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Minutes of a Public Meeting held on 21 August 2014

Minutes of a public meeting held on the 21st August, 2014 at 7 p.m. in the Main Hall of the Memorial Hall for a discussion on the Planning Application Ref: 14/01417/OUT which would be built on the Clifton Pastures.

Present: Gotham Parish Councillors: M.J.Sheppard, J.P.Anderson, B.J.Walker, G.Hutter, K.Steed, G.Holbrook.

Also in attendance: County Councillor A.Brown, J.Coles, (Barton P.C.) K.Mafham, Planning Adviser, 57 Parishioners.

Apologies: Received From: Borough Councillor T.Vennett-Smith, Gotham Parish Councillors’ J.M.F.Royce, G.Clark.

Notes taken by J.A.Raven, Clerk to Gotham Parish Council.

The Chairman of GPC opened the meeting and thanked everyone for attending this important meeting for a discussion on plans to develop Clifton Pastures. He read out a letter from Borough Councillor T.Vennett-Smith who had attended the Public Hearing together with Councillors B.J.Walker and J.P.Anderson and declared the Parish’s determination to continue the campaign  to save the Green Belt land at Clifton.

Councillor J.P.Anderson presented a power point explanation of the Planning Application from Oxalis for the development of a sustainable urban extension comprising residential development up to a maximum of 3000 dwellings; employment development incorporating a maximum of 100,000 sqm of B1, B2 and B8 floor space; retail development (A1 to A5) up to a maximum of 2500 sqm of floor space; community buildings; leisure uses; schools; gypsy and traveller pitches; access to the site; new roads; footpaths and cycle ways; green infrastructure including new community park; ancillary infrastructure and groundworks on land east and west of Nottingham Road South of Clifton.

The files would be made available to the Public in the Memorial Hall hallway.

J.P.Anderson explained the procedure re the Aligned Core Strategy which is for the development of 35,000 houses  in Nottingham City, Broxtowe and Gedling, a growth point to expand the City with Government finance. The ACS has to be formerly ratified by various Councils and can still be legally challenged. It has been published but not yet formally adopted.

Rushcliffe Core Strategy has gone to Public Enquiry in July, 2014. Thanks to B.J.Walker, C.Raynor, J.Coles, J.Potter and K.Mafham for their attendance. Now we await the Inspector’s report. In theory, the Oxalis planning application should follow the Public Enquiry and was probably brought forward to influence the Inspector with a ‘done deal’. RBC could have refused it as the land had not been pronounced available and the application was premature. No developer is signed up yet so outline planning permission sought to cover landscaping, wildlife, drainage, traffic layout, etc.  The development will cover 140 acres with 3000 houses, 50 acres of warehousing, factories and an area of land for a permanent gypsy/traveller site. In the beginning, the size of the land to be built on was smaller than the planning application which has taken up considerably more land than expected, nearer to Gotham. There were only a total of 51 responses to the last consultation which contained such loaded questions that RBC could have taken as meaning, merely by answering the questions, meant the population were in favour of the development. The CPRE and Ruddington Parish Council have submitted their objections.

We now have the opportunity to respond with a legal challenge to the Aligned Core Strategy and the RBC Core Strategy.

Ken Mafham, Planning Adviser, explained that there is much at stake for the landowners who stand to make huge gains in the region of 100 million pounds for the sale of the land. They will obviously fight for development. Nottingham City, Gedling and Broxtowe have underestimated the overspill of houses by 6,000. The Government Policy is a balancing act to form a housing policy to meet these numbers. There are environmental issues and over the last five years the balancing act has got skewered. The Court of Appeal support ‘balancing’ which is not what is happening in Nottingham. Legal advice has been taken from Landmark Chambers which has resulted in support for a legal challenge on two grounds, i.e. No green belt review carried out and housing figures not in accordance with the Legal Challenge in won in 2007.

In principle, unless the Core Strategy is challenged, it will go ahead. The Gypsy/Traveller site might have been ‘put in’ in order to be ‘taken out’ as a concession but this does not appear to be the case. There are plenty of brown field sites within Nottingham available for building, i.e. boarded up public houses, garage forecourts, vacant offices. More student housing could be accommodated on the University campus. Clifton and Sutton Bonington campus’s have scruffy unused car parking areas, R.A.F. Newton and Cotgrave have been submitted to RBC but not looked at properly. The agricultural land aspect, CO2 emissions, global warming and light pollution are factors growing in importance. The warehousing might not be built due to the massive rail hub at Castle Donington and junction 28 which would be more warehousing sites. In this case, 600 more houses could be developed.

Legal Challenge: Firstly goes to the High Court, say on the grounds that the Core Strategies are not in accordance with the Government National Planning Policy Framework. If the case is lost, the losers pay the other party’s costs which is limited to £10,000 under the AAHUS Convention. K.Mafham offered to work pro bono. The legal challenge has to be brought within six weeks, i.e. mid September, 2014. If the Judicial Review is successful, the Core Strategy would have to be begun again and another enquiry undertaken which might convince the Councils to consider developing brown field sites.

Traffic: Gotham is vulnerable as the limits on the A453 are exceeded. Traffic lights at Junction 24 will mean traffic backs up with the likelihood of rat running through Gotham. RBC have stated, the traffic flow will be the responsibility of the developers. A proper and realistic traffic model must be submitted. The present traffic study is flawed and full of discrepancies, i.e. mention of a secondary school which is not part of the development meaning children will need to travel to school. If we lose the Judicial Review, we must make a play for Section 106 monies to improve the villages amenities which might be heavily used by the new population.

Pylons: H.Taylor explained the dangers of housing near to pylons which can result in long term health concerns. He will submit a written report to be included in Gotham News.

Sand and Gravel Quarry at Barton in Fabis: J.Coles thanked Gotham for its support in the objection to a proposed sand and gravel quarry adjacent to Barton. Eighty 28 ton lorry movements per day would lead to extra traffic burden on the A453. Barton Parish Council had submitted an excellent document in objection to the proposal.

M.J.Sheppard thanked the panel and audience and the meeting closed at 8.40 p.m.