Summer target to resolve Clipstone headstocks’ future

The owners of the controversial headstocks in Clipstone say they are doing ‘all they can’ to resolve its future.

But Welbeck Estates say it could be next summer before they are any closer to resolving the issue.

The company submitted an application to the planning authority to finally demolish the crumbling buildings, but a recent assessment of the structures has delayed the issue - especially after concluding that further investigation was required.

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Spokesman for Welbeck Estates, Peter Frampton, was at Clipstone Parish Council’s recent meeting where he explained that under planning guidelines, a lengthy environmental assessment is required to move the application on.

He said: “We are preparing the environmental statement, but it could be next summer before the planning committee can make a resolution on this issue.

“The planning process grinds slowly, but we’re doing all we can.”

The headstocks, which are the tallest of their kind in Europe, have split opinion since the pit closed in 2003.

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They have fallen into disrepair and have become an eyesore to many, attracting vandals and trespassers.

However, some feel they should be preserved, but those in favour demolishing the towers are adamant that millions of pounds are needed to restore them, with little or no hope of attracting that kind of financial backing.

There is also concern that the land would be used solely for housing, if the green light is given to pull them down.

Chairman of Clipstone Parish Council, Dave Thompson, said: “More than anything else, the village needs employment for the young people.

“We are becoming a dormitory village, and we have not got the infrastructure for just housing. We need to go forward with a plan that is acceptable to the people of the village.”