Sutton and Huthwaite residents protest as public inquiry starts over controversial planning application
Dozens of residents turned up at Ashfield District Council offices to protest against a controversial planning appeal to build 300 homes on a popular beauty spot.
Today marks the start of a two-week inquiry against Ashfield District Council’s decision to turn down a planning application at Ashland Road West.
The Planning Inspectorate will carry out the hearing after Bellway Homes appealed to the Government to overturn the decision.
Legal representatives from the council and Bellway Homes will now present their case and cross-examine witnesses including ward Councillor Tom Hollis, leader Jason Zadrozny, alongside Malc Hull and members of the Ashland Road West and Brierley Park resident’s campaign group.
Coun Hollis said: “I am pleased that this inquiry will be held locally at my request.
"I felt it was crucial that the Planning Inspectorate fully understood the strength of feeling from residents.
"I am pleased that so many residents turned up to make their feelings known.
“It’s frustrating that the democratic decision of the council is being appealed.
"I spoke at the planning meeting that refused these plans and will speak again against the Inquiry on behalf of residents.
"Not only is the amount of houses too intensive for the site, it would be built on land that suffers from significant flooding issues.
"It’s the wrong place for a housing development of this size and I will be making this point, amongst others, at the hearing.”
Malc Hull, chairman of the resident’s campaign group, recently spent a day in Brierley Forest Park collecting hundreds of objections to the plans.
He said: “I was happy to see the protest so well-attended.
"Make no mistake, if this goes ahead it will change our area forever.
"We’ve done everything we can to object to this and will be making our objections clear at the hearing.”
A spokesperson from Bellway Homes said: "The site has been earmarked for development because of its sustainable value to and achievable deliverability, which will go towards meeting the five-year housing supply target set out by the council.
"Developer contributions for this site will total circa £3.8 million, which will be put back into the local area for the benefit of residents.
"Bellway has put forward its sustainable proposals to the council, and will await a resolution on the appeal by the end of 2021.”