Mansfield quarry homes plan withdrawn after council staff recommended they were refused

Plans to build more than 200 homes in a former Mansfield quarry have been withdrawn after planners recommended they be refused.

By Andy Done-Johnson
Monday, 14th June 2021, 2:19 pm

Developers had hoped to build a total of 204 homes at the former Gregory Quarry, off Nottingham Road, but the application received a raft of objections.

Concerns were raised over access to the site for emergency vehicles – as well as issues regarding the roads infrastructure.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s highways department also said developers had underestimated the cost of building roads and footpaths safely to the tune of £500,000 as part of the submission.

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Wildlife volunteers working in the area close to where 200 homes had been planned for the former Gregory Quarry site in Mansfield.

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Concerns were also raised about the site’s proximity to the River Maun and how the build would allow residents access to the river and associated public spaces, as well as disruption to the Mansfield Way public footpath and the Quarry Lane local nature reserve.

A report to Mansfield District Council’s planning committee also stated that, while a flood risk assessment had been carried out for the site, it was unclear to what extent, if any, the development could lead to increased flooding or contamination further downstream.

A total of 394 objections to the plans were also submitted by residents, citing concerns over over-development, the impact on wildlife, danger to pedestrians, risk of rockfall, that the area is used for recreation and that the developer does not own all of the land in question.

Residents also objected, stating that the plans also lacked affordable housing, which should make up five per cent of the proposed properties, and “it would lead to the loss of a valuable local amenity”.

The quarry was previously used to extract ‘Mansfield White’ stone, but the supply became extinct around 15 years ago and operations came to an end, the report states.

The site was not considered suitable for housing when the Mansfield Local Plan was published in 2020, despite an earlier challenge from the developer, the report states.

“The Local Highway Authority considers that the access costs are grossly underestimated, which could prejudice the viability of the site access, and result in unsatisfactory access arrangements,” the report states.

“The proposals are prejudicial to the existing users of the Mansfield Way by requiring them to descend from this off-road route, cross a wide road in conflict with motorised vehicles and cyclists on the cycle route and then ascend either steps or a large ramp to return.”

Describing the proposed access via Quarry Lane, the report states: “This is a complex engineering project involving structural retaining walls and significant amounts of earthworks.

“As the land drops away steeply to the south of Quarry Lane, the retaining wall will be large and visually significant. It is considered that the costs of this in the viability assessment are significantly underestimated.

“The proposed access road would cause considerable damage to both the Quarry Lane local nature reserve, the River Maun corridor, and the Mansfield Way, severing a green corridor and introducing a considerable amount of disturbance.”

Wildlife officers also stated that the area was highly suitable for bats, had a thriving population of water voles, and a diverse bird population, including kingfishers.

It is not yet clear whether the plans will be resubmitted at a later date, but the developer has been approached for comment.

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