Ashfield District Council are proposing to allow the building of 3000 new homes on the green belt land known as Whyburn Farm to the north of Hucknall.
This map shows the extent of the development .
The proposed Whyburn Farm development is 205 hectares (2.05 sq km). The whole Hucknall area is only 791.2 hectares (7.912 sq km), so you can appreciate how large this one development will be.
Will It Affect Me ?
If you live in Hucknall, then the simple answer is yes.
The Whyburn Farm area is a beautiful piece of countryside just a short walk from the centre of Hucknall that has many footpaths that people of all ages use for walking, cycling, horse riding and for their general wellbeing.
During the recent lockdowns it was an essential release for many people, and especially for those with mental health issues who sought solace in the wonderful surroundings.
With this and other planned developments in the Hucknall area, we will lose over 272 hectares of our current green space.
Once this green space has gone, it can never be replaced !
Based on information from the last available census in 2011 and the City Population website, in 2020 Hucknall had a population of around 36000 people with an annual population increase of 1.3% between 2011 and 2020.
In 2011 Nottinghamshire had an average of 2.37 people per household. This means that the Whyburn Farm development alone will add around 7110 people to the population, which is an increase of around 20% of the current population.
This does not include all the other developments that are planned or being built around Hucknall. Some figures show that the population of the Hucknall area could increase by up to 41% when all of these are taken into account.
Hucknall and its infrastructure just can not cope with such a significant increase in population !
A Strain On Services
Any increase in population will put a strain on our already over stretched services in the Hucknall community.
Will we see a 20% to 41% increase in policing ? The same goes for doctors, dentists, social workers and a multitude of other essential services.
The infrastructure should be put in place before any significant increase in population occurs to minimise the disruption to existing residents .
Current services are already stretched to the limit !
The new development will see more children in the Hucknall area that require schooling.
Based on the Whyburn Farm development alone another 630 primary school places and 450 secondary school places will be required. Add in the other proposed and in progress developments in the Hucknall area and you could nearly double this.
Hucknall obviously does not have the capacity to cope !
If the new development does get the go ahead, then 3000 more homes will mean around 4500 more vehicles trying to use the roads around Hucknall.
This will no doubt add to the congestion around the A611 Annesley by pass / A608 roundabout to the motorway, as well as through Annesley past the ‘Badger Box’ for those travelling north.
Watnall Road is already creaking under the strain of the Rolls Royce development, with more houses still being built there.
More traffic into and through Hucknall.
More congestion, especially at peak time at the Nottingham Road / A611 Hucknall bypass roundabout on the way to Bulwell.
The local roads will simply not be able to cope !
If the new development at Whyburn Farm gets the go ahead, then there is the possibility according to the Draft Local Plan (page 57) that the NET tram network will be extended to accommodate the new development.
Based on information available to us, this will mean the extension of the current NET line along the Robin Hood line from Hucknall Station, over the Linby Road / Church Lane crossing and over the Wighay Road crossing before turning left through the Wighay Road development, across the A611 Annesley bypass and into the new development where a new park and ride site will await passengers.
The extra tram traffic and building work will obviously be an inconvenience to those living near the Robin Hood line with the added noise and vibration from extra traffic.
Add to this the additional closing of the barriers due to tram traffic at Linby Road / Church Road and Wighay Road crossings, and you will no doubt see traffic backed up well into Linby and maybe even Papplewick, adding even more to their congestion troubles.
So Why Do It ?
That is a very good question !
We should all realise that we do need new housing throughout the UK to accommodate an ever growing population, but not on protected green belt sites especially when there are greenfield and brownfield sites that have been previously put forward, accepted, and then rejected by the current Ashfield District Council.
When commenting on the Top Wighay Farm development by Gedling Borough Council, Ashfield District Council stated that “This Council notes that although the development is in the Borough of Gedling; the impact of this development will fall on Hucknall which is in the Ashfield District. This Council notes that the infrastructure in Hucknall is already struggling from a lack of medical provision, school places and the roads are gridlocked.” . It has only got worse since then !
Hucknall does not have the capacity to cope with the current housing being built. The loss of greenbelt land will be catastrophic for wildlife as well as the wellbeing of the people of Hucknall