New lease of life for colliery site

Annesley Colliery headstocks
Annesley Colliery headstocks

A HOUSING developer will breathe new life into the former Annesley Colliery site after being given the go-ahead to build 124 new homes.

Members of Ashfield District Council’s planning committee praised Merriman for working with them and committing to pay towards traffic schemes that will ease congestion on local roads.

Outline permission was given for the scheme, off Hucknall Road. The development will be close to new housing already built at Jasmine Gardens by Persimmon Homes on the ex-pit site.

As part of the agreement, Merriman must make contributions under a Section 106 agreement, which means the firm must ensure the development benefits the community.

Coun Rachel Madden (Lib Dem) told the meeting: “This is a site that I have known over the years, and the applicant has gone a considerable way to alleviating some of the problems in this area. It was originally employment land but there was very little take-up.”

Some of the contributions include providing ten per cent of affordable housing — at least 12 homes — on the site.

However Coun Chris Baron (Lab), a Hucknall member of Ashfield Council, criticised Notts County Council for not asking for additional funds from Merriman to benefit local schools.

He said: “I am bitterly disappointed that they don’t seem to be bothered in the slightest if there is going to be a pressure on primary education.

“If we don’t get the money from the developers, it will be county council-tax payers who have to pay for the alterations.”

But Coun Richard Butler (Con), Cabinet member for environment and sustainability at the county council, said after the meeting: “Ashfield Council chooses to negotiate directly with developers regarding Section 106 contributions towards services, including funding for extra school-places created by housing developments.

“The county council makes requests for school places to all district and borough councils in Nottinghamshire to help ensure we can provide the right number of schools places.

“We asked Ashfield Council to negotiate on our behalf for £293,830 of funding to provide additional accommodation at the local catchment school for the estimated 26 extra primary-school places that would be created by the new development.

“Unfortunately, the district council did not request this funding from the developer. We have been in dialogue with the district council for several years now to ensure that our requests for funding to pay for the impacts on our schools of developers’ housing proposals are met in full.”