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Plans for nearly 200 homes on farm approved despite nearly 400 objections

Plans for 200 homes on farmland in Kirkby-in-Ashfield have been approved despite nearly 400 local objections.

Developer Gleeson Regeneration Ltd initially put forward plans for 214 homes at Coxmoor Lodge Farm, off Farm View Road, in 2020.

However, following negotiations, the number of properties was reduced to 196.

The land is currently farmland and new homes on the development would be accessed off both Farm View Road and a new access in Walesby Drive.

The developer says it will bring affordable homes to the site and will enforce its ‘community matters’ promises.

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This includes offering local jobs and apprenticeships during construction, sponsorship of junior sports clubs and work with schools.

Overall, the scheme will include three and four-bedroom detached and two and three-bedroom semi-detached properties, with off-street parking proposed for each home.

However, two separate consultations garnered firstly 146 and then 253 letters of objection to the council.

Concerns included visual impact, loss of privacy, ‘long periods of disruption, noise and pollution’, the impact on local schools, water supply problems, road capacity concerns and environmental impacts.

Other concerns included a lack of capacity in local primary and secondary schools, GP surgeries and dentists, as well as fears the land is prone to flooding.

And a meeting of the council’s planning committee on Wednesday (June 14) heard concerns from a local resident speaking on behalf of the community.

Sean White, who lives in the area, said local bus services are not “fit for purpose” and feared the plans could also affect local water supply.

He also said other new developments have led to homes “shaking” and feared the capacity of existing medical and dental practices.

And on highway impacts, he said there will be a large impact on traffic and the existing road network, including on the narrow proposed Farm View Road access route.

He said: “With construction traffic going down there, we are concerned this will damage the road, the sewers underneath, and it could be catastrophic the damage it would have on that road.”

He added: “This extra traffic is going to have an impact. The condition of the roads is so dreadful and I’d hope there will be a lot of money spent on them to alleviate that.

“This is going to be a nightmare.”

Councillor Andy Meakin (Ash Ind), who represents the Abbey Hill ward, lives on Farm View Road and also raised concerns.

He said: “The number of objections goes to show the feeling of people in the area.”

He added: “I find it quite extraordinary you’re going to get that kind of traffic coming onto this ‘farm path’.

“I’ve lived there all my life and it beggars belief. The roads are awful, cars pull out from left, right and centre, and this needs some really hard work on it.”

However, the authority’s planning department recommended approval for the plans, which were approved by six votes to three.

In the meeting, Christine Sarris, assistant director for planning, said a comprehensive travel plan has been drawn up outlining the impact on existing roads.

It says “major road improvements would be required” if further nearby sites lead to an increase in housing numbers.

She added: “The applicant will provide proportionate sums of money to improve services to accommodate the extra residents.

“On balance, it’s considered the benefits of boosting the local housing supply outweigh the harm that would result in the loss of the site to development.”

These financial contributions £108,375 for healthcare facilities, £23,000 for bus infrastructure, £19,600 towards ‘sustainable travel’ improvements and £428,000 for off-site open space.

Other sums include £19,000 for bus stop improvements, £1,500 towards cycling parking at local railway stations, and £50,000 to upgrade nearby pedestrian crossings.

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