Residents' anger over plans for 200 homes on 'natural treasure' in Sutton

Land seen off Vere Avenue, Sutton.
Land seen off Vere Avenue, Sutton.

Residents are fighting plans to build more than 200 homes on a “natural treasure”.

A planning application has been submitted seeking permission to build 208 at land to the rear of Sutton’s Quarrydale Academy.

The site already has outline planning permission for 177 homes which was granted in 2017.

One resident commenting on the development which was submitted by Gleeson Regeneration Ltd to Ashfield District Council said: “The fact that one of the most naturally beautiful parts of our town is going to be ruined for dog walkers and children playing in the great outdoors is extremely upsetting.

“This green land should be protected at all costs and the fact that it is even up for consideration astounds me.

“Please don’t destroy a natural treasure in our town that many hold so dear.”

The land adjoining Gilcroft Street, St Andrews Street and Vere Avenue covers 8.24 hecares in total has been classified as Grade 2, very good, agricultural land.

Another resident commented: “Absolutely disgusting to think of destroying such a beautiful part of our town.

“It is used by everyone who lives near it including me and my whole family.

“Dog’s, wildlife, walks, a wonderful place to take children.”

Another resident voiced concerns on how the development could merge Sutton with Skegby, they said: “It has been a long established green area, used and enjoyed by many residents in the area. The loss of this land will be a major blow, and leave the Skegby boundary totally merged with Sutton.

“The whole identity of the residents will be lost forever. There are numerous empty houses, shops etc that could be converted to decent housing without impacting on the environment any further.”

A resident who lives on Vere Avenue which is close to the possible development has said they have concerns on how the new homes could affect the “nightmare” roads surrounding the development: “It regularly takes me over 10 minutes to get from my house and through the traffic lights at the bottom of Stoneyford Road in the mornings. In fact rarely has it ever taken less than five minutes.”

However the developers have said traffic from the site can route in a “number of different directions”.

The public consultation for this application will be closed on January 12, and a decision is likely to be made by March this year.

Helen-Ann Smith deputy leader of the council said she has called the application to the council’s planning committee.

She said: “Each application is taken on by its own merits - this is a different application to what was approved before.

“I have already had about 15 residents contact me about the development - one of the biggest concerns has been how the surrounding highways will cope.

“The road infrastructure is not in place - we need to look at things like that.”

The site off Vere Avenue, Sutton fell under the council’s Ashfield Local Plan until it was withdrawn from the plan this year.

In the application the developers also noted that the council does not have a “five-year supply of deliverable housing sites” and said “it is paramount that this site is delivered to ensure the council are able to rectify the situation.”

The developers also stated that “the planning history of the site demonstrates that the principle of housing development in this location has been deemed acceptable.”

The plans state that there will be 67 two bedroom homes, 126 three bedroom homes and 15 homes with four or more bedrooms.

Developers Gleeson have said they “focus solely on building low cost homes for people on low incomes in areas”.

Claiming that their homes are priced so that they can be afforded by 90 per cent of couples in full time employment.