‘Asbestos’ land is given planning permission for housing

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Land potentially contaminated with asbestos could soon see homes built there after an application was approved by town planners.

Developers are eager to build 32 homes on the site at Welbeck Farm, off Netherfield Lane in Meden Vale, despite objections by several residents on neighbouring Netherfield Close.

They fear the 0.89 hectare parcel of land is not only contaminated, but has been prone to flooding in years gone by.

Traffic issues and the loss of land were other concerns from residents.

Now overgrown, the land has been subject to a series planning applications in the last 10 years, including for employment use and housing.

However, housing plans have been rejected on no fewer than three occasions due to flooding problems.

But standing before Mansfield District Council planning committee on Monday evening, Nick Baseley from IBH Planning spoke on behalf of the applicant, a Mr M Robinson, and defended the plans.

He said that the land is no longer a flood plain, having had its levels raised.

This has since been confirmed by the Environment Agency, which said the land was no longer at risk from the nearby River Meden.

And although he could not confirm whether the land did contain poisonous substances or not, he said any potentially dangerous materials could easily be tackled.

Mr Baseley insisted ‘rigorous testing’ on the site would be carried out as a matter of protocol before work would begin.

“By the time development starts there would be no asbestos on that site,” he added.

The land had previously been used for agricultural purposes and housed chicken sheds, although they have since been removed.

The scheme could reflect an adjoining recently-built development - Netherfield Close - and although there are no details of the size, the application does indicate a mix of two and 2.5-storey buildings with 64 parking spaces.

It would also be accessed via Netherfield Close, which was built by the same applicant in recent years.

Mr Baseley said: “This is a suitable and sustainable housing site and will deliver it where it is needed.

“This was always going to be the second phase of the houses on the adjacent land.”

The planning officers at Mansfield District Council recommended that the application be approved and this was supported unanimously by the planning committee, with all eight present at the meeting voting in favour.