Developer must repair and rebuild lost historic Civil War wall in Ashfield

Developer must repair and rebuild lost historic Civil War wall in Ashfield

By Andrew Topping
Sunday, 14th November 2021, 6:30 am

Developers will be told to repair and retain a historic wall dating back to the Civil War after it emerged part of it was destroyed when a former quarry was cleared.

Ashfield Council has set conditions on the 47-home application, off Stoneyford Road, Sutton, after concerns were raised in August over the stability of the wall.

Archives suggest the wall was in place for more than 370 years and was used by Scots fighting for King Charles II in the second English Civil War.

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Part of the damaged wall.

Parts of the wall, which fronted onto Stoneyford Road, even showed remnants of embedded cannonballs used during a small battle, believed to have taken place in about 1651.

However, the council leader expressed his anger earlier this summer after part of the wall collapsed following work by developer Platform Housing Group.

It came as part of works on the nearby quarry site, behind where the wall once stood, with the developer seeking reserved matters permission to push forward with its outline housing plans.

The development was deferred during a previous planning meeting, after Coun Jason Zadrozny, council leader, revealed his concerns about the wall.

Coun Jason Zadrozny, Ashfield Council leader, at the site of the damaged wall.

The plan is due before the committee again on Wednesday, November 17, with two planning conditions set relating to the wall.

The first condition, which was in place in April, required the developer to retain the wall.

However, it has since emerged part of it has been destroyed during works to demolish an existing, on-site building.

But the second condition, created ahead of the plans going before councillors again next week, will require Platform Housing to outline a ‘schedule of works and full details of the materials to be used’ ahead of repairing the wall ‘across the site frontage’.

Council documents state this has been put forward ‘in the interests of visual amenity and protecting the heritage of the site’.

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‘No point’

But speaking in the summer, Coun Zadrozny said there is ‘almost no point’ in rebuilding it, believing it has ‘lost its historic significance’.

He said: “When you’re granted permission for nearly 50 houses and are asked to protect the wall because of its historical importance, then do that.

“It’s sacrilegious, almost, when you’ve got something that old, with that much history, and you let it go.”

The developer must also make amendments to three plots on the development, viewed by existing neighbours as at risk of impacting privacy.

The plans are recommended for approval next week.

Neil Adie, PHG development director, said in August: “Much of the main boundary wall appears to remain intact, but a section has collapsed or been removed when adjoining redundant buildings were demolished due to health and safety reasons.

“This was certainly not done deliberately, but we apologise that it occurred.

“These buildings will be replaced if the development proposals are approved by the planning committee.

“The intention is to reinstate the collapsed section, where necessary, between the new buildings and the wall that remains.

“We expect there will be a planning condition that will enforce that.”

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