Tuesday 16 August 2022
15.4 C
Nottingham

Councillors officially object to £15.7 million Linby council building plans

Hucknall’s Ashfield Independent Councillors Dave Shaw, Lee Waters and John Wilmott have officially objected to the planning objection for a new £15.7million office block at Top Wighay Farm, Linby near Hucknall.

The Councillors, in their joint objection claim that the application is “…clouded in uncertainty” and that “It’s impossible to assess the impact on highways – due to the County Council still not being able to tell us how many staff and indeed services which will be moving there.”

Speaking on behalf of the councillors, Councillor Lee Waters said, “We’ve exhausted the political arguments.

“We said that the £15.7 million should be spent fixing our broken roads and pavements.  The Conservatives at County Hall would rather spend the money on an expensive office block we don’t need.

Due to rising inflation,” this £15.7m could well go over budget and go over the £20 million mark.

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“We now have the unedifying situation where Conservatives at County Hall ask themselves for planning permission.

“They’ve even restricted the consultation to an electronic one meaning many impacted in Hucknall won’t even get the chance to object despite massive concerns.”

“Despite several attempts to find out – the County Council are still no clearer how many staff and departments will be moving to the new office.

 

“There’s no evidence on any discussion with Trade Unions and yet they claim the impact on highways in Hucknall will be minimal.

“They are also putting workers safety by refusing to install a formal pedestrian crossing point on the access road dual carriageway between the bus layby and the roundabout to save money.

“We’ve been against this office block we don’t need from day one.  It’s too far away from Hucknall Railway Station and there are no plans to improve public transport in the application at all.

“We will be making these and our other objections at a future Planning and Rights of Way Committee.  Hucknall deserves better than guess work in what many view as an expensive done deal.”

 

Nottinghamshire County Council says that this new building form part of plans to bring long-terms savings for taxpayers by creating more carbon-neutral council  buildings, generating income by leasing space within buildings, and co-locating with other public organisations.

The flagship building also plans to provide new, flexible workspace and accommodation for small and medium-sized businesses.

The planned new village on the brown field site  is set to bring more than 800 new homes and a new primary school and  is estimated to  create more than 1,000 new full-time jobs and boost the economy by more than £873 million over a decade

Matthew Neal, investment director  at Nottinghamshire County Council said

“As part of the statutory  planning process,  we’ve  welcomed  feedback on  proposals from partners and the community  for the new office  building at Top Wighay.

“This is due to house front-line services such as social services, which are currently based in leased office space which we are paying out for in rent.

“It also plans to provide new, flexible workspace and accommodation for small and medium-sized businesses as a further way to help boost the economy.

“We’ve  had a  range of comments from  wider local community, which we are currently in discussions about and looking into as part of the usual planning consultation process.

“Our planning  and rights of way committee is due to make a final decision on  planning permission for the new offices in the coming weeks*

“We appreciate there are concerns about the potential  impact on traffic,  so as part of any infrastructure project,  our transport and highways teams  will continue look at any long-term  impact and  continue to monitor the safety  of our highways

“Footpaths, cycling routes, cycle lockers and traffic calming measures are at the heart of plans and the site is already near to an existing bus route,  with new bus stops proposed.

“Completed infrastructure work at the site includes an expanded roundabout on the A611/Annesley Road, a new signal-controlled junction as well as a new, three-metre wide, shared use footway/cycle lane along the northern side of the A611 north of Hucknall and to the west of Linby. This work has already help limit the impact of traffic on nearby towns and villages.”

Further info

  • The County Council  is legally  required to determine this application under  the Town and Country Planning General regulations 1992 given the planned  building is both funded by the county council and on council-  owned land

  • This site is close to the M1, Hucknall is well served by tram and rail, with existing links to Nottingham,  Derby,  Mansfield and Chesterfield.

  • The new Top Wighay office is due to be part of a  planned new village on the site. It is set to bring more than 800 new homes and a new primary school and  is estimated to  create more than 1,000 new full-time jobs and boost the economy by more than £873 million over a decade

Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Asset Management, Councillor Keith Girling, said,

“We are an ambitious, forward-thinking council and have made a clear pledge to help meet the UK’s carbon-neutral targets by 2030 so it’s vital we invest now to make our  buildings more energy-efficient.

“The new building at Top Wighay will house services such as social services, which are currently based in leased office space which we are paying out for.

“So we will move out of buildings we pay rent for, bring services closer to the residents who need them the most, which will cut down on their travel time and help the environment.

“This forms part of wider  plans for more carbon-neutral buildings with the aims of saving  money,  improving  quality to  benefit  communities across the county.

“We have focused on improving our buildings which offer front-line services such as contact points which are used by parents and young children, including looked-after children.

“Let’s not forgot this investment will provide lucrative refurbishment and building contracts for local subcontractors, so it will really benefit the local economy and local jobs.

“Plus as one of the county’s biggest employers with many staff in public-facing roles or still being office-based from time to time,  having workplaces which are fit for purpose and in the right place around the county, forms part of the thinking behind these plans.”

• D2N2 Confirms £3m funding for Top Wighay Farm development near Hucknall

• New £15.7million Nottinghamshire County Council building approved

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