People living in a Nottinghamshire village say they’re still angry six months after housing plans were revealed for a wildlife-rich field, and intend to campaign against it.
A group held a protest outside Newark and Sherwood District Council’s office on Tuesday (December 12) evening, holding placards reading ‘Yes to wildlife! No to development!’
A total of 151 homes are proposed for Lowfield Lane by the council-owned company Arkwood Developments.
Protesters say the grassland is home to breeding pairs of owls, kestrels and bats as well as rare types of grass.
Vicky Hodgson, one of the group’s organisers, says it would be a “huge loss” if the site were built on.
“When the application first came out in April, everyone was fuming,” she said.
“Since then, 2,000 people have signed our petition against the plans. Everyone is upset.
“It’s one of the few proper country lanes we have left in the area. There’s hardly any traffic – just pushchairs, bikes and horseriders.
“We’ve done well to get so many people out on this horrible night. When it comes to the planning committee, we will be there as well.”
Des Kay, a farmer whose property borders the site, says: “This is an area that people love and cherish.
“It’s so beautiful and special.
“The fact it’s threatened has spurred even more people to get involved and appreciate it.
“We are supposed to be protecting this type of grassland, and instead we’re putting concrete on it.”
During the full council meeting that evening, the council leader Paul Peacock (Lab) spoke about the challenges of preserving the site.
“It has been allocated for housing for 13 years and is economically viable, so it is almost impossible to deallocate it,” Cllr Peacock said.
“We have listened to residents about how special that area is, and how valuable the grassland is. There will be bat boxes, tracks for hedgehogs and other measures.
“We have spoke to people who have objected, and they are comfortable with the plans.”
Councillor Johno Lee (Con) interjected: “I don’t think they are.”
No date has currently been set for the planning application to come to committee.