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The Core Strategy is approved but Field Farm is not lost yet!

25th September 2014 Broxtowe Borough Council, Help & Advice, Statpleford & Trowell Rural Action Group (STRAG) Tags: , , 0 Comments

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Dear Friends of Field Farm,

As you probably already know, Broxtowe Borough Council adopted the Aligned Core Strategies by 23 votes to 15 a week ago, on Wednesday, 17 September. This was to be expected, and followed on the adoption of the Core Strategies by Nottingham City and Gedling Borough Councils the previous week. We thank all those of you who responded to the appeal by us and our partner organisations in the “Save Broxtowe’s Greenbelt” initiative and came to show they opposition at the Council meeting, or sent us encouraging words.

But this is not the last word. Under the guidance of our planning expert Ken Mafham, four Parish Councils in Gedling and Rushcliffe have announced their intention to lodge a legal challenge to the Core Strategies. The solid arguments regarding public participation requirements, justification of exceptional circumstances to build on the Greenbelt and more make them (and us) confident that the Core Strategies may well be quashed and the Councils sent back to the drawing board. STRAG doesn’t have the financial resources to join in the legal action, and unfortunately there wouldn’t be a majority for it at Stapleford Town Council nor Trowell Parish Council. However, we fully support this action and we will contribute by providing all useful information to the Parishes.

You may have heard about the fears that this is all a waste of time and money and that without a Core Strategy in place, all Greenbelt areas will be left at the mercy of developers. We don’t think that is a valid reason to adopt a bad plan which uses Field Farm and Toton as easy targets to dump houses on. A good plan would balance the assessed needs of the economy with those of the environment. It would put much more effort into bringing brownfield sites forward, which has a huge regeneration potential and very positive social impact. It would carry out a thorough and global Greenbelt review for the whole area (including Rushcliffe and Erewash) to identify the sites of least damage if some release eventually proves inevitable.

In the meanwhile, Field Farm is NOT LOST YET. The outline planning application, which the Borough approved in April 2013, is still held back by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. He may decide to release it now, but Ken Mafham has requested that he waited until the end of the upcoming legal challenge, since this may make the planning permission illegal in the end. Alternatively, he could stage a specific public enquiry in which we would make sure that Field Farm is carefully looked at and not dismissed as “sitting in a bowl” (that would be a rather funny shape to drink from: what do they make of the raised ridge with the plantation?) with “defensible borders” (with further applications just waiting to happen on the further fields East towards Coventry Lane!).

We will inform you when further developments occur. In the meanwhile, do enjoy the beginning of autumn and the beautiful views over the freshly harvested and ploughed fields! Did you know a deer was recently spotted in the Stapleford Hill Woodland and near Trowell Garden Centre?

Yours sincerely,

Zoe Cockcroft

Chair

Stapleford and Trowell Rural Action Group (STRAG)

Our website: http://e-voice.org.uk/strag/

Save Broxtowe’s Greenbelt campaign: https://www.facebook.com/savebroxtowesgreenbelt

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