Ashfield Council leader told he can draw up plans to build four homes

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Ashfield Council has granted planning consent for its leader to draw up detailed plans to build four homes.

Members of the Ashfield Independents-controlled council’s planning committee approved plans submitted by Coun Jason Zadrozny-Bland (Ash Ind), the authority’s leader, at their latest meeting.

Coun Zadrozny-Bland, who sits on the committee, submitted the plans as an individual rather than acting as council leader.

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He registered an interest in the application, left the chamber during the debate, did not vote and was not present for any of the discussions.

Coun Jason Zadrozny, Ashfield Council leader.Coun Jason Zadrozny, Ashfield Council leader.
Coun Jason Zadrozny, Ashfield Council leader.

Couns Samantha Deakin and Rachel Madden (both Ash Ind) also declared an interest and left with their leader.

He wants to demolish the existing home at 74 Sutton Road, Kirkby, and build four homes in its place.

The planning committee agreed housing would be suitable and acceptable on the site.

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Senior planning officer Christine Sarris told the meeting: “The application site is within the main urban area of Kirkby, where the principle of development is acceptable.

“The scheme provides an opportunity to improve local ecology via the use of conditions.”

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The meeting heard 10 letters were submitted to the authority during a consultation, with eight letters objecting to the scheme.

Concerns included overshadowing, a loss of privacy, noise and disturbance, construction disturbance and boundary issues. Other objections included “busy and congested” highways, parking issues, devalued properties and fear the plans could set a planning “precedent”.

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Ms Sarris said: “The council is only considering the principle of residential development as part of this outline planning application, with all matters reserved.

“Therefore the potential impact on neighbours would be subject to consideration and assessment at a later date.”

Four councillors remained in the chamber for the debate and vote, with the scheme approved with three votes for and one abstention.

Speaking afterwards, Coun Zadrozny-Bland said: “In the objections, legitimate concerns were raised.

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“Given this is an outline application, officers have essentially made this decision and no councillors have taken it.

“The only reason this had to come before councillors was it was submitted by me.

“All it’s talking about is whether you could fit four houses on there and officers think you can.

“Once we come to access or design, it will have to come through a full application and this may, or may not, fit.”

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Coun Zadrozny-Bland will now be allowed to draw up detailed proposals for the scheme, which will be debated by the council at a future date.


It is the second similar application connected to a senior Ashfield Independent councillor to come before the committee in a matter of weeks.

An application by Michael Hollis, father of Coun Tom Hollis – who was sacked as deputy leader, but kept his role as cabinet member for housing after being convicted of harassment and careless driving in September – to build eight houses on land off Silverhill Lane, Teversal, was approved by the committee last month, despite council officers recommending refusal.

Opposition Labour councillors tabled an emergency motion against the decision, while Ashfield MP Lee Anderson (Con) is being threatened with legal action over a post on social media about the approval.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove has now ordered the council to pause planning permission, while he decides whether to “call in” the plan, which means he would take the decision himself.