Residents fight ‘erasure’ of green space and wildlife amid Ashfield Council’s controversial development plans

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A local consultation is underway with Ashfield City Council, which specifies where 8,226 homes will be built by 2038.

The document received a hostile response from some people in the district, with concerns about the loss of green land and its impact on existing communities.

The council hung the plan on two large settlements, with 3,000 houses planned on the green belt at Whyburn Farm, Hucknall, and another 1,000 at Cauldwell Road, Sutton.

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Laura Gapski, Principal of Bright Sparks, and Laura Hammond, Deputy Principal, with some of the kindergarten children.

Laura Gapski, owner of Bright Sparks Private Day Nursery, backing onto the Sutton site from its Derby Road base, has launched a fight against the program.

She believes the plans would impact her own businesses and those in the surrounding area and affect the well-being of residents, and calls for the plan to be changed.

She said: “We had a meeting a few weeks ago, and local residents and businesses feel quite betrayed by the Ashfield Independents.

“They keep suggesting that there are no other spaces, that all brownfields are exhausted and that they must build on green spaces. We see them using whatever green space they have available that they have a landowner willing to sell to them.

The proposed development site off Cauldwell Road.

“This is going to cause huge business disruption to us, at Coxmoor Golf Club and Sherwood Observatory, and disruption to the locals.

“Residents are lobbying together to petition, oppose and meet with local councilors to voice their disappointment and concerns with the plan.

“It can’t happen here, and it won’t happen here. “

The group is calling on people to write to the council and sign an e-petition, which has already attracted 500 signatures.

Laura said: “The local plan will erase the area and the pristine site surrounding my nursery and my house. This means the loss of clean air for our under-fives, and their connection to their local fauna and environment,

“This will affect the preservation of the Cauldwell Fishing Dam, Coxmoor Golf Course and Hamilton Hill, sites of historical and archaeological interest.

“Others have expressed concerns about the destruction of waterways, affecting fish, newts, herons and other species.

Image on the group “Residents and Businesses Against Cauldwell Road Development” campaign on Facebook

“Anyone can object, whether or not they live in Ashfield. It is important that people share their comments by signing the petition and also sharing their local views with the council.

The local plan defines the development of the district over the next 15 years in terms of housing, employment, transport, environment and infrastructure.

A legal requirement, it sets a first plan for how Ashfield is expected to develop through 2038.

Members of Ashfield Fishing Club, which owns the Cauldwell Dam fishery, also raised concerns about the Cauldwell Road site.

Club member Jason Humphries said: “I think it would have a negative impact on the environment, impact several endangered and protected species and pose a significant risk to the waterways and fishing of the dam. Cauldwell.

Ian Smith said: “There are around 2,000 members of the Ashfield Angling Club who, like me, have a valid interest in this issue.”

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Changes

Councilor Matthew Relf, ​​a cabinet member responsible for the local plan, said he expects there will be changes following the consultation.

He said: “The process we followed was to bring in infrastructure, in terms of new schools, health facilities, and we rigorously assessed the sites fairly.

“That said, this is a consultation and by no means a finalized local plan.

“I’m sure there will be a lot that will be fed back to us in this consultation that will highlight the things that our approach missed.

“We will be reviewing absolutely every response to this consultation, and I expect changes will be made.”

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