Plans for new housing in Stapleford have been delayed due to concerns about affordable housing “separate” from the rest of the estate.
Some Broxtowe borough councilors have raised concerns about plans creating an “us and them” mentality – which one councilor says could potentially create a “ghetto”.
After completing the first phase of the Field Farm development at Ilkeston Road, Stapleford, Westerman Homes sold the land to Peveril Homes, who applied for permission to construct the second phase of the site.
A total of 24 affordable housing units will still be provided – but under the Peveril Homes plans, the affordable housing units will all be built in one corner of the development.
Councilor Richard Macrae (Ind), who is the area’s city councilor, and Councilor Jan Gould (Con) had “serious concerns about the social and affordability component of the demand” at a planning meeting January 5.
Cllr Macrae said: “Westermann’s had mixed this housing element around phase two of the site and this had been approved by Broxtowe City Council previously.
“However, the plan for the new business is to separate social and affordable housing in a specific corner.
“It will create an ‘us and them’ community and one could even go so far as to suggest that it creates a ghetto.
“If you look at the first phase of development, the social and affordable element was pushed into a corner of the site and essentially isolated from the rest of the development. This, unsurprisingly, is already causing problems in the region.
“I hope we can oppose or abstain and demand that social and affordable housing be delivered as it was originally intended. After all, aren’t we supposed to love our neighbor instead of alienating people by putting them in a corner.
He also raised concerns about the planned playground, the stores offered and the start time of workers at the site.
The “local hub” would include retail, financial and professional services, restaurants and cafes, drinking places and take-out.
But Cllr Macrae said: “We don’t need more businesses, we need to support what we already have in the region.”
Councilor Tim Hallam (Lib Dem) added: “The agglutination of social housing is worrying. It is a step backwards.
“I would prefer that this postponed for the developer to go away and improve it.”
Councilor Richard Jackson (Con) added, “I don’t think any of us want to see segregation this way for a whole host of reasons.
“I think it should come back with a request for improvement.”
Councilor Philip Owen (Con) raised concerns about the design of the houses.
The development has been the subject of controversy in the past after plans for the first phase were rejected by Broxtowe Borough Council on design grounds.
The developers then appealed to the Secretary of State, who overturned that decision in 2017 – and development is now underway.
Cllr Owen said, “One thing that concerned me looking at the designs is how bland, boring, and unimaginative the case designs are.
“I know they’ll be their standard models, but from the very beginning, when it was designed, the Field Farm land had to be developed, we wanted and we tried to make it a showcase development.
“I would have hoped we got something better than what’s on offer now. We want to see something a little more inspiring.
Councilors voted unanimously to postpone the plans, which will be presented to the committee at a later date.