Ruddington residents, Councillors and campaign groups are dismayed that an updated planning application for a major housing development on flood prone fields west of Wilford Road still shows no reduction in the proposed number of homes – despite it being for over a third more new properties than designated in Rushcliffe Borough Council‘s Local Plan.
After nothing but public objections to Bloor Homes‘ previous submission, its latest plans for this soon to be rescinded area of our Green Belt are a slightly changed version of the application submitted in June this year. They include a revised flood risk assessment, amended housing and highway layout with revised street scenes plus new information about ‘means of enclosure’, building materials and house types, accompanied by the new map below.
However, the property developer’s application is still for a quota-busting 174 homes. This is 44 more dwellings than the maximum 130 stipulated for this site in the recently approved Rushcliffe Local Plan Part 2.
Borough Councillor for Ruddington, Mike Gaunt, commented: “Unfortunately the recent adoption of the Local Plan Part 2 allocated 525 homes to be built on precious Green Belt land around our village. Having voted against adopting the amendments to the local plan in October, which inserted Asher Lane back into the local plan – whilst also denying us the chance to remove one of the other 3 allocated sites – myself and fellow Labour councillor Jen Walker will have to switch our attention to ensuring that the number of houses are kept as low as possible.”
Cllr Gaunt added: “It would set an awkward precedent if the first full planning application on Green Belt land that reaches this stage of planning, after the adoption of the Local Plan Part 2, were allowed to go ahead at numbers over 30% higher than those deemed appropriate by the Planning Inspector. We will continue to fight this application, and all subsequent applications on Ruddington Green Belt, until the numbers are brought down to a more sustainable level.”
Mike Ader of Ruddington Action Group agreed: “It makes a huge mockery of the whole Local Plan public consultation and decision making process if the numbers that are approved are then increased by individual developers in each site. The developers should be advised by RBC that the Local Plan numbers are the maximum that they will allow.”
Ian Wilson of Ruddington Green Party said he’s “Not surprised, though disappointed, that yet again property developers can ignore local views and the planning guidelines. If the number of houses can change so can the promises on flood prevention and to the community.”
The well known flooding issues continue to be of grave concern for residents in adjacent properties. A spokesperson for Protect Ruddington told us: “The revised flood risk assessment in the latest submission demonstrates that Bloor Homes is struggling to satisfy the Environment Agency and other consultees that these new homes won’t end up underwater in the extreme weather that climate change will create in future – and also then flood existing properties around them. Raising the level of the soil on land in Flood Zones 2 and 3, and putting in a few drainage channels, will not eliminate these serious issues. Cramming an extra 44 houses on to this flood plain will just exacerbate the problem. Flood mitigation needs to be on the development site itself – not on an adjoining field which is supposed to be staying in the Green Belt!”
The village campaign group recently reiterated on social media its claim that the relevant authorities still don’t seem to realise the true flood risk, even for just the 130 approved houses:
Contrast ONE YEAR AGO, when flood surveying was done during a dry autumn, with TODAY. This is @Rushcliffe #LocalPlanPart2 Policy 6.1 waved through by @PINSgov for 130 houses! Building bungalows on our #GreenBelt is proposed right HERE!! 🤦🏻♂️
✍🏻 https://t.co/uMJouYjDCr#FloodZone2&3 pic.twitter.com/EBvOsPUQab
— PROTECT RUDDINGTON (@ProtectRudd) October 16, 2019
However, Bloor Homes states that: “A flood-mitigation strategy has been created to remove any risk of flooding of the new homes or existing properties adjacent to the site. To do this, extensive earth works will be carried out to lower the land levels north of the Packman Dyke and raise levels south of the watercourse to create a development platform that would be out of the floodplain area. The Packman Dyke will be diverted to create a more natural watercourse and a balancing pond will be created for storm water storage and controlled discharge.”
It adds: “A flood mitigation area to the western part of the community open space area will be created comprising new land drainage and an ecological wetland and meadow area. The creation of an interceptor ditch alongside Wilford Road will ensure that any flood water runoff across Wilford Road would be conveyed into the Packman Dyke, without risk of flooding to the development.”
Further public comments are now being welcomed by Rushcliffe Borough Council on Bloor Homes’ revised application 19/01287/FUL by the new deadline of Thursday 14th November 2019. Campaigners are urging even those who objected before to submit fresh comments >>HERE<< about the property developer’s failure to reduce the number of houses. A decision is then expected at December’s RBC planning meeting.