The developers behind the controversial Mowlands housing development in Kirkby have withdrawn the plans to enable improvements to be made to the scheme.
W. Westerman Ltd had submitted a planning application to Ashfield District Council for a development consisting of a £10m western relief road, 1,800 homes, 12 hectares of employment land, a new access for Ashfield School, a primary school and an extensive community park.
But following ‘extensive consultation’ with English Heritage, Westerman has decided to withdraw the plans in order to spend extra time looking at the treatment of the conservation area around Kirkby Cross.
This will take longer than the time left in the 16-week period for determining the application and so it has been withdrawn.
Planning consultant for the scheme Ben Holmes said it was ‘an important issue to get right’.
“There are a number of design solutions being put forward and it will take time for us to determine which of those is the best,” he said.
“Once we have a solution that satisfies all parties, we will resubmit our planning application for consideration.”
Westerman will continue to consult with statutory and non-statutory bodies and local people on the scheme.
This includes close working with English Heritage to ensure that the development does not affect the Conservation Area around Kirkby Cross adversely.
Mr Holmes added: “We will use the extra time to further ongoing consultation work with other statutory bodies to ensure the Mowlands Sustainable Urban Extension provides the best possible outcome for Kirkby.
“The withdrawal of the Local Plan last week raises the importance of getting the solution to new homes, infrastructure and economic prosperity right for Ashfield. We are taking every measure to do just that.”
Mike Slack, the chairman of KARA (Kirkby Area Residents’ Association), said he was not surprised by the withdrawal of the plans because there had been so many objections about the effects of Mowlands on the Kirkby Cross Conservation Area and the surrounding countryside.
“It’s still not the news that we are looking for and that’s because nobody wants these homes to be built on that countryside area,” he said.
“We have got a residents meeting planned for 29th April to inform residents as to the situation.”
For more information on the development see www.mowlands.info.