Each new housing application leads to the same conversation: why are we building more houses around our village?
The answer, we are told, is because it is in “the plan” known as the Core Strategy that we must build them. This is said as if this should be the end of the debate. The plan was written by Rushcliffe Borough Council, where we have three councillors. The plan for new houses can be changed by Rushcliffe Council.
In 2012, the Council had a total target for the borough and Ruddington’s share was 250 houses, to be built outside what most of us recognise as the current village boundaries. Any new houses in the village do not count towards this total.
If, like me, you feel that we need to do much to improve the quality of life in the village, then it is time for this to be revisited and the 250 houses not to go ahead. There are many reasons for Rushcliffe Council to change their plans, my main three are:
East Leake has had twice the growth set out in the plan. East Leake had a target of 400 houses, though will build 800 at least. If East Leake is contributing an extra 400 houses and the total has not changed, why do we need to have the extra 250 houses in Ruddington?
Each change seems to be encouraging us to become a commuter village. The character of the village could be tipped dramatically if there is a poorly integrated mix and location of these extra houses. There was good reason for many of the other sites in Rushcliffe with improvements in job opportunities and transport links; this is not the case for Ruddington.
There has been significant public investment in broadband and Rushcliffe’s superfast coverage will increase to over 90%, with many rural houses gaining superfast broadband access for the first time. Given the aim is to allow connectivity to those living in rural areas, why do we not see new housing being sympathetically planned to be based around our changing infrastructure? This could be a significant step in supporting the viability of smaller rural communities.
The time has come for Rushcliffe Borough Council to revisit these plans and lift the shadow of 250 new houses.