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Sandhills land may be developed under new Local Plan

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Bassetlaw District Council is pausing plans for the disposal of its land known as Sandhills in Retford, until it can be considered as part of the Council’s new Local Plan.

The Council had originally intended to secure planning permission for the site before selling it to a housebuilder, with the proceeds reinvested in capital projects in the area.

However, following an initial consultation by Planning Consultants DLP, the Council has now decided to determine the future of the site within the framework of the Local Plan process. The first step will see the Council launch its “Call for Sites” which will look to identify land within Bassetlaw that may be suitable for development such as housing, employment, commercial, mixed use and traveller sites over the next 15 years.

Land owners have until 9th January 2016 to make any submissions. However, not all submissions are guaranteed to be included within the final ‘Local Plan’ and the public will be included at every stage of the Local Plan development, beginning with a public consultation in spring 2016.

The Council intends to submit Sandhills as part of the “Call for Sites” process, feeding into the development of the Local Plan. Over the next 18 months a rigorous assessment of all of the submitted sites will take place as they are appraised for their suitability for future development, and a strategy to determine which sites should be allocated is then produced. The public will then be consulted on the draft Local Plan in August 2017.

The plan will then be subjected to examination by the Planning Inspectorate, including a public hearing, before it can move forward to full adoption around January 2019.

Councillor June Evans, Cabinet Member for Finance at Bassetlaw District Council said:

“We have taken the decision to align the future of our site at Sandhills with the Local Plan process. In the first instance this means that the Council has pressed pause on its plans for securing planning permission and then disposing of the site. We will put it forward as part of the Call for Sites process, but there is no guarantee that this will be successful. Ultimately the Council would still like to sell this land, but this is now part of the Local Plan process and we must act accordingly.”