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Environmental charity concerned over Rushcliffe housing allocations

Tuesday 6th June

Environmental charity concerned over Rushcliffe housing allocations

County’s largest environmental charity concerned about threat to wildlife and landscape posed by additional housing allocations being considered for Rushcliffe.

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, the county’s largest locally based environmental charity, has highlighted its concern over new housing allocations currently being considered for Rushcliffe.

Rushcliffe Borough Council is currently considering allocating a further suite of development sites for housing as a result of forecasts which suggest that the Borough will not meet its housing targets over the next 5-10 years, due to the main large, strategic sites that are already allocated not being delivered in time by the developers. Whilst understanding that the Borough must allocate sites for housing, the charity, which has specialist staff that monitor and advise on planning issues across the county, believes that sufficient land has already been allocated within the agreed Local Plan across the large sites.

Speaking about the concerns, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s Head of Conservation Janice Bradley said: “One of the strengths of the Rushcliffe Local Plan is that housing allocations are currently focussed on large strategic sites on the edge of the main urban area. This means that the impact of new housing would be limited to a smaller number of sites  which are close to key transport links, employment and other infrastructure. The additional round of locations being considered includes a number of small sites within or on the edge of smaller towns and villages, including both greenfield and greenbelt sites, which we feel are inappropriate, as they could be damaging to wildlife, undermine the purposes of the Greenbelt and lead to increased housing in unsustainable rural locations.”

The Wildlife Trust, which has over 10,000 members across the county and a strong membership in Rushcliffe, is also concerned that the reason these sites are being considered is that developers are not bringing forward housing on sites which have already been allocated fast enough. Whilst recognising that there is a national housing shortage the charity believes that the planning process should still be focussed on addressing issues such as the types of housing needed by local communities, the quality of life for residents and the environmental impacts of new development.

Mrs Bradley added: “We believe that the rigorous process used to determine the existing strategic housing allocations provides sufficient land to meet housing need - as long as developers get on with building on allocated sites fast enough. If there are delays meaning that these sites cannot be brought forward quickly these must be addressed directly, it is simply unsustainable to believe that the answer is to allocate more land for housing, when it had been previously ruled out as unsuitable and unsustainable.”

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust submitted its official response to the latest consultation earlier in the spring.  

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