TWO controversial development plans for the eyesore former Ma Hubbard’s site in Mansfield Woodhouse have been approved despite opposition from thousands of residents.
The plans will see the derelict former pub and restaurant bulldozed and replaced with 10 new homes off Birding Street.
A parade of three retail units, including a Tesco One Stop shop, will also be built by Regent Street Developments after both proposals were given the green light by Mansfield District Council’s Planning Committee on 19th December.
The hotly contested nature of the development was obvious as three protesters silently held aloft banners reading ‘NO! To Tesco’ and councillors were told 3,007 people had signed a petition objecting to the development.
Among the concerns voiced were congestion on the already busy A60, the threat to local businesses in Mansfield Woodhouse and the town centre, litter and potential nuisance behaviour around the shops, which could include a takeaway.
Mansfield Woodhouse county councillor Joyce Bosnjak said: “Access onto the A60 from Birding Street is a nightmare, particularly at peak times. Anyone who lives in this area knows how bad it is.
“Traffic to-ing and fro-ing around the shops will only make it worse and this is a lot to ask local people to tolerate.”
And Coun Christine Smith said: “Why is a parade of shops necessary so close to the town centre. We will have the doughnut effect of an empty town centre ringed by shopping areas.”
Local resident Irvin Robinson also spoke against retail plans during the meeting.
“The community would be better served with a housing project,” he said.
But Coun Martin Wright said the lack of objections from the highways department meant committee members had little choice but to back the plans.
“I feel the committee is between a rock and a hard place,” he said. “The heart says go one way and the head says the other. We have got to go with the head and it is a sad day for me.”
A total of 13 people signed a petition against the residential side of the development, which will see five two-bedroomed and five three-bedroomed properties built.
This part of the proposal was passed by councillors by a vote of 10 to one, while the shopping parade was passed on a six to three vote.
Mark Flatman, speaking on behalf of the agent for the development, said the new businesses will create up to 25 full-time jobs.
He said: “It provides a very good opportunity to redevelop a semi-derelict brown field site and create employment in Mansfield.”
After the meeting, owner of nearby Woodhouse News, Jagdish Kaur, said she was ‘disgusted’ with the decision and asked why councillors had not listened to the 3,007 people who had signed the petition.
Her opposition was echoed by local resident Keith Pell, who said: “If they put in a Tesco it will kill local business and create more problems with litter in the area.”
But one local woman, who asked not to be named, said: “The old Ma Hubbard’s site is an eyesore and I’ve seen young lads trying to break in. It’s only going to deteriorate.”