More than 200 'high-quality, low-cost' homes to be built in Skegby - but councillors angered by green light for scheme

More than 200 homes are set to be built in Skegby after a council’s refusal of the scheme was overturned due to its failure to deliver enough new houses.

Monday, 13th December 2021, 11:31 am

A developer has pledged to build ‘beautiful, high-quality, low-cost’ homes in Skegby after winning a planning appeal.

Ashfield Council originally rejected the scheme for more than 200 homes on disused, agricultural land off Gilcroft Street, part of a site previously occupied by Skegby Quarry.

It said the ‘adverse impacts’ of the scheme ‘significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits’ following more than 130 letters of objection from residents, highlighting concerns over highways safety and the impact on existing community infrastructure, among many others.

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What the new St Andrew's Heights development in Skegby will look like.

However, developer Gleeson Homes appealed the decision, which has now been overturned by the Planning Inspectorate, citing approval previously being granted for redevelopment of the site for housing, albeit also on appeal, and Ashfield Council’s ‘lamentable and very serious shortfall’ in delivering new homes.

In his ruling, planning inspector David Rose said: “The council is unable to demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites. The identified supply in April 2021 was 2.25 years, amounting to a deficit of some 1,500 dwellings. In addition, there has been significant under-delivery of housing over the preceding three-year period.

“This proposal, consisting of 206 dwellings, would assist in addressing a lamentable and very serious shortfall and would be consistent with the government’s objective of boosting the supply of housing.”

Gleeson said the development, to be known as St Andrew’s Heights, will be aimed at first-time buyers and families on low-to-average incomes.

Allen Marshall, Gleeson operations director, said: “With several buying schemes to be made available, home ownership at St Andrew’s Heights will become a reality for many.

“We have had great success with a similar development in Sutton, named Sutton Heights, which has proved popular with first-time buyers and both upsizers and downsizers.

“We are looking forward to working with the local community and will be employing a workforce that mainly comprises local labour, including apprentices and contractors.”

The development, of two, three and four-bedroom semi-detached and detached homes, will be built over two phases. Show homes are expected to be open next autumn, with the first residents moving in for Christmas 2022.

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About 10 per cent of the 206 homes will be allocated as affordable housing, with 75 per cent of those designated for affordable rent and 25 per cent designated for shared ownership, sold via HomeReach’s part-buy, part-rent scheme.

As part of the project, Gleeson will also be making financial contributions to the Skegby community, including almost £900,000 to primary education, £217,000 towards improving public open space and £112,000 towards healthcare provision.

The company also promises to pump £11,672 into the cost of a new recycling centre for the area and £21,600 towards public transport.

However, the appeal decision has been slammed by councillors.

Coun Helen-Ann Smith, council deputy leader, said: “I am appalled our objections have been ignored.

“I am disappointed for everybody who objected – especially the Teversal, Stanton Hill & Skegby neighbourhood planning forum whose members did an enormous amount of work to oppose this.

“It beggars belief that we can take a decision locally only, for the Government to simply appoint an inspector and overturn our careful consideration.”

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