Elation as housing plans thrown out

Campaigners at Winsick celebrate the planning decision not to build houses on green land off Mansfield Road
Campaigners at Winsick celebrate the planning decision not to build houses on green land off Mansfield Road
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There were tears of joy at a packed council meeting as the planning committee rejected proposals for a major housing development on greenfield land.

North East Derbyshire District councillors were met with a rapturous applause after they voted unanimously to reject planning permission for a 160-house development on land between the A617 and Mansfield Road, Hasland.

NDET 7-5-13 MC 5'Campaigners at Winsick celebrate the planning decision not to build houses off Mansfield Road

NDET 7-5-13 MC 5'Campaigners at Winsick celebrate the planning decision not to build houses off Mansfield Road

It was standing room only at the meeting on Tuesday, as dozens of objectors turned out to raise issues including traffic congestion, damage to wildlife habitats and the rate of affordable housing.

Peter Newton, of the Winsick Action Group, told the meeting the proposed 32 affordable housing units – 20 percent of all the houses – didn’t meet the requirements set out in NEDDC’s Local Plan Strategy.

He said: “New builds of this size on greenfield should yield 40 percent affordable housing.

“A huge percentage of this land is unsuitable to build on. The developers are ignoring planning criteria.”

Paul Burton, regional manager of developers, Hallam Land Management, said: “The policy is 40 per cent but it wasn’t viable for this site. If you want the private sector to come and invest there has got to be a profit for them at the end.”

Julie Harris, from the action group, said: “The residents are already egging each others doors because of parking issues. If they draw blood, emergency services would struggle to get down the road because they’re too narrow with parked cars on kerbs.”

Cllr Betty Hill, added: “Traffic is terrible there. We need housing but it can’t be housing at any price.”

Speaking after the result, Jim Hughes, of Mansfield Road, said: “We feel absolutely great – we are over the moon.

“But now we want to ask the question of the council, why did they recommend this be approved when it goes against policy?”

A spokesperson for North East Derbyshire District Council, said: “The application was recommended for approval by officers in their role as advisors to members of the Planning Committee. Notwithstanding the officer view that despite the location of the site outside any currently defined settlements, the application would add to the supply of housing in North East Derbyshire members took the view that the protection of the site from any additional development, the prevention of Winsick merging with Chesterfield and the impact the development would have on highway safety in the area were overriding considerations in this case and so resolved to refuse the application.” A spokesperson for Hallam Land Management said they were waiting to find out reasons for refusal.