Losing the battle as plans get the go ahead

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Plans for hundreds of homes on green belt land in Stapleford have been given the green light by the Government, but protestors will not give up their fight.

Stapleford and Trowell Rural Action Group had hoped new planning guidance would save Field Farm from being built upon after the Department of Communities and Local Government reaffirmed - in new planning guidance - the government’s commitment to protect green belt land from development.

Nathalie Morelle, secretary of Strag, said: “The test on the seriousness of the government’s intent to protect the green belt has clearly failed.

“The planning minister Brandon Lewis announced his intent to lift the call-in on the Field Farm outline planning permission.

“Stapleford and Trowell Rural Action Group is obviously disappointed and we are now reviewing our options.”

Developers Westerman first applied for permission to build 450 homes at Field Farm in November 2011.

Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry has condemned Broxtowe Borough Council for ignoring advice and sacrificing the land to housing development.

She said: “Brandon Lewis has made it clear that because Broxtowe voted in favour of its core strategy last month, he is powerless to stop their plans for Field Farm.

“We urged Broxtowe to defer their decision because we knew new guidance on protecting green belt was coming, but they refused. That guidance came this week. If Broxtowe had waited and if they had chosen not to allow building on green belt land then Field Farm could have been saved.”

Anna has invited Brandon Lewis to visit Broxtowe and discuss the future of the Green Belt land in the constituency. He has agreed to visit and meet with campaigners.

The borough council decided to grant planning permission at Field Farm last year but the decision was ‘called in’. Anna said that since then the council has stuck rigidly to its plans for thousands of homes on green belt sites.

She added: “To make their decision all the more perverse, and plain wrong, new brown field sites are coming forward but Broxtowe is determined to build on Green Belt first.

“Legal action is planned for a judicial review so the fight continues and I pay tribute to campaigners like STRAG who I will continue to support”.