CAMPAIGNERS mounting a legal challenge against 1,700 homes being built on the outskirts of Mansfield have pledged £3,000 to the cause.
About 30 people attended a meeting at Mansfield Rugby Club to discuss opposition to the Lindhurst Development off the A617 Marr Road.
Coun Stephen Garner, who is leading the campaign, is pleased with the response so far and optimistic they can raise the £20,000 needed to continue the fight.
Last Wednesday’s meeting was hampered by heavy snowfall and traffic chaos across Mansfield.
Coun Garner believes up to 130 could have attended the meeting had it not been for the adverse weather.
Another meeting is now being arranged next month.
He said: “We’ve had £3,000 pledged so far. It’s a good response.
“I’m optimistic we can raise the rest of the money if we can get everyone together.”
The meeting featured a presentation from community activist Shlomo Dowen who explained the background and outlined the basis of the legal challenge.
Campaigners claim Mansfield District Council were not told of Natural England’s concerns over the site, in particular a cat wall to protect nearby wildlife.
Mansfield District Council, who agreed to back the scheme in July 2012, could bring the application back to the planning committee.
But if the Section 106 agreements are signed, campaigners have 13 weeks to mount their legal challenge, in the form of a judicial review.
The meeting also featured a lively question-and-answer session with an update by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust Conservation Officer Andy Lowe.
The area could still be given Special Protection Area status to protect the local wildlife.
After the meeting volunteers agreed to spread the word and distribute leaflets around the Berry Hill area.
Lindhurst project manager Richard Bowden said: “All the environmental issues have been addressed with due diligence as part of the planning process. Natural England has been consulted throughout the decision-making process by Mansfield District Council and the environmental protection measures in place for Lindhurst meet current legislative requirements and provide wide biodiversity benefits.
“In the last few weeks, Natural England has reaffirmed that the Sherwood area has not been formally proposed as an Special Protection Area (SPA) and therefore does not hold any formal classification. The Government hasn’t instigated any consultation on the area as a potential Special Protection Area (pSPA) and so Natural England’s advice remains that the Sherwood area is neither a pSPA nor an SPA. Natural England has not objected to the proposal and their position remains the same.
“Lindhurst is a 169ha scheme and around one third of the site is dedicated to creating green, open space and recreational facilities. This includes 4.5 miles of cycle paths, walking routes and bridle ways. It also includes a 15ha community park, pocket parks and play parks. Biodiversity protection and enhancement has been and will continue to be a key component of the green infrastructure strategy.”