Warning that we will have to tighten our green belt
GREEN-BELT boundaries in Notts will have to be redrawn to make room for more than 30,000 new homes, a public inquiry has heard.
On the third day of the inquiry into three councils’ core strategies, green belt land was top of the agenda.Using Government guidelines, 30,550 new homes will have to be built in Nottingham city, Broxtowe and Gedling boroughs by 2028.
The proposed split is 17,150 in the city, 6,150 in Broxtowe and 7,250 in Gedling.Steffan Saunders, planning policy manager for Broxtowe Borough Council, said:
“Government guidance is as clear as crystal that green belt can be reviewed in a local plan.
“The exceptional circumstance is the need for more housing in the area. We are going to be required to make some amendments.”
Ken Mafham, an expert town planning consultant representing parish councils and action groups in Calverton and Stapleford, complained that Broxtowe council should pay more attention to sites that had a boundary with developed land.
He cited Woodhouse Way, near Nottingham Business Park, which has room for 300 houses.
“Woodhouse Way directly adjoins the business park and the council seems not to take it seriously as a site,” he said.
He claimed that a site in the village of Calverton and Field Farm, Stapleford, which has been earmarked for 450 houses, had been fast-tracked through the planning process instead.
“There’s no convincing justification for that,”
he said, adding that he felt councils had different strategies that resulted in different decisions.He said:
“If Field Farm was in Gedling, it would be considered too small because it’s less than 500 homes.”
The inquiry – chaired by Government inspector Jill Kingaby – also heard arguments about the basis on which councils made decisions.
John Steedman, on behalf of MF Strawson Ltd, a land management business, said local authorities were using a 2006 review of the green belt to allocate land for development but this was too old.
“The study just does not reflect the issues as they now arise,”
“It cannot be relied on as the very basis for site allocation.”
He added that the A60 corridor around Mansfield Road could be used to help fill the housing quota.
But Mr Saunders argued that the report was a useful tool in helping decide the best places for the new houses.
“We are in a good position to take judgments using the report,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nottingham City Council claims it has exhausted all the green belt sites in its boundaries.
“The city is the hole in the doughnut,” said planning officer Matt Gregory.
“There’s very little green-belt land but very few brownfield opportunities. I don’t believe the city council can accommodate more housing than is proposed.”