Government planning inspectors support Bassetlaw council decision to turn down 170-home development

Bigsby Road, Retford - where plans to build 170 homes have been turned down.
By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter

A Nottinghamshire council leader has spoken of his relief after Government inspectors backed his authority’s decision to turn down plans for 170 homes.

Bassetlaw District Council threw out the plans, in Bigsby Road, Retford, against the recommendation of its officers.

Members were worried about road safety, the impact on the highway network and the effect on the “character and appearance” of the surrounding area.

Councillors said the development’s proposed access route was not “safe or suitable”, interfering with other roads and unrestricted parking nearby.

They also viewed it as an “inappropriate extension” into the countryside which would not protect or enhance the environment.

Developer Muller Property Group, the company behind the scheme, appealed the decision.

But the Government’s Planning Inspectorate ultimately sided with the council.

In his report, brought to the council’s planning committee on Wednesday (August 18), Inspector Andrew McCormack said:  “[The] benefits do not overcome the cumulative significant weight I attach to the harm identified, regarding the unacceptable severe and significant impacts on traffic flow, highway safety and landscape.

“Accordingly, I find that the harm identified significantly and demonstrably outweighs the benefits of the scheme.

“For the reasons given I conclude that the appeal should be dismissed.”

The decision has been welcomed by Councillor Simon Greaves (Lab), leader of the council.

“It’s the right decision,” he said.

“I’m very pleased the Planning Inspectorate came on-side with councillors.

“A lot of residents were very concerned about the impact on the local area, increased congestion. This is something residents and councillors have been very much against.”

The decision comes as Bassetlaw District Council moves forward with publishing its long-term housing plan.

The document, which includes plans for almost 10,000 homes over the coming decade, is expected to be published within the next few months.

But an extraordinary meeting of full council has been called, led by opposition councillors, calling for the plan to be paused.

Some opposition members want to form a cross-party sub-committee to review the draft plan.

But an extraordinary cabinet meeting, currently scheduled for August 31, is expected to move the draft plan into its next stage of consultation.

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