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Eco-town on the agenda

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Residents of Bingham and surrounding villages are being urged to speak out against a proposed 6,000-home eco-town.

The deputy mayor, Mr George Davidson, appealed to nearly 60 residents at Bingham’s annual town meeting to attend an extraordinary meeting of Rushcliffe Borough Council on Thursday and make their opinions known.

The former RAF Newton base has been earmarked by the Government as a potential site for a new eco-town.

The base emerged as a possible site for 6,000 low-carbon homes after the Government ruled out another site in Rushcliffe, at Kingston-on-Soar, near Gotham.

While no application has been submitted for Newton the suggestion has provoked concern.

A spokesman for the Bingham pressure group, Community Concern, Mr Dennis Briggs, said at Tuesday’s town meeting that an extra 6,000 homes would put huge pressure on the town’s already overstretched infrastructure.

“It would be an extra 9,000 people moving in and out,” he said.

“It will take them time to build a health centre, a school and shopping facilities.”

Mr Briggs questioned why, when a lack of suitable infrastructure at Kingston-on-Soar was cited by the Government as one the reasons for it being rejected, was Newton the preferred site in the borough as it was in a similar position.

“It doesn’t seem logical,” agreed Mr Davidson. “What sort of eco-town is it if it needs two dual carriageways to serve it?”

Bingham town and borough councillor, Mrs Maureen Stockwood, opposes the idea.

She said some councils in the East Midlands had asked for an eco-town in their area.

“They want it and they will get it. Newton will probably be saved,” said Mrs Stockwood.

The county councillor for Bingham, Mr Martin Suthers, said residents had successfully fought plans for an asylum centre at RAF Newton four years ago and he would support them again against an eco-town.

The extraordinary meeting of the borough council will be at the Civic Centre, West Bridgford, at 7pm.

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