This month has been all about the three Ps: planning, pets and pedestrians, writes Ruth.
Ruth Edwards writes:
We need homes that people can afford to buy and rent so that every person in every community can afford to put down roots and get on in life. But we also need to protect, respect and enhance our natural environment, our green spaces and the character of individual communities.
Too often, this hasn’t happened under the current planning system. It’s enabled some councils to shirk their responsibility to provide homes for people in their communities and to push part of their housing allocation into neighbouring areas.
This happened to Rushcliffe several years ago, when Nottingham City Council used a measure called the Duty to Cooperate to push thousands of homes away from brownfield sites in the city onto greenfield sites in Rushcliffe’s countryside, leaving Rushcliffe to deal with thousands more homes than it was originally calculated to need.
The Government’s planning reforms, which will be published in the Autumn, will abolish measures such as the Duty to Cooperate. I raised this issue with the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, in Parliament earlier this month. He reassured me that the Government will be prioritising brownfield development in towns and cities and that they have changed the local housing need formula to help reinforce the priority of building on brownfield first.
I have also been working with residents in Barton in Fabis to prepare our objections to the planning application for a gravel extraction and processing site at Barton / Mill Hill. The site is only 70 metres from the Attenborough Nature Reserve and the current application raises many concerns about damage to biodiversity, increasing flood risk and increase of demand on local road networks.
If you would like to get involved in the campaign against this planning application please do get in touch at email@example.com
Last month I wrote about my ongoing work to highlight increasing concerns about pet theft. This cruel crime has sadly increased over lockdown and is an issue that’s clearly been on the hearts and minds of many of you. For the past six weeks, I’ve been running a survey on pet theft to hear from Rushcliffe residents concerned about their pets. The survey has now concluded, so thank you to everybody who took the time to fill it in.
According to our polling, a staggering 96% of residents are concerned about pet theft in Rushcliffe, with a third of those adding that they have been or know someone personally affected by pet theft. The full results of the survey can be found here.
I’ve raised these concerns directly with ministers and in Parliament, which you can find here. I look forward to hearing the Pet Theft Taskforce report back in July and will urge Government to put its recommendations into practice so we can better protect our beloved four legged friends.
As some readers may already know, I’ve been championing a local campaign to improve road safety for walkers, cyclists and horse riders along the A52 between the Nottingham Knight and Gamston roundabouts.
Throughout the past year we have all rediscovered the beauty of local nature sites and the huge benefits of active travel.
As we build back better from the pandemic we need to invest in transport infrastructure that enables cleaner, healthier and safer travel for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
Last week, I visited the site of an existing underpass that cuts under the road. This underpass has been identified by local campaigners as a sensible place for a crossing under the busy A52 – a view I agree with having now seen it for myself.
Currently, the underpass needs work to make it a viable crossing for residents to safely enjoy. I have already highlighted this directly to Highways England and will continue working closely with councillors and campaigners until a safe A52 crossing is secured.