I too was disappointed that the Council had reluctantly agreed to further build on Greenbelt, not least in Bramcote. The current Conservative administration had however little choice.
Over many years during the formulation of the aligned core strategy the then Conservative opposition argued strongly to no avail, that a figure of 6150 houses for the Borough was far too high over the plan period. The Liberal Democrat/ Labour Council by excepting this figure would inevitably require the allocation of Greenbelt sites for building.
Upon taking control in 2015 the new Conservative administration immediately took independent legal advice regarding the Toton housing allocation and the overall figure but were told it was not possible to change it. In other words we had to abide by the 6150 figure and had to work to it, and despite our continuing best efforts to build on brown field sites some Greenbelt would have to be allocated. On taking office the land at Field Farm had already been given outline planning permission. The only thing left for the incoming Conservative administration was to deal with detailed planning issues. The Greenbelt at Toton had already been included for development, however we were able to cap the number to 500 rather than the 800 the outgoing administration were considering.
Importantly the previous administration had left the Borough without a 5 year land supply and an indifferent record of numbers of completions, hence the need to allocate four Greenbelt sites giving the Council that all important and statutory 5 year land supply. The sites in Awsworth, Brinsley, Bramcote and in Stapleford behind the crematorium were according to the report commissioned by the previous Coaltion before 2015 the most sustainable. Important to remember that without a 5 year land supply a rejection of a planning application on any Greenbelt may have been overturned on an appeal by an Inspector and indeed the loss of planning control by the Council.
Returning to Bramcote as I said in a previous post there are many positives emulating from this decision, a 5 year land supply will give protection to the many swathes of Bramcote’s Greenbelt,such as below Bluebell Hill Woods and off Common Lane. Local protected Green Space for the Moor Lane playing fields and our beautiful Bramcote Park, and potential leisure facilities on the School site. The opportunity for the Neighbourhood Forum to offer suggestions in their Plan for the type of housing off Coventry Lane together with plans for enhanced and new green infrastructure in the immediate area. Not least a brand new state of art School fit for the 21st century for Bramcote’s children and grandchildren, paid for by the sale of the surplus to requirements land off Coventry Lane for much needed housing development.
Indeed a difficult inherited situation, but hard to imagine any serious alternative proposals.