Mark Spencer
Mark Spencer

​It is a busy time coming up for the Government, with significant milestones approaching regarding Brexit, both in Parliament and in Brussels.

Naturally, being the Whip in charge of the bills that will actually take us out, I am close to the process.

But in this column I am focusing on something rather closer to home — the greenbelt and how we can protect it.

Last month saw a huge piece of good news for the residents of Farnsfield.

I am absolutely delighted that, following lots of lobbying of ministers, public meetings, letter campaigns, consultation responses, and appeals, we scored a major victory in stopping the new development of the land opposite The Spinney, off Mansfield Road.

 I have spoken to so many residents who were very concerned about the wider impact this development was going to have on the village and I know that they share my delight that we have been able to stop it.

I will always do everything I can to protect the greenbelt.

But, just as in Farnsfield, I cannot do it alone.

Our victory was down to the fact that local people banded together and led a campaign against the plans.

Many hoops had to be jumped through in order to stop the development, and there will always be developers who want to build on the greenbelt.

I want to be clear that Farnsfield is an example of how to do it right.

Of course, I am not saying that anything is guaranteed, but we know it can work.

So my message to residents of Newark is clear — if you don’t want to see green spaces where you live built upon, be active.

Get in touch with your local MP, form residents’ groups, write to relevant authorities and respond to consultations — that is how we can change things.