Developer wins homes appeal

James Taylor of All Saints Court, Huthwaite, who is unhappy with the felling of trees adjacent to his property.
James Taylor of All Saints Court, Huthwaite, who is unhappy with the felling of trees adjacent to his property.

PLANS to build 83 new homes in Huthwaite have been given the go-ahead after a developer won an appeal against Ashfield District Council.

Ben Bailey Homes submitted an application for the properties to be built at Greenwood Falls Farm, but the plans were rejected last summer because of a lack of information on flooding and the loss of open space.

Planners had recommended that the plans should be rejected because of flooding risk and due to no adequate alleviation measures being put forward.

But at a planning committee meeting on Thursday, it was announced that the Planning Inspectorate had granted permission for Ben Bailey Homes to build the properties after the Environment Agency withdrew an objection based on surface water risk.

The homes are set to be built on an area of land next to another development by Persimmon Homes.

The Planning Inspector rejected the claim that housing would lead to a loss of open space because it is close to a former colliery spoil heap is being restored as Rookery Park.

In addition, he said that the site was not prominent and the land was not high quality farming land nor had it been designated for conservation or other planning purposes.

The fact that Ashfield does not have a five-year supply of housing land also influenced the Inspector’s decision.

Yesterday, Kevin Brooks, who lives in one of the older properties on Mill Lane, said: “It used to flood but to be fair they have put drains in and it has cleared up.”

However, he said that the area had become too built up in recent years.

“I liked it before they built any housing - there were just six houses here.

“I bought this place because it was out of the way but what can you do about it?

“These (83) houses won’t make much difference to me - I just put it down to progress.”

Another nearby resident, James Taylor, said he was concerned that trees were already being chopped down and that there would be too many houses in one place.

He said: “I am all for regenerating an area.

“But it’s going to become a massive estate and I don’t see what benefit it is going to have.”

When Ben Bailey applied for permission, the firm agreed to grant funds for the expansion of John Davies Primary School and the relocation of Huthwaite Health Centre as part of a Section 106 agreement, which provides funding for additional services when planning permission is granted.

At Thursday’s meeting, Kirkby councillor Cheryl Butler questioned whether this funding would remain in place and according to council officers it would.