‘We are not being listened to’: Neighbours’ fury at proposals to build up to 300 homes near Padnall Lake
PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 September 2020 | UPDATED: 10:44 17 September 2020
Neighbours have accused the council’s regeneration arm of ignoring them over a proposed development.
People living around Padnall Lake in Marks Gate allege Be First failed to consult them properly over a scheme which, if approved, could see up to 300 homes built on land next to the A12.
Kimberley Fraser from Padnall Road said: “We feel we are not being listened to and these plans will be steamrolled through despite concerns.
“We’re being ignored in every way. Our lives will be adversely affected by this development.”
A petition against the proposal has been signed by almost 200 people.
A Be First spokesperson said: “Our plan is to build badly needed affordable homes for the council, to address homelessness and the need for better quality housing in Marks Gate and the rest of the borough.”
There are 163 families on the Marks Gate estate who are on the waiting list for council housing, 50 of them are homeless.
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The neighbours have accused Be First of misleading them after they were told at an initial meeting that 200 homes rising no more than three storeys were proposed for the site. However, they complain that the figure has now risen to 300.
Public meetings which had been organised were during working hours, not advertised enough and at short notice, they say.
Be First’s spokesperson said: “We have listened very carefully to residents and firmly believe we have responded positively, by minimising the amount of land we will use and maximising the benefits.”
A total of 10 workshops and two consultations took place ahead of the proposals being submitted.
READ MORE: Council leader criticises people who ‘get grumpy’ but don’t take part in public consultations
Neighbours fear the plans will result in increased traffic, overshadowing, the loss of children’s playspace, the destruction of a wildlife habitat, put pressure on services and parking.
Noise and dust from building work are further concerns besides details not being published in other languages.
But Be First’s spokesperson said there are planned improvements to the lake area and the creation of a linear park that will increase biodiversity, encourage wildlife, allow children to play and be a green and pleasant space for all residents of the estate to enjoy.
Gaby Laws, from Marks Gate, said it was not okay for a community to be wrecked.
“It is not okay to take away green space when we all need it,” she added.
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