Three Ruddington campaign groups have joined forces in a last minute bid to halt the sudden and sharp increase in proposed house-building in our village.
Protect Ruddington (PR), Ruddington Community Association (RCA) and Ruddington Action Group (RAG) hope to quickly gain further support from as many of the seven and a half thousand village residents as possible to protest at the latest large scale development plans. This includes a final call to Ruddingtonians to object about two major Green Belt housing applications, for which the Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC) public consultations are both about to end.
They say they have been driven to team up to protest because their village is liable to be engulfed with new housing estates – with the vast majority of the homes now in the pipeline being proposed on our open countryside over the next ten years. They feel that the planning authorities have only been paying lip service to residents who object.
In the most controversial example of this, last summer, the Government Planning Inspectorate overruled RBC’s planning refusal for a 175 home Green Belt development off Asher Lane. This was despite a long and hard fought campaign by RAG which had resulted in hundreds of objections from residents, a firm rejection of the site by Ruddington Parish Counci (RPC) and it being withdrawn from RBC’s Local Plan Part 2. Most recently, another Government Planning Inspector also overruled the Borough Council’s refusal of an alternative access to the same site – again despite many objections!
The campaign groups say they cannot understand why, in May last year – when RBC had the opportunity to bring back down the total Ruddington housing allocation by removing another village Green Belt site from its draft Local Plan Part 2 – it chose not to do so. Instead the Council submitted it unaltered to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate. Only now is RBC consulting on a ‘modified’ version of the plan where, instead of removing houses from Ruddington’s allocation, it has ‘officially’ added in Asher Lane and amended Ruddington’s grand total from 350 to 525 houses.
Crucially, group members are concerned that all the extra developments will lead to increased traffic congestion in the High Street and our village centre. They fear that necessary measures taken to deal with the extra vehicles, like traffic lights, would lead to on-street parking places being cut. This could then have a serious knock-on effect on trade for the scores of village retailers and businesses.
Mike Ader, who chairs Ruddington Action Group, said: “We understand that more houses need to be built for the region’s growing population, and accept that some should be in the village. We are mindful that Rushcliffe is under pressure to find places for these homes. But it seems to be out of control now.”
Jo Jagiello from Protect Ruddington explained: “For many, it’s not about housing itself, it’s about appropriate numbers, appropriate sites and crucially appropriate infrastructure being planned. Most objections are around unnecessary loss of green belt when smaller brown fields are available – and the overburdened schools, GPs and services. All of the applications fail to address this and offer nothing in terms of improvements or sustainability.”
The most recent full planning application is to build 174 houses, over a third more than the proposed Rushcliffe Local Plan allocation of 130, on Green Belt land west of Wilford Road, one of the key green gateways to the village. This is also flood plain land and the campaign groups want residents to object. Their self-funded joint leaflets (pictured top) have been delivered by volunteers to as many Ruddington homes as possible to flag up the threat and explain more about the campaign.
The other current Green Belt consultation is about a development of 56 homes proposed off Flawforth Lane. This is 16 more than originally proposed on the former Ecoplants site, south of Flawforth Avenue, and the groups are urging objections on the basis that a large number of mature trees (pictured below) would be felled if the current planning application is approved.
In the original RBC Local Plan published in 2013, the number of new homes earmarked for Ruddington on Green Belt land was a modest 250. This increased to 350 in Local Plan Part 2 and then went up to 525 when the application related to land off Asher Lane was controversially and unexpectedly approved. Campaigners worry this figure could be nearer 700 if property developers are allowed to build even more houses on the Green Belt sites than allocated by The Plan. There’s already been a full planning application for 180 homes on farmland opposite Mere Way off the A60 (for which the Local Plan states 170 houses). At this rate, it’s been calculated that Ruddington’s total new housing number will balloon to well over 1,000 extra properties when you add in other recent developments such as Old Station Drive, Pasture Lane, Woodhouse Gardens, Silk Gardens and Lace Gardens PLUS a number of smaller ‘infill’ areas where a few houses have been built on formerly large gardens or industrial plots.
The three campaign groups fear it will lead to gridlock in the centre of the village and worry that little or no consideration has been given to how the extra cars will move around. Mr Ader added: “This is too much. We’ve had enough. The proposal as a mitigation for Asher Lane for traffic lights on Kirk Lane junction may ease congestion to the main A60 but will hugely exacerbate traffic problems in High Street and threaten its very vibrancy. This set of traffic lights was approved without taking into account all the other proposed developments in Ruddington, plus the nearby Sharphill estate and the extra 3,000 homes going up near Clifton.”
SUMMARY OF CURRENT CONSULTATIONS:
Two major Green Belt housing developments earmarked by Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC) in its ‘Local Plan Part 2’.
- Bloor Homes‘ full application for 174 houses south of Packman Dyke off Wilford Road (The Local Plan states 130 houses). FULL DETAILS >>HERE<<
- Linden Homes‘ full application for 56 houses on the former Ecoplants site off Flawforth Lane (The Local Plan states 50). FULL DETAILS >>HERE<<.
The Public Consultation deadlines for both these are THIS WEEK!
You have a little bit longer to respond to the rather more complex Rushcliffe Borough Council Local Plan Part 2 consultation about ‘modifications’ to its plan, which include ‘officially’ raising Ruddington’s total Green Belt Housing allocation from 350 to 525 houses. This must be completed by 5.00pm on Friday July 5th.
FULL DETAILS >>HERE<<.
There’s a Ruddington Parish Council* meeting in St Peter’s Rooms on Tuesday 25th June starting at 7.30pm where Councillors will discuss their response to these two Green Belt planning applications and the latest Rushcliffe Local Plan Part 2 consultation. Members of the public can go along to have their say, too. You can download/view the full meeting agenda >>HERE<<.
Ruddington Action Group, Ruddington Community Association and Protect Ruddington both want the Borough Council and the various authorities to talk to one other effectively and commit to a detailed ‘holistic’ survey of infrastructure needs, traffic and parking in the village to ensure that existing and potential new residents and families have adequate services and facilities around them.
Meantime, all villagers are encouraged to have their say on all this new housing NOW – before it’s too late!
*UPDATE TUE 25th JUNE:
At tonight’s RPC meeting, after hearing several objections from campaign groups and members of the public, Councillors resolved to object to RBC to the Wilford Road and Flawforth Lane applications. Grounds included the fact that both applications are premature – as the land is still in the Green Belt – and because both developers are applying for more homes than allocated in The Local Plan Part 2.
Councillors also resolved to take part in RBC’s Modified Local Plan Part 2 consultation – to say that it is not “sound”. This is primarily because Ruddington’s allocation of Green Belt Housing was raised from 350 to 525 without what RPC believed to be proper consideration of the implications of this extra housing on our village infrastructure – such as school places, doctors, traffic, parking, etc.
YOU NEED TO COMPLETE THIS CONSULTATION BY 5PM ON FRI 5TH JULY 2019 >>HERE<<.