Plug pulled on multi million pound sports site

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Broxtowe Borough Council has pulled the plug on its involvement in a 50 acre sports village in Nuthall – leaving the plans dead in the water.

At the end of last year the council agreed on a joint venture with Oxylane to apply to build a multi-million pound sport and leisure site on greenbelt land off the A610.

But councillors have now done a u-turn and pulled out, leaving it impossible for Oxylane to go ahead on their own.

The director of Decathlon Luke Fillingham who was in charge of the project said as well as the sports park, the area has lost out on ‘desperately needed’ investment.

The venture would have meant £2.7m worth of investment into ‘critically needed’ highway works between the M1 and Nuthall Island - easing traffic congestion.

Mr Fillingham said: “I would certainly have some questions for those councillors who voted against this project.

“Can they tell everybody what they are proposing for the area instead? Because without this scheme a number of things wil be lost. What does the future of the north of the borough look like?”

Kimberley councillor Richard Robinson called the council’s u-turn ‘tragic’ and ‘pitiful’.

He said: “This was much needed investment and a boost for us in the north of the borough.

“Many of the arguemnts to stop the joint application going ahead were pitiful.

“The tragedy is we had the opportunity to showcase Broxtowe and say we wanted to be a part of something that would bring lots of jobs to the area and put Broxtowe on the map.

“Now we are saying Broxtowe is closed for business and we don’t want new innovation and we don’t want to invest in our children’s future.”

Cllr Robinson also accused the council of ‘closing the north of the borough’ because of its plans to additionally close the DH Lawrence Centre and the Eastwood cash office.

“I wonder what would have happened if Oxylane would have been proposed in Beeston?

“Perhaps the council doesn’t really like anything in the north of the borough,” he said.

Broxtowe Borough Council refused the planning application for the site twice a few years ago.

However alterations were made and the council agreed on a joint application at the end of last year.

“We’ve made such a generaous offer and had it thrown in our face twice already. And now this,” said Mr Fillingham.

“Unless something changes that’s it as far as the plans go.”

Cllr Phillip Owen was on the cabinet that made the decision to pull out of the plans.

He said: “It would have been horrendous. It was an inappropriate development in the greennbelt. The development was a retail park and to develop it they wanted to persuade the council to build a new leisure centre at the council tax payers’ expense.

“It was always an unsatisfactory proposal. The residents want a leisure centre that is accessible. We wanted to protect the greenbelt and support the local leisure centres.

“As far as investment goes, they didn’t have to build on greenbelt to create opportunities. There are plenty of Brownfield sites.”

The overall site would have been the first of its kind in the UK and would have included everything from football pitches and netball courts to gym equipment and cycle tracks. It was based on a French model.