Protest over Sutton housing development plans

Residents are opposing a housing development off land behind Ashland Road in Sutton.
Residents are opposing a housing development off land behind Ashland Road in Sutton.

Ashfield residents fear they will be swamped with a housing development free-for-all after Ashfield District Council finally voted to withdraw its Local Plan.

Hundreds of Sutton residents demonstrated on Monday against a new proposal for 200 homes on a green field site off Ashland Road.

With no plan in place, there are fears that more housing developments could be pushed through on appeal after the council has refused them planning permission.

Councillors voted to withdraw the Plan at a meeting on Thursday after Government Planning Inspector Jeremy Youle found ‘significant concerns’ with the last version.

The council now faces the expense of putting a new one together, which could take a year to put in lace.

The news came as a council decision to refuse plans for 100 houses on Alfreton Road was overturned.

Angry Sutton residents met in protest against yet another proposal to build hundreds of new houses they fear would ruin a local beauty spot.

They demonstrated on Monday next to the green field site off Ashland Road where developers David Wilson Homes propose to build 201 houses.

Developers David Wilson Homes held a public consultation on 15th July at Brierley Forest Park visitor centre seeking views on the proposals.

Residents are concerned about infrastructure, space in local schools, medical provision and traffic, as well as its effect on the park itself which the development would border.

Sutton West councillor Ramon Buttery, said: “Everybody around here is objecting to it.

“I estimate another 200 houses would mean about 400 more cars and more children.

“I have asked the developers where the new school was in the plans.

“At St Mary Magdalene Primary School first year there have been 130 applicants for just 30 places this year.”

David Shooter, of Windsor Avenue, said: “I was chairman of Ashfield District Council and I opened Brierley Forest Park in 1994. It is a unique wildlife haven for the people of Ashfield to enjoy.

“As far as I am aware the proposed site is on greenfield land which goes right to the edge of the park.

“The amount of people who protested show the depths of feelings against this proposal.”

Sutton resident Margaret Marshall, whose house would be near the proposed site, said she was worried that the site would ruin the ambience of the park and join the boundaries of Sutton and Huthwaite with no green spaces in between.

Rob Blaney, development director for David Wilson Homes East Midlands, said the firm was currently consulting on a proposal which, if successful, would bring 201 quality new homes to the site.

He said: “We recently laid out our initial plans at a public consultation event at Brierley Forest Park Visitor Centre.

“We are now looking at all feedback received and considering the responses ahead of a second public consultation event planned for the autumn, more details of which will be announced soon.”

The proposed development would incorporate a range of new homes to cater for all potential household sizes, primarily aimed at families.

Eric Bone, chairman of Huthwaite Action Group, said people were worried that any planning application would go through on appeal even if it was rejected because Ashfield District Council did not have a Local Plan.

He said: “At the moment it is an open playing field and anyone can build anywhere.

“It is a crazy situation and it doesn’t look like it can be resolved anytime soon.

“That is why the developers are jumping on the bandwaggon.”

See related stories:

Coun Chris Baron says five-year land bank will end housing free-for all

Council withdraws its Local Plan