Wednesday 24 April 2024
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Consultation to launch on Draft Local Plan for over 8,200 new homes in Notts

The public will be consulted on Ashfield District Council’s draft local plan next month despite councillors not being “100 per cent happy” with the 8,226-home document.

The Ashfield Independents administration moved forward with the plan at its cabinet meeting on Monday (September 20), agreeing to launch the first six-week consultation stage in October.

The document outlines the authority’s plan for housing and wider development until 2038, including two major housing settlements to bring 4,000 new homes.

But members of the cabinet confirmed they are not entirely happy with the level of housing in the plan, viewing the Government as setting too high a target to be achieved each year.

If approved, the document would allow 457 new homes to be built in the district every year until 2038. This was down from a Government target of more than 800.

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Speaking in the meeting, councillors said it means putting forward a “controversial” plan which includes building on greenbelt land.

Councillor Jason Zadrozny (Ash Ind), leader of the council, said: “There’s no getting away from the fact this plan is controversial because some people don’t want to see changes [to their communities].

“But I feel our cross-party working group, and the portfolio holder, have done a significant amount of work to steer this in a more positive way.

“It’s fair to say we’re not 100 per cent happy with it, but that’s why we want to make sure [the consultation] is done.

“This isn’t a plan we’re hoisting on people, we want to ask the public what they think so we can make any changes.”

The document includes plans for two large, mixed-use housing developments – one in Hucknall and the second in Sutton-in-Ashfield.

The Hucknall development, at Whyburn Farm, includes 3,000 new properties alongside employment land. Around 1,600 of the homes will be delivered by 2038.

This development includes plans for a potential extension to the tram network and a park-and-ride facility.

The Sutton-in-Ashfield development will allocate land in Cauldwell Road, on the Mansfield-Ashfield border, to be used for 1,000 homes.

Both developments include proposals for an on-site primary school, a local centre with retail and community facilities, and seek contributions towards secondary education.

Sites have been allocated for development in Hucknall, Kirkby, Sutton, Selston, Jackdale and Underwood.

Cllr Matthew Relf (Ash Ind), portfolio holder for regeneration and planning, said: “We know people don’t want to see fields on, and we feel exactly the same way.

“Our plan uses every brownfield site available, but to achieve the Government’s targets the greenfield sites have to be built on.

“The plan has at its core a strategy with these two mixed-use settlements, and will reduce the strain placed on infrastructure in our existing settlements.”

The six-week consultation will begin in October and run through until November.

The authority will issue information on its website, hold in-person events with Covid-safe measures, and display copies of the plan, documents and posters in libraries.

A second consultation is planned in March and April next year, with the document expected to be submitted to the Government in August 2022.


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