Campaigners make views known during discussions

Housing protest outside Ilkeston town hall

Housing protest outside Ilkeston town hall

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CAMPAIGNERS were left shocked by the sudden drop in the number of housing proposed for Manners and Quarry Hill and the greater focus on industry on the Manner Floods site.

After the meeting, Bev Hendrick from the Manner Floods Action Group, said the housing sites were ‘easy options’ to ensure a core strategy is in place by February 2012.

“Neither the ward councillors, nor the action group panel were aware of the change in criteria for Manner Floods,” she said.

“What still needs to be addressed is how Erewash Borough Council plans to encourage the smaller businesses to grow within the town centre where many properties still stand empty.

“They are looking at a quick fix without addressing the real issues for the town.”

She said the council is ‘merely meeting housing targets’ set by the Government.

David Arrowsmith from the Quarry Hill Action Group said the meeting had been ‘bureaucratic’ and ‘poorly chaired’.

He said: “We were especially annoyed that they did not allow common issues with Stanton and Quarry Hill to be discussed at the Stanton stage.”

He added: “There was no clarity from the Highways Agency, considering the impact of 2,500 homes.”

He was angry that there was no mention of improvements to the road network and planners were ‘just going to wait’ until the planning application comes in, ‘which really is too late in the day’.

Anne Green added: “It’s good that the number of houses is going down,” she said.

“But it’s frustrating that Stanton cannot be developed sooner.”

Mr Birkinshaw said that only two landowners in Quarry Hill had responded to the consultation, one in favour of selling their land and one against.

Anne added: “We are trying to contact the landowners to get them to speak up as we know more of them are against this plan.”

She said the group is planning to submit more questions and gather more signatures on their petition for the council meeting on January 26.