Ashfield is on the up

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So many positive things have happened in Ashfield over the past year – from plans for our new-look, more vibrant town centres, to major house-building projects.

Councillor Cheryl Butler, Ashfield District Council leader, said: “The council is always looking for opportunities to enhance Ashfield as a place to live, work, visit and invest, with residents’ needs always at the heart of all developments.

“We are happy to be working with local businesses and community groups as part of the place agenda and it’s also exciting to see the success of key housing projects such as selective licensing and the redevelopment of Warwick Close.

“We’re also looking forward to progressing upcoming projects such as Kirkby’s leisure transformation, the Maid Marion Line and improvements to local road transport networks, all of which will develop Ashfield as a destination.”

HOUSING

Ashfield District Council’s Local Plan sets out a range of housing and employment sites for future development alongside the infrastructure required to make them sustainable.

The Local Plan will enable much needed homes for the Districts future needs.

The Emerging Local Plan, which is still subject to further external examination, outlines:

n Between 2013-32, an estimated 9,120 homes to be developed;

n Between 2011-33, an estimated 10,725 new jobs to be made available

The largest applications being made are for thousands of houses at Mowlands, Sutton Junction and Beck Lane, which have caused controversy among residents.

Elsewhere, Warwick Close, on Kirkby’s Coxmoor Estate, is now home to nine families following the redevelopment of empty properties by the council.

The redevelopment of the nine properties, some of which had been empty for up to eight years, started in November 2016 and they welcomed their first tenants in May 2017.

The refurbishments, carried out by Nottingham based building contactors J TomWlinson, include new roofs, windows & doors, kitchens, bathrooms and decoration throughout.

The properties are a welcome addition to the council housing stock and have been let under a revised lettings policy aiming for a balanced and sustainable community.

INVESTMENT GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

n Idlewells Indoor Market in Sutton has undergone a 
£1,8 million refurbishment over the past year and now boasts a reconfigured layout, improved accessibility and more natural lighting. 
Alan Bakalarczyk, of Alan’s Family Butchers, said “The future of the market can only be good; it must be the most up to date market for miles around.”

n Following extensive consultation and a feasibility study the planned development of Kirkby Leisure Centre will provide Kirkby with a cutting edge family leisure and healthy living destination in the heart of the town. The project will create jobs and also increase footfall into the town centre. Plans for the new facility encompass activity opportunities for the whole family and include a six court sports hall for sporting activities and events; indoor adventure climbing wall; health and fitness gym with functional training and free weights; multi activity and group cycling studios; indoor adventure soft play area; health and wellbeing suite.

n The council is working with local businesses – including your Chad – and community leaders on the Ashfield Aspire project. Launched in 2017, the project is headed by Martin Rigley, of Lindhurst Engineering, and continues to engage many business leaders to promote Ashfield as a place to live, grow and invest. The council has an economic development strategy which, alongside the Local Plan, sets out a strategic direction for the district’s economic growth and development.

Mr Rigley said: “I appreciate all the help and support the council is providing and I am looking forward to the future for this district.

“Ashfield already has a lot to offer for residents, visitors and business but by working together, I hope we will be able to further develop this offer.”

n Ada Lovelace House, on Urban Road, Kirkby ,has been developed into seven office spaces for local start-up businesses and small to medium sized enterprises.

Formerly Kirkby Urban District Council Offices, and more recently a police station, the building is a well-known local landmark, named after Lord Byron’s daughter Ada Lovelace.

It offers high-quality office space to seven local businesses with shared communal space and open-plan meeting areas.

The council also operates a number of other business start-up sites such as the Byron Business Centre in Hucknall.

n Work on the King and The Miller project to transform the historic King’s Mill Reservoir is set to start thanks to £121,000 Lottery funding.

The reservoir will have a new visitor centre and tourist trail as well as much needed improvements if the project is fully realised.

The scheme aims to connect residents of Ashfield and Mansfield with the 18th century industrial heritage at King’s Mill Reservoir through a new Maun Trail footpath and cycle route between the towns and the reservoir.

n The council is pleased with the success of employment areas like Castlewood Business Park in Sutton and Hucknall’s Harrier Park and continues to work with the owners of Summit Park to bring this site forward. Local businesses Romo Fabrics and Brightwake are also reinvesting in the district, building new factories and offices.

n Following completion of the resurfacing and pedestrianisation works to High Street in Hucknall, the 19th century market moved into its new home.

Proving popular, a Saturday market was also added on top of the traditional Friday slot, providing more variety and additional traders.

The market now operates from 9am-4pm as a general market every Friday and Saturday.

n Ashfield District Council has been working with the owners of Annesley Hall to explore opportunities for bringing the iconic and historic site back into use.

The Grade II-listed, three- storey, six-bay hall has 13th century aisled hall origins and is the ancestral home of the Chaworth-Musters family and was visited by the poet Lord Byron.

The restoration work at the site has been greatly assisted by the council’s success in obtaining funding from the Nottinghamshire Pre-Development Fund, allowing detailed feasibility work to be carried out.

n The council is working with developers to find a new use for the long-term derelict site at Annesley Miners Welfare. A council spokeswoman said the authority will continue to work pro-actively to seek new uses for derelict commercial properties across the district.

TRANSPORT

n The Maid Marian Line proposal would open up an existing freight line and allow trains to travel between Kirkby, via Pinxton and Selston, to Langley Mill and Ilkeston and then on to link to the new HS2 high-speed railway line between London and the north at Toton.

n Plans for the A617 Mansfield and Ashfield Regeneration Route to be upgraded to a dual carriageway have been given the green light.

Also known as Sherwood Way, the road is a main route from Sutton to Mansfield and through to Newark, but is currently just a single carriageway.

n The district council has been working with Nottinghamshire County Council on key priorities and lobbying for investment in the district’s transport infrastructure. The district council is also working with local businesses in relation to the A38 to ensure there is a transport corridor which ensures business growth.

Investment in the route would allow significant job opportunities to be unlocked.

The spokeswoman said the council is also keen to see improvements on the A611, A60 and a range of traffic junctions throughout the district.