THE TWO campaign groups fighting the housing proposals to build 1,200 homes in Ilkeston have issued a rallying call to keep the pressure on Erewash Borough Council.
The public consultation into the plans ended on Monday but both the Quarry Hill Action Group and the Manner Floods Action Group, against the Ilkeston West proposals, have pledged not to end the fight there.
Anne Green from the Quarry Hill Action Group said they would not rest on their laurels and pleaded with more volunteers to come forward to help and urged residents to continue collecting signatures on the groups’ petitions.
She added: “We would like to say a big thank you to all the people in Ilkeston, Kirk Hallam and surrounding areas who have supported our campaign (and the Manners Flood Group campaign) to stop the development of the 500 houses off Quarry Hill road and 700 houses at Ilkeston West.
“The letters, emails and comments have shown just how much our communities matter to us.
“We all value the green fields and wildlife, and do not want to see the exponential increase in traffic congestion and oversubscribing of our schools or medical centres
“Council documentation reveals that Erewash Borough Council is proposing that 76 per cent of its housing target will be in Ilkeston which has only 34 per cent of Erewash’s population with an increase from 38,000 to 52,000 people – around 30 per cent in 15 years.
“We are asking why should all this increase be within Ilkeston and what plans are there for major investment in transport, employment, education, health and other areas?”
Under the plans the site near Quarry Hill has been earmarked for 500 homes while the Manner Floods site near the Manners Industrial estate is set to have 700 homes built and 15 acres set aside for employment use.
On Saturday residents from both action groups met with Erewash MP Jessica Lee.
And Chris Hendrick from the Manner Floods group – who this week joined local Labour councillors to hand over a 500-name petition against the plans – also stressed the importance of continuing the battle.
He added: “The meeting with Jessica Lee on Saturday was helpful for both groups.
“She explained that she has no power in terms of planning issues but because of the strength of feeling and number of people who have contacted her regarding the plans she has offered to write to the council asking them to consider the views of residents.
“The council produce a large amount of documentation about housing, the local economy and green space, all of which we will be going through with a fine tooth comb.”
Mr Hendrick also told the Advertiser that they planned to step up their campaign and involve residents who would not be directly affected by the new developments but may experience the knock on effects on issues such as traffic, employment, education and health care.
A spokesman for Erewash Borough Council said: “All the matters raised in responses to the consultation will be reported to a public meeting of the council as part of deliberations as to the way forward for the Erewash Core Strategy.”
To contact the Quarry Hill Action Group email email@example.com or go to www.quarryhillactiongroup.org.
To get in touch with the Manner Floods campaign email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.say-no.co.uk.
n To see more letters on this issue, turn to page six.