Further views welcome despite formal end to consultation over massive housing plan near Worksop
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Bolsover Council is considering Waystone’s planning application for a 24-hectare, mixed development of employment land with about 1,800 homes and other community and commercial facilities entitled Clowne Garden Village.
Many residents from the nearby villages of Clowne and Barlborough have raised concerns at three public consultation events and with letters to the council about the plans to develop the site on greenfield land north of Clowne, including part of the village centre off Hickinwood Lane.
However, despite the consultation period formally coming to a close, the council has stated it is still willing to consider any further submitted letters before the matter goes before the planning committee for a decision.
Sarah Kay, council planning manager, said: “We have said we have a duty of care to consider any letters before we take it to planning and I do not want people to feel they have missed the boat.”
Some residents have already raised concerns about the possible impact on highways, drainage, flooding, and existing services such as schools and healthcare, as well as the potential loss of countryside and the impact on wildlife.
Karen Hanson, council chief executive, said: “The utmost priority is around communities and safe and happy places to live and I do not see that has changed. We will do everything we can in terms of planning responsibilities.”
Chris McKinney, council planning policy manager, said the council has to meet housing and affordable housing targets because of growing demand and nationwide shortages.
Ms Kay said: “A development of this scale will have an effect on the highway network. The decision for us is whether that impact is acceptable and the highway network can still function and traffic can flow in a safe manner.
“We consult with the highways authority at Derbyshire Council and they will consider the figures and advise us whether the traffic impact on the highways is acceptable with changes to junctions and traffic movements.”
Waystone will also have to look at the impact beyond its application boundary, according to Ms Kay, and mitigate any potential impacts.
She said if any concerns about drainage, flooding and a potential strain on existing services in the area are identified, Waystone will also have to consider how it can mitigate these issues with possible extra costs.
There has already been an acknowledgement the nearest primary school is at full capacity so there will be a need for a new school if the application is approved, according to Ms Kay.
The residential, commercial and mixed-use plans have also included suggestions for a possible retirement village, neighbourhood centre, hotel, restaurant, job creation, health and care provision and support for educational and recreational uses with a green infrastructure.
Waystone has acknowledged opposition but has pointed out others have been supportive and welcomed the potential for economic growth, jobs and facilities.
The council’s planning committee had originally resolved to approve the application in June 2018, but following delays with legal agreements and the Covid-19 pandemic reports needed to be updated and the application has again come under consideration.