‘Gateway’ takes a step closer

Pleasley Hill demolition site.
Pleasley Hill demolition site.
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The construction of the new ‘gateway to Mansfield’ has moved a step closer after an agreement was reached between council bosses and a housing firm.

Since the last of the crumbling pit homes were bulldozed on Pleasley Hill’s Chesterfield Road South more than a year ago, locals have been waiting for re-development to begin.

Legal issues had held the process up, but Mansfield District Council has announced that a development contract deal has been done with Westbury Partnerships for the sale of the land, and say a planning application is imminent.

There are hopes that a show home will be built by May next year, and the first properties completed by the end of July 2015.

Coun Derek Evans, portfolio holder for housing strategy and regeneration, said: “I am delighted that an agreement has been signed and that the planning application is due to be submitted any day now.

“The Pleasley Hill regeneration scheme will bring much-needed modern family homes to the area and will transform this gateway into Mansfield District so it is a place we can all be proud of.”

Pleasley Hill ward councillor Mick Colley was overjoyed by the news saying: “I have been trying for more than 20 years to get the old houses down and get the news ones built.

“Ti’s been a nightmare over the years, and I’ve had meeting after meeting with everyone to get this moving and eventually we have got there.

“I’m over the moon, not just for myself but for everybody in Pleasley Hill and we will at log last have a gateway for the district.”

The news has also been welcomed by Howard Wright, chairman of Pleasley Parish Council, who said: “It’s long overdue, it’s been an eyesore for a long time.

“It’s been frustrating because it is part of the approach into the parish.

“It’s not something that we’ve discussed at parish council because it’s not our decision, but I’m sure the thoughts of the parish councillors are the same.”

County and district councillor, Steve Garner, welcomed the news from an environmental point of view.

“It will be a good development, building on brown field sites rather than green field. It’s important that we begin shifting these brown field sites so I welcome this as a way of going forward and easing the housing pressures.”

It is hoped the multi-million pound ‘gateway’ redevelopment will breathe new life into the area.

More than 160 former colliery worker homes on the site were deemed sub-standard and demolished last year.

They had stood for more than 120 years, had been bought by Mansfield District Council in the 1970s but fell into serious disrepair after the pit closed in 1983.

The decision was taken to bulldoze all of the homes in 2004 and begin a housing project from scratch, although it took several more years for all the residents to be re-housed.

The last residents left in 2012 and work on knocking down the empty homes began.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) invested nearly £1m to support the council for clearing the land to prepare it for the new homes.

Landscaping work will take place to make the land flatter so it is easier to build on and the new homes will be designed and built to the latest environmental and quality standards.

Of the 151 proposed, 120 will be for the open market, with the remainder available through low-cost home ownership schemes or social rented housing.

Simon Mcdonald, commercial and technical director of Westbury Partnerships, said “We are really looking forward to playing our part in the regeneration of this significant development for Mansfield which will provide the area with much needed new housing.”