110 more homes for Sutton-in-Ashfield – despite council leader’s protests

Alfreton Road, Sutton-In-Ashfield

By Local Democracy Reporter, Andrew Topping

Planners have approved proposals for 110 homes in Sutton-in-Ashfield after an initial outline application was overturned on appeal.

The properties will be built on land behind Alfreton Road, near the A38, and will consist of two, three and four-bedroom houses.

The development will lead to the demolition of number 211 Alfreton Road and nearby garages to make way for an access road, while a nearby public footpath will link to Mapplewells Primary School.

An initial outline application for the site was refused by the council in 2020 because of its concerns over the loss of open space, the effect on biodiversity and insufficient developer-community contributions.

One of the main issues was the impact the development could pose on the nearby school.

But the decision was overturned by the Government’s planning inspectorate, in May this year, which ruled there was no reason to prevent the plans on these grounds.

Countryside Properties has now submitted a full planning application, with documents addressing the council’s initial issues.

Eleven properties will be marketed as ‘affordable’, working out at 10 per cent of the overall supply.

And more than £850,000 in developer contributions – including £481,114 for primary school places – will be provided to shore up local services.

Barry Herrod, a spokesperson for the developer, spoke in favour of the scheme before it was approved by Ashfield District Council on Wednesday (July 21).

He said: “Approximately 20 per cent of the site will consist of a multi-functional open green space with habitat created for the benefit of local wildlife.

“Countryside Properties will be making contributions towards primary school education, open space, healthcare, libraries and improvements to footpaths.

“The development will provide employment in the construction industry and supply chain, and expenditure within the local economy.”

However, the Government’s decision to overturn the initial outline application led to anger from Councillor Jason Zadrozny (Ash Ind).

It comes after a council decision to refuse 54-home development in Kirkby-in-Ashfield was also overturned by the inspectorate this month.

Cllr Zadrozny, the leader of the council, said: “I can promise in future that developers won’t get a greased sausage through my planning committee without building a better relationship [with the council].

“I understand the officer’s recommendations and the position the Government has put us in by overturning this committee’s decision, and I suspect the committee will vote in favour because it’s now eight houses less.

“It’s slightly less harmful than the previous one but it’s a terrible application, it’s poorly designed and we’ve had to have an independent team come in and redesign it because of the poor job they did in the first place.

“Whatever happens, I cannot put my hand up for it because I think it’s an absolute disgrace.”

The homes were approved by six votes to three.

Construction will commence later this year, with the first homes expected to be occupied in early 2022.

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