Residents to fight housing plans

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Residents in Mansfield Woodhouse are gearing up to fight plans for a huge housing development on their doorstep.

Barratt Homes Ltd has submitted plans to build 150 homes off Park Hall Road on a 5.4 hectare area of agricultural land, but those living nearby are desperate to bring the proposals to a halt.

Opposition to the controversial plans is building following a public consultation by Barratt Homes last month, which was attended by more than 119 people.

Of those, 51 put their views down in writing and the results of the consultation found that 88 per cent of them had raised concerns.

Many said traffic congestion was a primary worry, with Park Hall Road earmarked as the only entrance and exit to the planned estate.

School places, registering with local doctors’ surgeries and loss of an open space were just a few of 35 concerns raised in total.

Park Hall Road resident Walter Bailey said: “There are a lot of problems with traffic around here already, it’s major rat run for the A60 anyway and this would make it much worse.

“It seems crazy that there would only be one road in and out of this place.

“A lot of people attended the initial consultation meeting, more than they expected I think.

“They (Barratt Homes) have been a bit sneaky about this (putting the plans in before Christmas).

“People are thinking about Christmas, not planning applications, and with the council closed over that time we only have until January to have our say.

“There’s a lot feeling, but we need people to write to the council and have their say.”

Mansfield Woodhouse district councillor Joyce Bosnjak is backing the call to throw the plans out.

She said: “We should not feel intimidated by a company the size and wealth of Barratt, we have a legitimate right to object, and as a local councillor it’s the opinion of the people of this area that’s more important than any glossy presentation from Barratt.

“Everybody I have spoken to is not comfortable with that application.

“The roads were never built to withstand the traffic it gets now, so it would be much worse with an extra 150 homes.”

The houses proposed by Barratt would be a mixture of two, three, four and five-bedroom houses.

Of those, 20 per cent would earmarked for affordable housing.

An old farm house and surrounding buildings on the site would be retained with the new development built around them. Planning permission to transform the farm buildings into dwellings was given in 2003, but to date no work has begun.

The land was part of the council’s 2013 SHLAA report- land that could be earmarked for development - but was discounted because the council said other, more suitable sites had been found.

The position of the site, on the northern edge of Mansfield Woodhouse, would form a ‘logical urban expansion’ of the area according to Barratt.

And the firm is set to challenge the council’s view that sufficient developments have been given planning permission in recent years to meet their five-year housing need for the region.

Barratt will argue that the council has not factored in an under-delivery of housing between 2006 and 2011.

In a statement, Barratt Homes said: “ “The Park Hall Farm site is acknowledged to be a sustainable site in a sustainable location. The site has featured in the Mansfield SHLAA since their introduction in 2009 and had consistently been recognised as potentially suitable.

“There are no significant technical or environmental constraints to development and that the development would not have any material intrusion into the wider countryside.”

People can view the plans and leave comments on Mansfield District Council website under the planning reference 2013/0593/NT.

Alternatively, they can write to the head of planning and regulatory services, Civic Centre, Chesterfield Road South, Mansfield, NG19 7BH.