Mr Mayor, fellow councillors, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I accept Mr Mayor that it the duty of this Council to formulate Local Plans that provide a 5 year land supply. Of course, it was the duty of the Council from 2011-2015 to produce that same plan, what we are being asked to approve tonight being Part 2 of that plan.
During that period, the then Liberal Democrat and Labour administration were opposed by the party opposite and the local MP who did not offer any positive ideas, only criticism of the numbers.
Let’s look at the facts.
- The Conservative Group were offered a place on the Local Plan Working Group where you would have been told, in no uncertain terms, that the figures could not be changed. Instead, you chose not to attend a single meeting.
- You had a real issue with the figure for housing of 6150. So why, Mr Mayor, does the Housing Trajectory state that you are on target to build 7249 properties? That didn’t appear on your leaflets that said that Bramcote Conservatives will protect the Green Belt, or that Cllrs Doddy and Longden will protect the green belt in Stapleford. Despite your Housing Trajectory being 1099 over the loathed 6150 figure, you are proposing to allow 500 houses to the east of Coventry Lane instead of 300.
Moving on to the plan.
At the Jobs & Economy meeting on Monday, I queried why the green belt at Nuthall roundabout, such that it is, was not being developed. I was told, that this was an area agreed by the last Administration not to be acceptable for development. Well actually we said that about Bramcote as well so the logical conclusion is that the Conservative administration has sacrificed Bramcote’s green belt to protect Nuthall’s.
I would recommend that this is looked at again. The green belt in Nuthall has already been compromised by the City Council building on the section within their boundary, cutting in half our green belt. I strongly believe that an appeal would be successful for this site as a result and also the proximity of the M1 being a defendable boundary.
We accept that there is a need for housing but this plans puts the burden of this fairly and squarely on the south of the Borough whilst the north is not being allocated its fair share. 500 houses at Toton, 1500 at Chetwynd Barracks, 500 on Bramcote Moor and 250 in north Stapleford on top of those already allocated at Fields Farm. We will need primary schools, bus routes, health services etc. There is nothing in this plan to provide those. Then there is increased traffic in areas where congestion is already great.
Of course, the money from the sale of the Bramcote site will be used to rebuild the school – it’s not as the Conservatives keep telling us a new school. This is happening because when the school asked the DofE for funding they refused stating that the school was not a priority. I know Cllr Jackson has said that we have to use resources wisely but really, you should have told the people of Bramcote this fact before the last Local Election.
We must remind people of this fact, the sacrifice of Bramcote’s green belt is not a benevolent act on the part of the County and Borough Councils. It has come about due to the Government refusing to provide funding for a new school. This really is a case of the tail wagging the dog, unless of course, you believe that Bramcote’s green belt should be developed whether or not the school will be rebuilt as a result. We have learnt tonight that this is the Labour Party’s position. The number of affordable houses built here will be very, very low and will not help our young people find affordable homes or social housing.
Given these issues Mr Mayor, the Liberal Democrat Group will not be supporting the revised Local Plan this evening.