Ashfield District Council refuses plans for 230 new homes

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A PLANNNING application to build 230 houses on two sites in Sutton has been refused by councillors.

Plans to build 100 dwellings on land south of Gilcroft Street and St Andrew’s Street in Skegby, and 130 houses on land north of Vere Avenue, which would be accessed via a new road off Stoneyford Road, were submitted to Ashfield District Council last August.

But they were thrown out at a planning committee meeting held last week, after hundreds of residents signed a petition in protest against the development and with councillors voting unanimously against the plans.

Sutton councillor Jason Zadrozny described the application - which was submitted by Messrs Milward, Shaw and Webster - as a ‘bad application’ and as a ‘bit of a land grab.’

“It was very awkward - the highways issues were pretty insurmountable for starters,” he said.

Problems with the steep hill that the sites are located on and concerns about the increase in the number of cars using Stoneyford Road - which already gets congested at the beginning and end of the Quarrydale School day - were just some of those issues put forward.

The fact that the sites are currently open countryside and fields, providing a ‘green wedge’ between Stanton Hill/ Skegby and Sutton, was also important for the decision making process.

The development would result in the loss of this amenity and this caused strong feeling among local residents, who filled the council chamber for the meeting.

“Local residents were up in arms because it’s been open green space for as long as they can remember,” said Coun Zadrozny.

“I am really pleased that I took the application to committee and it got refused.”

Further concerns about the application centred on drainage and the possible flooding of the area around the sites and that it is contrary to the council’s planning policy by being outside of the main urban area.

The council is currently putting together its Local Development Framework which will earmark sites suitable for housing development.

“We want to design Ashfield to look how we see fit in the future and not just plonk houses anywhere,” added Coun Zadrozny.