Plans approved for 800-home Notts colliery regeneration

Plans have been approved for up to 800 homes, a strategic employment site and a new country park on a 150-hectare former colliery site in Nottinghamshire, after planners concluded that a non-policy compliant level of affordable housing is acceptable.

A visualisation of the finished development (pic: Harworth Group plc)
A visualisation of the finished development (pic: Harworth Group plc)

Newark and Sherwood District Council approved the plans for the former Thoresby Colliery at Edwinstowe at a planning committee meeting last week.

The application sought outline planning permission for 800 homes, more than 32,000 square metres of employment space, a 99-hectare country park, a local centre including leisure and retail uses, and a new primary school.

According to a planning report, the site is proposed to be allocated as a strategic urban extension in the council’s amended core strategy, which was submitted to the secretary of state in September.

The proposed allocation "identifies the application site for large-scale housing development, employment land uses, leisure and community uses, including retail, to meet local needs and associated green, transport and other infrastructure", the report said.

However, planners said that the proposal "falls short" of the level of affordable housing required by the core strategy and other contributions, including community facilities and children’s play space.

The report said that the core strategy requires 30 per cent on-site affordable housing to be provided by such developments. However, following a "robust" review of the applicant’s viability submission, it advised that a 7.5 per cent affordable housing level was "on balance" acceptable.

The report concluded that, taking into account other infrastructure requirements and overall site viability, it would be reasonable to accept such a shortfall "so as not to inhibit the development and to ensure the delivery of a sustainable housing development which contributes towards the council’s five-year housing land supply and beyond".

Officers recommended that a review mechanism be put in place over the scheme’s ten-year build-out: "The market may well change over this period, and if there were to be a change for the better, in that viability is more buoyant, it is only right that the scheme provide the opportunity to address the policy shortfall."

Recommending approval, the report said that the scheme would deliver "more than 1,000 new jobs, new housing and thorough and careful restoration of the spoil heap to provide leisure and recreation opportunities".

Consultancy Pegasus Group submitted the application on behalf of Harworth Group plc. 

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