Letter to the residents of Ruddington12 Sep 2015, by Uncategorised in
In view of the recent decision to sell off Sellors playing field and the Village Hall in the picturesque village of Ruddington, I feel compelled to express my opinion.
Firstly I must stress that my personal abode is not directly affected by either proposal, so this is purely the opinion of a resident with the remit of the greater good of the village.
The council recently issued a response via their website to alleged comments on social media that could be considered libelous. While personal attacks will and should never be accepted, it’s fair to say the decision has hit the hearts of many residents, and as such a reaction is inevitable and to be expected. It is my understanding that members of the council undertake their role for zero financial benefit, but whichever way you look at it, it’s politics and you need some pretty thick skin! Of course, we should be thankful that there are such folk willing to give up their time for the benefits of the residents, but does that give them a free reign to bulldoze their way through Ruddington?
Development is guaranteed to polarise opinion. The natural reaction to any proposal will be “so long as it’s not next door to me”. Personally, I have no issue with the concept in principle. We have to accept there is a shortage of housing nationally, and targets must be met. We are not unique in Ruddington – take a look at any other city, town or village and you will see the same arguments ensuing on the back of such a decision.
The chances are we live in a house that at some point has been built at the ‘annoyance’ of others. In Ruddington we have a diverse range of properties, dating back over the centuries. I have always considered it slightly hypocritical to object just because one doesn’t like the idea. My grandfather built their family home in Ruddington back in the fifties, no doubt at the time to the objection of neighbours, but it still stands today and has over the years given it’s inhabitants the joy of living in such a great village. Design and build is in my blood, and I welcome it where applicable and considered.
But my issue with this proposal is that it is at the expense of a local amenity. More so than the village hall (which is clearly in need of serious repair), I have an issue with losing the playing field. It was a gift of pure altruism to the children of Ruddington by a very generous local, with the wish that it stayed that way forever. No person has the right to alter the wishes of somebody that is no longer here to give his consent. I drive by or visit the field daily and see people playing football, on the park and enjoying themselves. To me, that is what living in a village is about. Like everybody else who disagreed I do however accept that the decision has been taken and I’m sure the reasons are genuine.
The process has however highlighted the need for a shake up in communication. For such a big decision to be taken, there was inadequate detailing of the plans, options and reasoning. Why have we not seen block plans and visualisations of the proposals? Why have we not seen a detailed breakdown of the figures? After all, this is our council tax being spent and that is why people are questioning the integrity of the decision. The council needs to be less ostensibly them and us – that can only happen when the full facts are there for all to see.
Moving forward, I was delighted to see the Ruddington ‘census’ drop through my door. This is a very positive step and will undoubtedly benefit the future generations of villagers. In particular relation to future development, I implore all residents to consider now where it should happen by completing the questionnaire. This way, hopefully, we can ensure we do not end up in a similar position to this.