Controversial farm move a step closer

NILABE120421e2, Fun day at quackers community farm, Cotmanhay. MP Jessica Lee with the parrot from pirates of the carribean, Jackie Whipp and Melanie Woolins.
NILABE120421e2, Fun day at quackers community farm, Cotmanhay. MP Jessica Lee with the parrot from pirates of the carribean, Jackie Whipp and Melanie Woolins.

A plan to rehouse a community farm on wasteland in Cotmanhay has moved a step closer after the council approved a lease this week.

Quackers Farm has to leave its current location in the car park of the Bridge Inn pub by October 21 and now plans to move to a bigger site at the top of Skeavington’s Lane.

Owners Melanie Woolins and Jackie Whipp have their fingers crossed as they await planning permission from Erewash Borough Council.

“ We’re absolutely delighted,” said Melanie

Although she said she was very hopeful they would get planning permission she admitted that if it fell through the farm could be homeless.

“We can’t foresee a problem with it ,” she said.

“We’ve had very positive feedback from planning officers at Long Eaton Town Hall.

“But hopefully the council would find us somewhere else if it does fall through.”

When the plan to move Quackers to the new site was announced in the summer, it was met with anger by elderly neighbours, who feared noise, dirt and traffic problems.

Trevor Preece is planning to object to the plan, along with his neighbours in Whitwell Court, next to the site.

“That’s a narrow road that’s continually traversed by huge vehicles. That’s one of the dangers,” he said

“And it’s been noted by good friends of mine that live near the farm that the place is inundated with rats.”

But leader of Erewash Borough Council Cllr Chris Corbett – who was one of the councillors who voted to approve the lease on Wednesday (September 18) – said the free attraction was good for the community.

“We don’t get any complaints from where they are now,” he said.

“I think Quackers is excellent. It gives an opportunity for children to go and stroke goats and things like that – that’s what children like.”

In an unusual move the council has granted the lease before the farm has been given planning permission, he explained – and on a ‘peppercorn’ rent.

He said it was ‘conceivable’ that it would get planning permission before October 21 but it was by no means guaranteed.

Labour councillors Jane Wilson and Glennice Birkin spoke out against the plan on Wednesday and are said to be planning a meeting with disgruntled neighbours.