Will Lindhurst development lead to revival of Mansfield

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THE BURNING debate over a landscape-changing housing and business project has been stoked again after the Government said it would not interfere in the plans.

As reported in Chad last week, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has ruled Mansfield District Council’s decision to permit the Lindhurst development should stand.

Campaigners opposing the scheme are now considering a possible judicial review in a last effort to halt the massive project.

This week Chad readers took to the internet to support and criticise the plan and our reporters hit the streets to hear what local people had to say.

Some feel the Lindhurst Group scheme, involving around 1,700 new homes plus business premises off the A617 MARR route, is unnecessary and won’t help the local economy.

But others say the town is in desperate need of a big project to drive investment and create jobs for local people.

Developers have said they will strive to make sure as much of the money spent on the project is kept within local companies.

Mansfield District Councillor Andrew Tristram is backing residents of Berry Hill, some of whom are strongly opposed to the scheme.

“A lot of the residents remain against it. I would have thought with it being such a tight decision there was a case for the Secretary of State to call it in,” he said.

Mansfield District Council’s planning committee approved the scheme by the narrowest possible margin in July, with a chairman’s casting vote used to break a deadlock and approve the scheme.

The authority then referred it to the Government because of its size, but last month Mr Pickles said he would not be stepping in, meaning the decision stands.

“There are other places in Mansfield in need of development,” added Coun Tristram.

“If it does go ahead the next stage will be to try to have as much influence as possible and get the best outcome possible.”

The scheme, to be built between Rainworth and the A60 Nottingham Road, has outline planning permission and further details will need consent later.

As part of the plan, developers are proposing facilities including a doctor’s surgery, primary school and a bus service.

Said Coun Kate Allsop, the council’s portfolio holder for regeneration: “The Government agenda is to build many, many more houses and its we are having to follow that it’s better to have new areas that bring in things like schools and doctors’ surgeries.

“Mansfield south is short of those things and that is what this project will bring.

“We also need to work with the developers to make sure they are held up to their promises.”