A huge new development on the outskirts of Hucknall has moved a step forward today.
Known as Top Wighay Farm, it is hoped it will eventually see 805 houses, and a local centre made up of space for shops, bars, restaurants offices, public buildings and a new primary school.
Provision will also be made for a new health facility.
The project has been in the pipeline for several years but today became closer to becoming a reality.
Conservative-led Nottinghamshire County Council, which owns the land, has now agreed to submit a planning application asking for the scheme to be approved in principle.
Just to the north of Hucknall, the 42 hectare site is next to the A611 and is currently open green fields.
The plot is immediately next to land in Ashfield District Council’s area, and very close to homes in Hucknall.
However due to the way the borders fall, the land is technically in Gedling Borough Council’s patch.
After a decision taken today (Wednesday, January 15), a planning application will now be submitted to Labour-run Gedling Borough Council
The county council says: “The vision for the site is to create a distinctive, new development to meet the needs of the local area, and presents the opportunity to create an attractive, sustainable mixed-use community that provides additional housing, new employment opportunities and a new primary school.”
Chris Barnfather is the Conservative county councillor for Newstead, and also the Gedling Borough Councillor for the Newstead Abbey ward.
He welcomed today’s decision, and said: “I am delighted that we are finally progressing with this site.
“It’s been up in the air in the ether for a long long time.
“The difficulty has always been was the land economically sustainable and the funding that was made available to us as a result of the bid to Homes England has opened this site up in that it will allow access to the site from off the A611 at two junctions whether it be from the commercial industrial land or into the residential development land.
“This application would not be going ahead without that funding being obtained.
“It benefits Nottinghamshire as a whole.
“I do understand there are local development concerns, you live in a small conservation village which is some 116 houses and then you are faced with a massive development within that same parish of 805 houses and you are going to be intimidated and concerned because we are all adverse to change.
“I think the community has now accepted this is going to happen, it is to the benefit of a much wider population, but understandably they want their voices to be heard, they have concerns about traffic etcetera.
“This needs to be a development in its own right, not a bolt-on to Hucknall, and the plans we are presenting today make that very clear, that this will actually be in a sense almost a new model village or a new model town however you may wish to phrase it, with its own centre, its own open green spaces, its own education facilities and the abilities to be able to attract its own medical facilities.
“So I’m delighted to see this.”
Councillor Jenny Hollingsworth is the portfolio holder for growth and regeneration at Gedling Borough Council, and represents the Gedling ward for Labour.
She said: “The Top Wighay Farm site is a key development site for Gedling borough’s housing and employment needs.
“Since 2005, the site has been earmarked for development so we are pleased that this progress is now being made.
“The site will make a significant contribution to the council’s housing target and is expected to provide around 800 new homes by 2028 as set out in our local planning document.
“We will be working with Nottinghamshire County Council, which owns the land, to make sure residents are kept informed about the development of the site.”