A protest group say they are “baffled” and “frustrated” by Gedling Borough Council’s proposals to build 110 new homes on green belt land near their village.
The Willow Farm Action Group, which is made up of local residents who object to the proposed development on land near Gedling village, claims the plans for the site were only added to the council’s suggested sites for future housing development at the request of a building firm that owns the land.
They say the proposal to designate this land for a future housing development of 110 new homes is contained within the GBC Local Planning Document (LPD) 2016.
A large number of objections to this proposal were submitted during the GBC’s period of consultation, which ran last summer, including a petition signed by 121 local residents and an objection raised by the local Willow Farm Primary School.
Despite these objections the group claim Gedling Borough Council have left their plans for this site unaltered and have submitted the LPD to an independent planning inspector for assessment.
A large number of supporting documents have also been submitted to the Inspector; one such document is the GBC Housing Background Paper 2016.
Members of the group said they were shocked to find the statements within this document which propose “the strategy of urban concentration means that development should be directed firstly to sites within and adjacent to the urban area’
It also said that “the identification of additional deliverable or developable sites in or adjacent to the urban area provides the opportunity to reduce the scale of development at other, less sustainable locations.”
A spokesman said for the Willow Farm Action Group said: ” It is clear from this report that Gedling Borough Council are operating a planning policy that discriminates against the areas of Arnold, Carlton and Gedling and this appears to be based on an erroneous belief that the green belt around the City is less important than elsewhere.
“Had the Council identified brown field sites within these areas, then we would have understood this policy however, this is not the case as the Council have designated green belt land for new housing developments in these locations.
He added: “We now believe that this prejudice has led directly to the residents of Gedling Village facing the prospect of losing our precious green belt, agricultural land which has for many years provided us with open space, prevented urban sprawl and is a vital part of the landscape which is so characteristic of this part of Gedling.”
A spokesman for Gedling Borough Council today said: “The Gedling Local Planning Document includes proposals for housing sites in urban and adjoining urban areas. It also proposes developments at Bestwood, Calverton and Ravenshead and other villages (which are all in Green Belt) in order to meet the housing target of 7,250 new homes by 2028.
“The sites chosen reflect the strategy of focusing new developments close to jobs, services and facilities – known as urban concentration and regeneration as adopted in the Aligned Core Strategy (which has been approved by a government inspector). Our Local Planning Document should fit with this approach.
He added: “The Local Planning Document has now been submitted to the government inspector for scrutiny along with the comments made by local residents. Those people who have made comments seeking to change the plan have the opportunity to appear at the hearings and be heard by the Inspector. More information is provided online http://www.gedling.gov.uk/lpdexamination/ “