Statement from Stapleford & Trowell Rural Action Group (STRAG)
We are very disappointed and saddened with the outcome of the Inspector’s Report regarding Phase 1 of the development for 118 houses on Field Farm.
The Inspector’s report focussed on the ‘urban’ character of the site. We feel that this is in contradiction of the fact that it was Green Belt land and that we, the body that has fought to prevent development on the site are known as Stapleford and Trowell Rural Action Group. This is not the development that was wanted by local residents, Stapleford Town Council or Broxtowe Borough Council.
The fact that the Government have overridden the view of a Local Authority is somewhat worrying. Broxtowe Borough Council were not saying ‘do not build’. They were hoping and asking that the quality of build, responsibility and duty of care needed from the Developer should do justice to the sensitive nature of the site. Unfortunately the Developer has ignored them. Now that the Inspector has overruled the authority on all these issues, it sets a very worrying standard and basically means that our Council has no more than ‘meaningless control’ over builders once outline planning permission has been granted.
It is very much apparent that the Council had its hands bound by the wrong decisions made by the previous Council on the Broxtowe Aligned Core Strategy (BACS) and the outline planning permission. There have been so many mistakes made at the time of the BACS negotiations, lost opportunities and lack of ambition of national and regional spatial development policy. This once again proves that housing provision in this country is developer-led and not planner-led and that ecological issues are quite blatantly ignored.
We had hoped that the whole site could have been taken into consideration from the onset so that a compromise could have been achieved. Ideally, this would have safeguarded some of the valuable countryside particularly the area north east beyond the ridge and plantation and at the back of Stapleford Hill, so precious for the wellbeing of local residents and visitors to the area. It now seems that developer-led piecemeal proposals could in time ruin this as well.
STRAG will continue to monitor future proposals for further phases of development on this site. We urge everyone who cares to continue to keep a close eye on proceedings and to offer their support to us for the benefit of us all.
Zoe Cockcroft, Chair STRAG