OFFICIALS behind plans to create a ‘garden suburb’ in Kirkby say the £200million scheme will create more than 1,000 new jobs and ease congestion in Ashfield.
Westerman Homes is preparing to launch a public consultation on Friday to ask householders what they think of ambitious proposals for a new development called Mowlands, which would include up to 1,650 new family homes.
The plans also include a 120-acre community park, woodland, a primary school, shops, business units and a new access to Ashfield School.
The site, which covers an area of almost 170 hectares, lies between the A38 near Sutton Road and goes south of Pinxton Road in Kirkby.
Bosses at Westerman Homes say that the development could provide 1,000 construction jobs along with an estimated 750 ancillary jobs.
The plans are based on the garden suburb model which normally features tree-lined streets, green space, large gardens and green routes to encourage walking and cycling.
Westerman Homes also plan to fund a £10million relief road, which would link Chapel Street and Pinxton Lane with the A38 to provide an alternative route to the M1.
Bosses at the Chilwell-based firm, which is also behind the Larwood Park development near Ashfield Fire Station, say the relief road would give Ashfield School a new access point and ease congestion around its current Sutton Road entrance.
Describing the ambitious scheme Robert Westerman, who is director of Westerman Homes, says: “Mowlands will create some 1,000 construction jobs and, at £200m, represents a significant investment into the area.
“The relief road will provide the road capacity needed within Ashfield to alleviate congestion and to allow for the planned level of growth.
“Not only will it help to solve congestion making life easier for residents but crucially, for Ashfield, it will also keep the economy moving.”
They also hope that the business units will attract new companies to the area as well as help entrepreneurs from the area to get their business off the ground.
There are also plans to improve the junction around Pinxton Road and provide a new setting for the ancient Kirkby Cross monument.
Yesterday, the chairman of a Kirkby residents’ group says he was ‘shocked’ when the Mowlands plans were announced.
Mike Slack, who is chairman of KARA (Kirkby Area Residents’ Association) has expressed the group’s concerns about the scale of the development.
He said: “The residents around here are very concerned. It won’t regenerate Kirkby. The people who come to live here will be commuters going to Sheffield or Leicester.
“The (relief) road will take people to Sutton. If you were going shopping you would go to Sutton.”
He also raised concerns about whether the planned business units could attract large manufacturing firms into the area.
“I’m in business so I know the costs of overheads,” he said.
Mr Slack also questioned whether the relief road that has been planned will help to ease congestion in the town.
He said: “It may reduce the bottle neck on Sutton Road but it will create another bottle neck somewhere else.”
Mr Slack welcomes the addition of green space - but says that it won’t benefit the residents living closest to Kirkby as much as those on the other side of the development.