Hucknall councillor defends his vote in favour of Rolls-Royce development in Hucknall

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Hucknall West’s Coun Chris Baron has defended his decision to vote in favour of the Rolls-Royce development despite many of his ward residents being against it.

Even though he shares his fellow residents’ concerns over the impact the plans will have on traffic congestion, which he raised at last week’s planning meeting where permission was granted, he still voted in favour of the application.

“I’m sorry the residents feel I have let them down,” said Coun Baron. “I understand their concerns over the traffic situation and I did put a suggestion to the highways’ officers to put a link road through the development to connect Watnall Road with the bypass but was told it was not viable.

“Maybe as the development progresses and the value of land and houses increases this will happen.”

Coun Baron also spoke at the meeting of his fears that if the plans were thrown out, Hucknall would suffer and miss out on the opportunities the development will bring.

“If we didn’t support Rolls-Royce at Hucknall, the worst case scenario is that they pull out and close the factory.

“The site would then become a brownfield site and under the planning regulations would have to be developed anyway.”

The suggestion that the business park on the site could provide 2,000 jobs has been criticised by many but Coun Baron said you cannot ignore the possibilities.

“I believe as an elected member I have a duty to provide employment opportunities for the youngsters and students of the town,” added Coun Baron. “There was much similar concerns over the Sherwood Business Park at Annesley but that site now employs 6,000.

“I know there are a lot of ‘coulds’ but 2,000 jobs could become a reality and make the site a success.”.”