LAND potentially worth millions of pounds is set to be handed to Trowell free of charge if plans to build 450 homes in neighbouring Stapleford are given the go-ahead.
Landowner Westerman Homes is set to put in a planning application soon to build the homes on the Field Farm site – earmarked by Broxtowe Borough Council to take on some of the 6,000 houses it says it needs to build by 2028.
Westerman plans to build nearly all 450 homes within the Stapleford half of the site and gift the remaining 15 acres between Boundary Brook and Pit Lane to either the parish council or Broxtowe Borough Council to do whatever it wants with.
Trowell councillor Ken Rigby is celebrating having ‘made the best of a bad situation’ and said the land could become a mix of allotments, a football pitch for Trowell FC and park land.
He said: “I have fought hard to protect this place so obviously I am very pleased, although I am sorry that these houses have got to be built, but I have had to do the best thing for Trowell.”
But Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry condemned the move. She said: “This is a fundamentally flawed proposal because, instead of consulting with the people about what they want to happen to that land, Ken and his colleagues on the borough council have accepted a housing target of almost 6,000 houses.
“There’s only enough brownfield land for 2,000 so they have to build on greenbelt.
“He hasn’t done right by Trowell – there will still be 450 homes right next door.”
Cllr Rigby argued that a planning inspector’s report in 2002 said the whole site could be built on.
“The developer has got a very strong chance because he will present the previous report,” he said. “I am not prepared to bury my head in the sand and risk losing the whole site.
“It’s my duty to represent the people who voted for me – the people of Trowell.”
A spokesman from Chilwell-based Westerman Homes said: “We recognise this area has traditionally been seen as providing a distinction between Trowell and Stapleford. We have tried to come up with a masterplan that keeps an element of that green wedge between them.”
Ms Soubry is urging residents to attend a CAT meeting at Pasture Road Community Church tonight to discuss the plans and is organising a public meeting in January.
Trowell Parish Council is due to discuss whether they can afford the maintenance costs of running the 15 acres of land or whether it would be better to give the land to Broxtowe on Tuesday.