The Politics Show
Protestors made music ... but not for all ears
The East Midlands Politics Show is going down to the woods ... Sharp Hill woods in South Nottinghamshire to be precise.
Environmental protesters have set up camp in protest against plans to build 1,200 homes on nearby green belt land.
They claim the size of the development near Edwalton is bound to threaten the eco system of the wood.
But Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust say, to the contrary, it would mean it would be better protected as a local nature reserve.
Activists will get the chance to put their views direct to local politicians.
Rushcliffe Borough Council have rejected a planning inspector's recommendation that the houses should be spread across several villages in the district, including Bingham and Cotgrave.
The Conservative majority say it makes more sense to build all the homes on one site.
They argue that the infrastructure of smaller villages could not cope with the number of houses they would have to accommodate.
But eight Conservative councillors abstained when it was put to the vote at a full council meeting.
The cabinet member for the environment in Rushcliffe, Councillor Debbie Mason, will be taking on the activists and a representative of the local residents association.
Liberal Democrat councillor, Sam Boote, complains that the council stands to gain from the deal because it has a residual, financial interest in the land.
The council, it is argued, could make tens of millions of pounds out of the development.
But whatever the sum eventually involved, Councillor Mason insists it is the borough, not individual councillors, who will gain the financial benefit.
Our presenter, Marie Ashby, is joined by the Head of Planning and Housing for the East Midlands Regional Assembly, Andrew Pritchard.
Marie Ashby Presenter
So what does this controversial proposal mean for the future of the green belt?
And will schemes like that near Sharp Hill wood offer any help for couples who are desperate to get a foot on the housing ladder?
That is the Politics Show Sunday 21 May 2006 at 12.00pm.
Join presenter Marie Ashby for the Politics Show on BBC One on Sundays.
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