Saturday 24 February 2024
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Redevelopment of bowls club refused over highways safety concerns

Councillors voted against officer recommendations to refuse the redevelopment of a former bowls club into homes after concerns were raised about insufficient on-site parking.

Developers had planned to turn the former Miners Welfare Trust Bowling Green and Social Club site, in Longden Terrace, Market Warsop, into 16 affordable homes.

However, a meeting of Mansfield District Council’s planning committee on Monday (September 27) heard concerns from existing residents and the local councillor over road safety and parking posed by the new scheme.

The site, between Longden Terrace and Pavilion Close, was described as “overgrown” with evidence of litter, and people living nearby agreed the land does need to be redeveloped.

But the proposals, which had previously been amended, were deemed to provide insufficient parking for new residents and posed a safety risk to people living nearby.

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The development was viewed by Nottinghamshire County Council, the local highways authority, as unacceptable as it “doesn’t meet the standards” of the district council’s ‘Parking for New Developments’ criteria.

Twelve properties were two-bedroom homes, and all were allocated one on-site parking space. The council’s guidance recommends two parking spaces for a two-bedroom home.

The remaining four properties, all three-bedroom homes, would have been allocated two parking spaces each.

Councillors were told the rationale behind this was the development’s close proximity to Market Warsop town centre. Council officers said this meant “regular resident journeys could be undertaken by non-vehicular modes of transport”.

However, this rationale was rejected by members of the committee.

Councillors also heard from a resident on Longden Terrace who said people “already struggle” parking outside their homes. The road is also subject to “close calls” due to blind spots and is a drop-off point for Sherwood Junior School.

Residents and councillors believed the lower parking provision on the development would lead to an “overflow” into Longden Terrace, increasing existing issues of parking and road safety.

The plans, which were recommended for approval, were voted down by a margin of seven votes to two.

Councillor Andy Sissons (Ind) said: “We do want affordable housing, it’s something we’re always asking for, shouting for.

“But it seems to me that, on this occasion, they’re calling them all ‘affordable housing’ just so they can put as many on the spot, and using it as an excuse to reduce the amount of parking.

“The fact it’s within walking distance from the town doesn’t stop people having cars, they will leave their cars at home and walk into town.”

Cllr Martin Wright (Mans Ind) put forward an alternative motion to refuse the development.

He added: “I suggest refusal on the grounds the development doesn’t meet the council’s ‘Parking for New Developments’ guidance.

“With [at least] eight of the houses, it’s likely one car will be parked on the street for the majority of the day, and on a road which already suffers from congestion due to school traffic.”

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