Saturday 24 February 2024
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Nottingham

Rushcliffe countryside at risk because of Nottingham’s housing shortfall, says council leader

A council leader fears areas such as Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushclife will be forced to build new homes on green open spaces to make up for Nottingham’s shortfall.

Cllr Milan Radulovic (Lab), leader of Broxtowe Borough Council, has written to Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities MP Michael Gove relaying his concerns.

He said the government has set a target of building 51,000 new homes, a proportion of which are social and affordable across South Nottinghamshire by 2028 to deal with the shortage of accommodation.

He said recent predictions show Nottingham has a shortfall of 4,500 as it does not have the available land to build them.

Cllr Radulovic said the “pressure” will now be put on neighbouring areas such as Broxtowe, Gedling, and Rushcliffe to pick up the shortfall.

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He said: “Nottingham does not have enough land to build the new homes that the government has requested.

“It is 4,500 short and Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe will have to pick that up. We are under enormous pressure to meet that unmet need.

“It is madness – it is not sustainable. This will leave further pressure on the urban sprawl which means having to build on open countryside.

“That is the land we want to protect.”

Writing to the Secretary of State, Cllr  Radulovic, criticised the Government for failing to provide up to £40m of Levelling Up funding to Nottingham.

The money would have been spent on demolishing the former Broadmarsh shopping centre to start ‘a mixed use’ development, which is expected to include housing as well as developing the Island site in the city.

He said: “Nottingham, which is tightly bounded and has limited ability to expand, is reliant on a small number of very challenging brownfield sites to deliver housing, but has historically missed out on funding at the expense of larger urban areas.

“Once again, the latest announcements on the Levelling Up fund bids for the two most significant brownfield sites in the city, for the former Broadmarsh shopping centre and for the Island Quarter, have been unsuccessful.

“This underfunding increases the risk that surrounding boroughs will be expected to provide land for its unmet need.

“We therefore urge you to look at the specific housing capacity of cities, and take into account the scale of housing need they cannot accommodate within their areas under current circumstances, as a factor when determining the level of funding to be provided.

“In this way, we can ensure that residual housing need is minimised, and thus protect our green belt and greenfield sites whilst ensuring good quality new housing supports our aim of enhancing the quality of life in urban areas.”

His letter has been backed by Nottingham City Council.

Cllr Linda Woodings (Lab), Portfolio Holder for Housing, Planning and Heritage at Nottingham City Council, said: “I am very happy to add my name to the signatories on this cross-party letter representing all local councils in our area.

“The city council’s housing expectation has been artificially inflated by flawed Government methodology, which applies a 35 per cent increase over our calculated requirement to arrive at a final figure.

“This is without a shred of evidence around available land or the ability to accommodate this unrealistic figure in a city with such tightly-constrained local authority boundaries. Missing out on Government funding opportunities simply aggravates the problem.

“Mr Gove’s department needs to go back to the drawing board on this one. It must look carefully at the specific housing capacity of different cities across the country and take this into account.

“We would also urge Government, again, to rethink the right-to-buy legislation which is exacerbating social housing pressures in Nottingham.”

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said:  “The government has committed to deliver 1 million new homes by the end of this Parliament and continue towards its target to increase building output to 300,000 homes a year.

“Councils are responsible for setting housing targets, and our guidance should be considered alongside local factors in working out how many homes can be delivered.”

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