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Clifton campaign to change traffic route as 265-home ‘village’ approved

Campaigners in Clifton say they will “keep trying” to convince a developer to change a route for construction vehicles after a new 265-home project was given the final go-ahead.

Avant Homes submitted plans for a £77.5m development off the Barton Green estate in Clifton West after the building of housing was earmarked for the site back in 1997.

The land, formerly owned by Nottingham City Council and Nottingham Trent University, borders ancient woodland which forms part of a Grade II registered park and garden associated with the Grade I listed Clifton Hall.

Access to the new estate, which is to be called Foxgrove Village, is proposed via a small cul-de-sac in Hawksley Gardens.

Residents living on the street have been trying to get construction traffic to take an alternative route, saying that large lorries will prove a health and safety risk.

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During a Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday, February 21, which was attended by a group of residents, councillors said their hands were effectively tied because the access route had been approved in outline permission given back in 2020.

While the remaining ‘reserved matters’ plans, including details on layout, scale, appearance and landscaping, were approved during the meeting, councillors said they would use their influence to keep discussions with Avant Homes open.

During the meeting, Cllr Hayley Spain (Lab), who was speaking on behalf of residents, said: “As the start date of the scheme draws near the residents’ concerns remain and it is now absolutely imperative we use this opportunity to raise the issues of concerned residents and this being the current planned access during construction.

“Under current proposals, the planned access will result in a high volume of heavy goods vehicles using pretty much one narrow residential road for up to six years.

“The residents feel this will put the health and safety of themselves and their families at risk from damage, potential accidents and excessive and undue inconvenience from noise, dust, debris and associated pollution.”

She said Nottingham South MP, Lilian Greenwood (Lab), also supported an alternative access route.

The alternative route has been proposed from Mill Hill Island, Green Street and Fox Covert Lane, and has been used for survey work by the developer in the past.

Planning officer Rob Percival said: “As I’ve said the access is not a matter for consideration today.

“In principle that has already been approved, so it is not something we could  request further work be done on at this stage.”

But he added: “There are discussions ongoing to see if there is some alternative route that is less disruptive.”

Cllr Graham Chapman (Lab) said it would be in the best interests of the developer to respond to the concerns.

“I also think from the point of view of the firm it is going to cause an enormous amount of grief and complaints about lorries going over the kerbs, this, that and the other, so it is actually in their interests to do something about it,” he said.

“It looks to me we have got no legal power and therefore what we have got is influence. It would be in the interests of this firm to try and respond.”

Eight councillors voted for the approval of the reserved matters permission, while three abstained from the vote and Cllr Kevin Clarke, of the Nottingham Independents and Independent Group, voted against it.

Speaking after the meeting Chas Hunt, who lives in Hawksley Gardens, said: “I just can’t get my head around the access. We cannot find anyone who has looked at it and thinks it is a good idea.”

Similarly Jacky Holmes, who set up a petition calling for a change in access in 2021, added: “We are not being unreasonable. We will keep trying, but we knew their hands would be tied.”

Avant Homes says work at Foxgrove Village is scheduled to start in April.

It is anticipated the first properties will be released for sale in May and the first residents will move into their new homes in November.

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