MORE than 100 jobs will be created if ambitious plans to regenerate the former Bentinck tip site close to Kirkby and Selston are given the green light by planners, it has emerged.
Broomco, which owns the former colliery spoil tip, but not the void area, has this week announced major proposals for a range of facilities aimed at breathing new life into Ashfield’s economny.
The ambitious plans include a golf course, football pitches, adventure play ground, a conservation area, a camp site, equestrian centre, fishing lakes, education/employment.
In March last year, campaigners celebrated after Nottinghamshire County Council rejected plans by Waste Recycling Group to build a landfill on the site, which is close to Kirkby, Annesley and Selston.
Selston councillor Gail Turner, who is also a member of SARA (Selston Area Residents’ Association), which campaigned against the landfill plans, said: “This is a very exciting plan and one which will change a blot on the landscape into an amenity and hopefully in the future will provide jobs in the area.
“To have all these outdoor sports blended so well with the natural wildlife is miles away from the landfill proposals which would have destroyed the quality of life for local people and, of course, destroyed all the wildlife.
“Having such an amenity will put Ashfield on the map and hopefully will contribute to an improved local economy which is much-needed.
“It is extremely pleasing that the owners are being very progressive with their plans by looking to include young people in their vision. I am looking forward to the work starting as soon as possible.”
A spokesman from Broomco pledged to restore the derelict area into a thriving venue for the community.
He said: “This is an exciting project which we believe will provide real benefits for the community.
“Visually the pit tip is a scar on both the local and regional landscape and is very prominent from the M1 motorway.
“We will restore the landscape and introduce a range of leisure and recreation uses and ensure its long term future.”
There have been several meetings between representatives from Nottinghamshire County Council, Ashfield District Council, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, Coun Turner and Broomco to discuss future proposals.
The area was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in June.
And the Broomco spokesman added: “We recognise that the site is next to a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is a site of importance for nature conservation itself. As a consequence, we have mapped out the sensitive areas and designed around them.”
Broomco is expected to submit a planning application in the autumn and, if successful, the restoration programme is likely to be phased over five years.