Developers say 170-home extension to estate will bring multi-million-pound benefits

The first phase of homes on the Penniment Farm scheme are already underway
By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter

Developers told councillors their plans to extend a Mansfield development by 170 homes could bring a multi-million-pound boost to the town’s economy.

Applicants Commercial Estates Projects Ltd and Hallam Land Management will extend the town’s Penniment Farm development up to 600 homes.

It comes after Mansfield District Council’s planning committee unanimously backed the Abbott Road plans on Monday (March 13).

Building work for the first phase of more than 200 homes has already finished after the authority initially approved a 430-home estate.

However, developers then asked the council to make the scheme bigger through the second, third and fourth phases.

In total, the development will now total 600 properties – including six per cent or 36 affordable homes – on the former farmland.

The companies have agreed to pay more than £2.6m in developer contributions to mitigate the impact of their plans.

This includes £180,625 to fund healthcare improvements or expansions, £1,588,188 for primary education and £539,000 for public transport.

A further £264,000 will be provided for road improvements and traffic control measures, alongside £65,800 for bus stop improvements.

However, during Monday’s meeting, a spokesperson for the developers told the committee the plans will provide a significant boost to the town.

Michael Hepburn, of planning agent Lichfields, spoke on behalf of the applicants in the meeting.

He said: “Penniment Farm is significantly contributing to sustainable growth in the context of economic, social and environmental objectives.

“[This] will build upon significant housing and infrastructure already delivered to date and continue to create a new community.

“Significant economic benefits will include the investment of £53.5m supported by 75 temporary direct construction jobs and 110 indirect jobs.

“It will deliver £8.3m of economic output each year through the construction period.

“Additional expenditure in Mansfield will include £2.2m in first occupation spend and £4.9m of expenditure each year by new residents.

“It also has the potential to support 75 local, full-time jobs.

“This development has evolved … and the result is sustainable, high-quality [and] which reflects local needs.”

He added “robust assessments” have been undertaken to ensure the scheme does not provide a significant impact on the road network.

“In terms of highways, the proposals have been carefully considered to ensure there is a safe and attractive environment,” he said.

“The highways impact on the surrounding network has been considered as acceptable.”

It followed Martyn Saxton, the council’s head of planning, confirming Ashfield District Council lodged concerns about the application.

Mr Saxton said in the meeting: “Some [Ashfield] members raised concerns about significant development in the vicinity of the site which will have a cumulative impact on the highways network.

“Concerns include increasing housing numbers, which would have a ‘detrimental impact’ on [road] capacity and safety.”

But Chris Holloway, another Lichfields spokesperson, told the meeting: “The highways impacts have been assessed thoroughly.

“This includes robust trip rates, ensuring all cumulative developments in the area were fully taken into account, and detailed modelling.

“It’s been clearly demonstrated through this process that highways impact will be mitigated through the agreed [financial] package.”

Councillors unanimously backed the plans, though no member spoke on the development.

It means the number of homes will be allowed to expand up to 600 properties from the initial 430 houses.

More detailed plans, including the layout and design of the later phases of housing, must be submitted and approved by the council at a later date.

It comes as part of the wider, mixed-use Penniment Farm site which also promises employment and industrial space.

Plans were revealed last year for more than 500 jobs to be brought to the former farmland, including distribution, skilled and semi-skilled roles.

These will be discussed by the committee at a meeting in the future.

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