dealt with as a planning condition at the reserved matters stage – surely the question of heritage should be properly understood before a decision on the outline planning application is taken. Thus in response to local comments, GBC will hopefully use common sense and see reason.
Similarly the application is only supported by scant evidence regarding wildlife in the area. It would seem sensible for several surveys throughout the year, not just in wintertime, should to be undertaken to properly assess the natural environment to include rabbits, hares, bats, foxes, badgers, deer and other animals seen in the area. Also an accurate evaluation of plants, butterflies and birds is necessary.
Ominously, the proposed plan has a road layout that gives scope for future extensions on to the open countryside beyond – a depressing prospect indeed.
50TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY OF THE PRESERVATION SOCIETY
The recent 50th. birthday party for the Pres was a great success.
A lovely warm and friendly social occasion and it was good to see that our Chairman John G. was able to attend despite recent health problems. Members and friends sat and recalled some of the past activities and events from the last 50 years, aided by slides and film projected onto the wall as well as a display of photos and exhibits compiled by Malcolm H.
Chris P. spoke about how the Society was formed by Eileen Cupitt and several local residents, some of the campaigns the Society had taken part in – some with success others less so! Mention was also made of establishing a Folk Museum, support for Conservation Areas in the village, involvement in Local Planning and publication of local history books.
Then followed the refreshments in which Tina C. provided a delightful spread capably assisted by Mary P. and Lynda B. Other helpers included Derek F. (butter spreader and bar tender!), and Tony B. Thanks to them all.
The event ended with toasts to the memory of Eileen Cupitt and to the future of the Society.
- The Pres is grateful to the family of Edwin Smith for donating contributions made at his funeral to the Society’s funds.
- The Environment Agency application to install a Ground Mounted array of Solar Panels close to a boundary at Calverton Fish Farm on Moor Lane has been approved by GBC.
- The planning application to create a cemetery between the top of George’s Hill and the entrance to the Calverton Hill Hospital could be considered at the July meeting of GBC Planning Committee.
- Calverton Folk Museum is open for visitors 2 till 4 pm on Sunday, July 29.