Decision on Park 38 development ‘expected in next few months’

A retail development which campaigners believe would “hit Sutton firms with £33m of losses” is set to come before the council’s planning committee in the next two months.

The Park 38 development, located in South Normanton just off the A38, could see the creation of 10 individual retail stores and a small coffee shop, a ‘pod’ of food and drink outlets and a hotel.

Keeping Our Town In Focus campaigners are fighting to protect Sutton town centre.

Keeping Our Town In Focus campaigners are fighting to protect Sutton town centre.

If given the green light, the build would involve demolishing dwellings and farm buildings at the site to make room for the development.

But campaigners at group Keep Our Town In Focus say this would be “significantly detrimental” to Sutton town centre businesses and pose a “threat to the local economy”.

Chiefs at Bolsover District Council’s planning committee validated the plans in September 2018, however no progress has since been made on giving full planning permission as the council awaits a retail impact report at the site.

The council say that this report is due “imminently”, however it cannot form a recommendation until the assessment has been done - expecting the development to come before its planning committee in June or July.

A spokesman for the council said: “The lack of progress has mostly been down to a delay in receiving a report from independent and specialist retail consultants on the potential retail impact of the proposed development on nearby town centres with particular reference to Sutton.

“This report is due imminently and it is likely we will be reporting the application to June or July’s planning committee, but having not had sight of the report, we haven’t yet formed a recommendation on this application.”

Campaigners say the proposed development could cause more than 1,700 job losses if rubber-stamped by councillors, suggesting the retail park could also cause up to £33m of losses to Sutton businesses.

However Limes Developments, which has put forward the plans, believe the “inward investment to South Normanton” will be beneficial to the whole area.

Marcus Jolly, of Limes Developments, said: “In economic terms, it represents a huge boost to South Normanton with the creation of an estimated 1,100 new full-time jobs and training opportunities.

“We have provided detailed technical information as part of the proposals which show that there will be no impact on established centres, which will continue to trade healthily and increase turnover.”

Matthew Williams, from town planning advisors Williams Gallagher, who act on behalf of the Keep Our Town In Focus campaign, said: “The futures of town centres are at risk if the planning application is approved.

“We are asking people to support the livelihood of surrounding towns through the Keep Our Town In Focus campaign and to register objections to the application.”

The plans had previously been declined by Bolsover District Council following objections, however revised plans were submitted with the same character and, yet again, have not been approved.

Hundreds of objection letters have been submitted to the planning department at Bolsover District Council from local and national businesses such as Rymans, Specsavers and EE, with 241 objections and just one supporting comment submitted to the portal.

The application was set to be reassessed by Bolsover District Council’s planning team in January 2019, however there has been no progress since it was rejected in 2018.