Another Green Belt Consultation!

When the Rushcliffe Local Plan Part 1: Core Strategy was adopted back in December 2014 things didn’t look too bad for Ruddington. Identified infill sites for new homes here, along with some available “brownfield” areas, meant that our village would be required to accommodate just 250 further homes on its precious Green Belt.

One of the many Local Plan documents through the years!

Over the following four and a half years, however, that outlook was set to change significantly. (You can read the details of this long running saga elsewhere on the website.) To summarise, a number of consultations by Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC) on specific Ruddington locations then began for its Rushcliffe Local Plan Part 2. This led to more potential housing sites around our village being identified than had originally been anticipated – and to an increased total of 350 Green Belt homes appearing on RBC’s final published version of the Plan which was required to be submitted to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate last summer. By this time, the shock approval of an additional 175 homes at Asher Lane (not included in this Plan) meant a total of 525 Green Belt houses would be built, should all of RBC’s “official” Ruddington sites be given the go-ahead. Subsequent appeals from Ruddington Parish Council and village residents to remove the flood-prone Wilford Road site before the document’s submission (to bring back down this spiralling total) appeared to fall on deaf ears, and RBC submitted its plans unaltered. Since the Rushcliffe “hearings” last December, Ruddingtonians have been awaiting the verdict of Planning Inspector Philip Lewis on the “soundness” of this Rushcliffe plan – and to hear whether (or not) he will rubber-stamp the three additional Ruddington sites.

The Asher Lane site from above

Meantime, RBC has just released yet another consultation document on “Proposed Main Modifications to Local Plan Part 2” which formally increases Ruddington’s Green Belt Housing Allocation from 350 to 525 new homes – by officially adding Policy 6.4 – Land at Asher Lane to the total, as shown on its revised Ruddington map (top). The Plan now includes new conditions for the developer including:

  • Asher Lane must be brought up to adoptable highway standard, including the provision of a footpath along its entire length
  • Appropriate junction Improvements including traffic signals to the High Street/Kirk Lane/Charles Street junction and the A60/Kirk Lane/Flawforth Lane junction
  • Mitigation of on-street car parking on Asher Lane, between Musters Road and Distillery Street
  • Existing trees and hedges must be retained

In addition to this added site (Policy 6.4) for the controversially approved Asher Lane housing, there are already developers’ full planning applications for Wilford Road (Policy 6.1), Flawforth Lane (Policy 6.2) and Mere Way (Policy 6.3). All FOUR sites now have the additional condition:

  • A financial contribution to a package of improvements for the A52(T) between the A6005 (QMC) and A46 (Bingham)

The Borough Council’s modified summary reads: “The Core Strategy sets a target of a minimum of 250 new homes that need to be built on greenfield sites at Ruddington up to 2028. It is considered that Ruddington has scope to sustain around 350 525 dwellings in total adjacent to the village, based on the capacity of local services and the availability of suitable sites for development.”

Mike Ader, Chair of Ruddington Action Group (RAG), says: “It is essential that all Ruddington residents make their feelings known to the Borough to ensure our objections to them to ‘dumping’ an excessive number of houses in Ruddington is unacceptable. We are not just a faceless location to solve their needs, we are a real village with real people who care about the sustainability and vibrancy of our community and high street. The latest proposal by the Borough and developers are a huge step too far.”

To assist villagers with what is quite a complex consultation procedure, RAG has written a pro-forma letter which can be downloaded >>HERE<< for completion and submission. It has also been placed to pick up from outlets around the village such as Perkins Hardware, The Bottle Top, Ruby Rae, The Groom Inn and Black Cat Cafe. Members of Protect Ruddington are backing this letter – but insist it should be “the least suitable Green Belt site” off Wilford Road, rather than the land opposite Mere Way, which should be removed from RBC’s modified Local Plan.

More detailed public comments on the changes/additions to RBC’s Land and Planning Policies for Ruddington and elsewhere are also being welcomed >>HERE<< up until 5.00pm on Friday July 5th.

As if the above isn’t enough to digest, a verdict is also still being waited upon from The Planning Inspectorate concerning an appeal from the landowner to allow access to Policy 6.4 from Musters Road rather than the approved two points via Asher Lane. Nevertheless, an application from Mr Tom Collins has been made to RBC to seek approval for the means of access from these two original entry and exit points along Asher Lane, opposite the Country Park (as shown below). Letters sent out to residents state this is a “reserved matters application for outline permission 16/03123/OUT to seek approval for the means of access”. Whilst this seems to be more of a procedural formality, you can view all the details and leave comments about the finer details of this latest application >>HERE<< through until June 1st 2019.

The appeal for Musters Road access has been ‘allowed’ by The Planning Inspector – and the above application from Tom Collins for Asher Lane access now withdrawn. >>MORE<<.

If you have found the time and patience to read this far – well done. We would urge you to take part in these additional RBC consultations on the future of our increasingly vulnerable village – in the vague hope that someone, somewhere, sometime might just take some notice?!

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