UDM plans get rubber stamp

UDM headquarters on Berry Hill Lane, Mansfield which is subject to a planning application.
UDM headquarters on Berry Hill Lane, Mansfield which is subject to a planning application.
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Plans for 22 new homes on the site of Mansfield’s iconic Union of Democratic Mineworkers headquarters have been agreed by councillors.

Planning committee members agreed outline plans for the 0.74-hectare site subject to a contribution of £1,100 per dwelling towards nearby King George V Park from developers.

The Union of Democratic workers offices on Berry Hill Lane has been the home of the group since it was formed in the 1980s.

At the peak of the colliery operations, more than 50 staff worked from the premises, but with staff levels dropping to 12, the UDM admits the premises have become too 
big.

Coun John Kerr, member for Market Warsop, said: “It is the best use for these buildings - apart from demolishing or blowing them up.”

Coun Christine Smith, member for Carr Bank, said: “Twenty-two buildings is a step in the right direction. It is nice to see the size of these developments coming down.”

The applicant, Vendside Ltd, which is an arm of the UDM that handles compensation claims for miners, says that the sale of the site would provide necessary funds for the UDM to secure more suitable premises.

Spokesman for the UDM, David McGarry, said the decision was purely down to economics.

He said: “It’s been a tough decision, but we have gone from having 17 pits to just one and the place it too big for us now, we are rattling about in 
there.”

The plans will be considered again when more detail is submitted.