The Green Party has deplored the Government’s rubber-stamping of proposed greenfield developments in the greater Nottingham area. In total 30,550 new houses will be built in the area much of this in existing greenbelt.
Responding to the proposals, Kimberley Town Councillor Kat Boettge said ‘the Coalition Government has just torn up 60 years of planning law that has protected our green spaces, secured orderly development and taken into account of local opinion. Now we have a developers charter with a presumption to allow development that discounts local opinion. They talk about ‘localism’ and ‘sustainable development’ and show no sign of any understanding of what this means, all they are concerned about is the developers interests and profits.’
The proposals will lead to 600 houses being built in Kimberley. Green Town Councillor David Kirwan expressed his concerns at the strain this influx of population will have on existing services. He said, ‘we are well aware that there is a housing shortage in the Greater Nottingham area, but this building proposal will do little to resolve existing problems. These are 2/3 bedroom private houses that will be too expensive for most first time buyers. There is no provision for much needed social housing. There is no consideration given to the impact on local school admissions, or on traffic congestion.’
The Greens point to the large amounts of empty property within the Nottingham boroughs and say that the first priority must be to adapt this and bring it up to sustainable standards. They want any housing development to consider the associated needs of schools and nurseries, of social provision and of public transport. They say that farm land must be protected to grow much needed food and that to build houses on it is irresponsible.
Kat Boetgge said that the developemnt proposals are all about the Governments political ambitions. ‘All these proposals do is to fulfil the remotely imposed Government targets that take no notice of local conditions. They are about boosting the economy to enable the Tories win the next election, they are about the ambitions of the Chancellor to claim that he has ‘solved’ the economic crisis. They are not about the needs of the people of Nottingham or of Kimberley who will have to live with the consequences of these ill considered proposals.’