Councillors blast 'appalling' decision to build 325 homes in Skegby

Councillors have blasted plans to build 325 homes in Skegby, after an appeal was overturned.

Councillor Melanie Darrington, who represents Skegby on Ashfield District Council has campaigned to stop the new development on land off Beck Lane.

Councillor Melanie Darrington and Coun Jason Zadrozny at the Beck Lane site

Councillor Melanie Darrington and Coun Jason Zadrozny at the Beck Lane site

READ MORE: Plans for 325 homes at Beck Lane in Ashfield approved
The application was blocked by the council’s planning committee last year but Lovel Developments appealed to the minister of housing to overturn the decision.

A decision was publicised today (August 27) on behalf of the minster for housing overturning the appeal, meaning the developers have the green light to begin building.

Skegby Councillor Melanie Darrington has described the Government decision to overrule Ashfield District Council’s decision to throw out plans to build hundreds of houses in Skegby as ‘appalling’

READ MORE: Decision into ‘controversial’ 325-home plan in Ashfield ‘expected in six to eight weeks’

Councillor Darrington said: “This is a disastrous decision that will change Skegby forever.

"I have constantly opposed this with Councillors like Jason Zadrozny for years.

READ MORE: Skegby residents 'will not be bullied' over Beck Lane development for 325 houses
"We did everything we could to oppose this holding a public meeting and co-ordinating opposition.

"I would like to thank local resident Barry Nicoll who passionately objected to these houses.

" Like me, he must be devastated today.

"Your local Councillors Anthony Brewer, Helen-Ann Smith, Jason Zadrozny and I promised to everything we could to oppose this inappropriate development and we did.

“The Conservatives who run the County Council let us down big time by withdrawing their objections at the last minute.

"This site was in Labour’s housing plan before the Ashfield Independents withdrew it as it wasn’t fit for purpose. That won’t have helped.

“Skegby’s roads are already gridlocked around the Fox and Crown.

"This decision will make our roads worse - if there is the serious road traffic accident which I’m certain will happen - the people who made this appalling decision will have blood on their hands.

"People must be scratching their hands about local democracy.

"How can it be right that someone who never stepped foot in Skegby until a few months ago can just overturn a democratically made decision by local councillors?”

The inspector has now heard evidence from all parties to the appeal, and has made the decision to approve the development, with some amendments.

A report from the inspector states: "As a result of ongoing discussion with the Highway Authority, the appellant sought to amend the position of the site access and the configuration of Beck Lane shortly before the opening of the inquiry.

"The changes proposed do not materially affect the opposition to the scheme which is maintained by local residents, and do not fundamentally alter the nature of the proposal.

"Having heard all relevant views I accepted the revised access proposal on the basis that it would not prejudice any party to the appeal.

"Local residents continue to have concerns in relation to traffic impacts and highway safety. I can understand their concerns.

"The highways experts who explained the scheme and its impacts at the inquiry are highly experienced professionals and, although I respect the concerns of the local community, I do not have any grounds to disagree with the technical evidence put before me.

"For that reason I accept that there would be no unacceptable residual cumulative impact on the road network.

"The proposal would involve a reduction in the speed limit along the relevant stretch of Beck Lane from 60mph to 40mph. This would be implemented through a Traffic Regulation Order under highway legislation as part of the proposal."