Paste your Google Webmaster Tools verification code here

‘Build on land or sell up’ order to save Notts countryside

25th September 2013 Broxtowe Borough Council, Nottingham Evening Post, Stapleford & Trowell Rural Action Group (STRAG) Tags: , , , , , , 0 Comments

OWNERS of derelict land will be ordered to build houses or sell up, as a Notts council starts a campaign to save the green belt.

Councils across Notts and Derbyshire are being ordered to find space for thousands of new homes to meet government building targets.

But Broxtowe Borough Council says it now plans to target vacant plots in towns and villages to save greenbelt land from the bulldozers.

It plans to make compulsory purchase orders on three plots which have previously been built on – known as brownfield sites.

Two of them are in the Beeston area and one is in Stapleford.

The exact location of these sites is a closely-guarded secret but, combined, they could have more than 500 homes built on them.

The council’s portfolio holder for economy and regeneration, David Watts, said:

“All the sites we have been looking at have been empty for a long time.

“One has not been touched since the late 1980s, another the early 90s, and the other one the late 90s.

“We have been patient with the identified sites but now that has run out and something needs to be done. Hopefully this will make the owners of the sites take some action before we do.

“For every house that is not built on brownfield land there is one that is built on the green belt.

“We will be contacting the owners in the next few days and they will then have 28 days to form a plan.

“If this does not happen, the council will start making preparations to compulsorily purchase the sites.”

The news has been welcomed by the Stapleford and Trowell Rural Action Group (STRAG) which is currently campaigning to stop the development of 450 homes on greenbelt land at Field Farm, Ilkeston Road, Stapleford.Zoe Cockcroft, chairman of the group, said:

“This is absolutely the right thing to do. There are loads of sites that need developing before they build on greenbelt land.

“If 500 homes can be built on old industrial land instead of open fields like Field Farm then that could be the answer we are looking for.

“I think this is a turning point and this is the first thing all councils should be doing.

“We are really pleased that they are considering doing this, but I don’t think we are out of the woods yet.

“I think everyone will be waiting to see what happens next.”

Government targets say that 6,150 new homes must be built in the borough by 2028.

Although there are only three brownfield sites currently being looked at in Broxtowe, there are a total of 200 in the borough.

All of these are being considered – which could create up to 3,523 homes.Council leader Milan Radulovic said:

“This is only part of our strategy and we are looking at a whole range of powers.”We are looking at brownfield sites across the borough which could include more than three sites for development.

“The council is committed to ensuring that we protect our greenbelt while meeting the needs of the people of the borough.

“The council will support the use of the full range of our powers in order to bring forward brownfield sites.

“The council is clear that these powers will only be used where other options have been exhausted – and only as a last resort.

“These powers are not a quick fix but they will be used in appropriate cases in order to protect and enhance the Borough of Broxtowe.”

There are mixed feelings in Beeston over whether or not compulsory purchase of land is a good idea.

Philippa Double, owner of Double Image Photography in Chilwell Road, Beeston, said:

“I think it is a good idea to take action.

“I don’t want to see Long Eaton, Beeston and Toton become one town with development on the green belt.

“However, if they do build all these houses on existing sites the infrastructure must be good enough to take them.”

Others disagree and believe that such action is not needed.Steve Williams, co-owner of Beeston Bed Centre, Chilwell Road, Beeston, said:

“There is no reason why Broxtowe Borough Council should have to purchase any land.

“They should be encouraging and helping the existing owners to make a good decision.”

Compulsory purchase powers are provided to enable acquiring authorities to obtain land to carry out a function which Parliament has decided is in the public interest, which includes house building.

Neil Walters, Midlands chairman of the National Federation of Builders, said: “It is common knowledge that demand for housing is far outpacing supply.

“What is welcome is a renewed effort to look at brownfield sites for development and the commitment to make them available.

“Wherever this happens, the National Federation of Builders would hope that councils engage with a range of housebuilders so that the smaller builders who are able to move quickly can build the houses we need to address the housing shortage.

“As long as planners support the initiative, house builders are always willing to look at brownfield sites.”

Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry said:

“Development of brownfield is preferable to the green belt. Broxtowe is finally waking up to the fact that we need to develop the brownfield sites.”

Source of information

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



%d bloggers like this: