Protesters fear proposed massive housing scheme near Worksop will result in loss of greenfield land
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Waystone has submitted a planning application to Bolsover Council seeking permission for a 24-hectare, mixed development of employment land with about 1,800 residential dwellings called Clowne Garden Village with community and commercial facilities.
However, campaigner Gregory Lindley, of Clowne Community Association and Local History Society, said: “This development is set to be built out over the next 25-30 years and beyond – a nightmare picking away day-by-day, of the loss of fields, hedgerows, traffic congestion and pollution digger trucks and upheaval, kids that can’t get into school or doctors and a traffic system that already can’t cope made increasingly worse.”
Many residents from Clowne and nearby Barlborough have raised concerns about the plans to develop land north of Clowne, which includes part of the village centre off Hickinwood Lane.
Worries include the possible impact on highways, drainage, flooding, and services such as schools and healthcare, and the loss of countryside and the impact on wildlife.
Mr Lindley claims the council made an "exceptional case” of originally taking agricultural land out of Green Belt at Clowne and earmarking it for “industry”, which has paved the way for housing developers after plans for 660 homes at the former Coalite site, near Buttermilk Lane, Bolsover, had to be scrapped to allow the HS2 high-speed railway to cut through the area.
In the meantime, the council is considering Waystone’s application for Clowne Garden Village which also includes a possible retirement village, neighbourhood centre, hotel, restaurant, healthcare provision and support for educational and recreational use with a green infrastructure.
Mr Lindley said: “We have a consensus in local politics here now because of this – never known before – where people of all political parties are actually sitting down together and talking the same language with local community members. The common language is one of absolute opposition to this development proposal.”
Both Waystone and the council are consulting with residents in Clowne and Barlborough, as well as with organisations including National England, the Coal Authority, Environment Agency, Highways England, Yorkshire Water and Derbyshire Council.
During initial proposals, Waystone acknowledged some opposition, but highlighted a good number were supportive, welcoming economic growth, jobs and facilities.
Two community events were recently organised to consider the plans while the application is still out for public re-consultation.
Those wishing to find out more can visit publicaccess.bolsover.gov.uk/online-applications, and search reference 17/00640/OUT – comments can be submitted to the council using the same reference.
The council’s planning committee had originally resolved to approve the application in June 2018, but following delays reports needed to be updated and the application has again come under consideration.
A council spokesman said: “Applications of this scale and nature take several years to determine and progress, simply due to the complexity of the legal agreement and planning conditions.
“There was also a significant delay due to the pandemic and the latter need for the application documents to be updated.”
Other possible housing plans across Bolsover include the proposed Whitwell Tip development of 400 homes and six hectares of employment land.