Councillors at fault for houses

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Sir,

In response to Mr Rigby’s comments (Councillor defends housing plan deal - Advertiser December 1), Mr Rigby omits many points.

I agree that the inspectors report, if accepted, would have made our fight difficult.

However, the inspectors report is persistently misquoted by Mr Rigby and Broxtowe Borough councillors .

Mr Rigby did spend a couple of days at the enquiry but forgets that I spent five days at the enquiry including being invited to sit on the pre-enquiry.

Irrespective of what the report actually says, the report was rejected by the council.

The enquiry continued after the land windfall ensured that Fields Farm was taken out of the borough plan.

At the enquiry the developers did suggest that Fields Farm was taken out of the greenbelt and allocated as white land (safeguarded for future development) and the inspector concurred with Westerman’s barrister.

But the council argued that they didn’t want to be committed to any sites for future development as the situation, laws on planning etc can change and have.

The key point is the inspectors report was rejected.

The risk was that if Fields Farm was selected again for development, the inspectors report could be used in the future as reference.

Planning strategy was then changed by the last Labour government and regional planning came into place.

Nottinghamshire councils subscribed to very expensive appraisal of all available land for development and some large sites were identified including Fields Farm but other larger sites that were identified in 2002 were omitted for some reason.

The next step was for individual councils to select and put forward sites in their own borough.

Fields Farm was selected by a committee of Broxtowe councillors not the planning department.

The chair of this committee was Ken Rigby who quit this position after that decision.

The reason he and his colleagues should now resign as councillors is that the development of Fields Farm is due to the selection of the site by the committee Ken was the chair of and Brian Wombwell is also on.

They all refuse to fight for removal of this greenbelt site from the development plan that is the only arable site in the plan which is the wishes of the their communities.

They have used quite in-depth sales techniques to fool their electorate into believing that they are making the best of a bad position – a position they created, not an outdated public enquiry report.

The site is the key to removing the greenbelt that halts the spread of greater Nottingham and the goal for unfettered future development and somewhere to dump development beyond 2028.

Neil Jackson

Chairman, STRAG

(Stapleford & Trowell Residents’ Action Group)