No decision on housing

Sir,

I refer to Mr Scully’s above letter in today’s Ilkeston Advertiser.

I should make it clear that, as one of the 51 councillors who will have to make the decision on preferred sites to build over 6,000 homes in Erewash over the next 16 years; I have not yet made up my mind. How can I, when there is so much information still unknown and major studies still to be completed?

As readers will be aware, the consultation on the possible housing sites in Ilkeston has generated considerable debate and I, together with the local Ilkeston Conservative councillors, have visited a number of residents to discuss their views.

There has also been much correspondence and many questions raised by the two action groups and so there should be.

The borough council’s planning department staff continue to work extremely hard looking at possible sites and responding to the large number of enquiries and questions sent in, and I hope residents appreciate the unbiased and professional way in which they do their work. I certainly do.

I did meet Mr Scully just before Christmas when I went with Councillor Mrs Hart to the home of leaders of Manner Floods Action Group.

As a result of that meeting I came away with much useful information on how they saw the future, but I did feel that their priority at that time was for the council to take a step back and look again at all the sites listed on the council’s Housing Land Availability Assessment and other areas identified by residents.

This is now happening and I am pleased that the action groups have offered to help the council in this large and comprehensive exercise.

Decisions which affect the lives of residents are never easy, but I am determined that when they are made, we will have all the evidence required to make a reasoned and robust decision, even though it may take some time before all the information can be gathered in and assessments made.

Cllr Chris Corbett