Ashfield’s long-awaited housing plan to ‘take a stand’ against developers

Ashfield Council says its proposed local development plan will enable it to ‘take a stand’ against Government targets and housing developers.
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The district has been without a long-term housing plan for more than a decade, which has led to some controversial schemes being allowed through.

The ruling Ashfield Independents say they’ve made changes after a backlash to where new homes were allocated in previous versions.

A cabinet meeting on Monday, November 6 praised the amended version, which will be sent to full council.

The proposed local development plan with go to full council later this month. Photo: SubmittedThe proposed local development plan with go to full council later this month. Photo: Submitted
The proposed local development plan with go to full council later this month. Photo: Submitted

It will then go through a final round of public consultation before being submitted to the Government for approval.

Coun Jason Zadrozny (Ash Ind), council leader, said the local plan was needed to protect the district from Government housing targets, whichever party wins the next general election.

He told the meeting: “In 2018, we took a political stand against the previous version of this plan, which caused significant harm.

“We’ve included every brownfield site available to us.

“Sadly, some green spaces do disappear, but we’ve tried to ensure this will do the least possible harm.

“This plan delivers 13 years of housing, an excess of job creation sites and an ambitious future for our young people.”

Coun Tom Hollis (Ash Ind), the deputy leader, agreed, saying: “When we took over the council, the draft local plan was controversial, ill-thought-out and a massive detriment to the area.

“It allowed developments like 300 homes on Ashland Road West, right next to Brierly Country Park.

"We lost that fight because of the local plan draft.

“I’m hoping this draft will protect green open spaces and create jobs."

Coun Matthew Relf (Ash Ind) added: “It’s a shame that the public opinion perceives that politicians won’t change their minds, because we have listened and responded.

“We are aware that November and December are a busy period for people, so consultation will be open longer than usual.”

The document will now be sent to full council on Monday, November 27, after which a final round of public consultation will begin.

Previous opposition had focused on patches of greenbelt land at Whyburn Farm in Hucknall and Cauldwell Road, Sutton, which were earmarked for 3,000 and 1,000 homes respectively.

These were removed by the authority in 2022 after petitions with thousands of signatures and hundreds of negative comments.