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Row over £1.6m agreement for new homes on green-belt land

5th December 2013 Broxtowe Borough Council, Nottingham County Council, Nottingham Evening Post, Stapleford & Trowell Rural Action Group (STRAG) Tags: , , , 0 Comments


TWO councils could receive more than £1.6 million from the controversial building of 450 homes on green-belt land.

Broxtowe Borough Council and Notts County Council have both signed an agreement with developer W Westerman Ltd to receive the money if the homes are built on Field Farm, near Stapleford.

An inquiry into the development is still being held after Secretary of State Eric Pickles “called in” the project because the plans “may conflict with national policies”, such as the use of green-belt land.

A letter was sent from the Planning Inspectorate to Broxtowe Borough Council on August 30 confirming that the Field Farm application is placed in abeyance until March 31, 2014, while decision is made over the future of the land.

However, two months later, on October 30, both councils signed an agreement saying that, if the project, goes ahead they will receive £1,610,212 between them, made up of £1,125,212 for Broxtowe Borough Council and £485,000 for Notts County Council.

The cash would come from a Section 106 agreement, when developers pay towards the cost of associated works, such as new roads to the development.

A spokesman for Broxtowe council said:

“In order to be prepared for the Field Farm application to be considered at any subsequent inquiry, the council is obliged to establish what the terms of a Section 106 agreement should be in the event that the development is allowed.

“This is normal practice at any planning appeal.”

But Stapleford and Trowell Rural Action Group (STRAG), which has been campaigning to save the site, is disappointed by the agreement, despite the project being on hold.

STRAG chairman Zoe Cockcroft said:

“We are not happy about this at all. It is appalling that they have gone ahead and done this. The project is in abeyance, yet they have signed this agreement.

“It is like it is a done deal even though they have not got permission to go ahead with the development yet.”

Caroline Hollingsworth, team manager of highways development control, at Notts County Council, said:

“Any new housing development is likely to increase pressure on the county council in terms of increased demand for roads, education provision, etc.

“Planning obligations are negotiated with the developers to provide necessary funding and infrastructure to mitigate against any potential impacts that the proposal may have, so it is important that the council identifies these issues as part of the ongoing planning application process.

“Even though the application has been ‘called in’ it could still ultimately be granted consent, so this process must continue to allow the matter to be properly considered.

“However, the Section 106 agreement would only come into place if the planning application is ultimately approved and the legal agreement signed by all parties.”

Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry said:

“Since all these plans for new housing have come about, people have come to the conclusion that developments like Filed Farm are a done deal.

“Transparency and openness should be at the heart of all good governance.

“Given that this is a controversial project, Broxtowe Borough Council should have told people the full details of this agreement.

“The residents of Stapleford should be involved in deciding how this money gets spent if the development goes through.”

Do you think the agreement should have been made? Let us know by e-mail at

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Donna Mather

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