Controversial plans to build nearly 1,000 homes in Bolsover have moved a step closer today (Wednesday) - despite serious concerns being expressed by many councillors.
The planned 950 home development, on farmland land between Welbeck Road and Oxcroft Lane, was eventually approved by the planning committee of Bolsover District Council by a majority of ten to four.
The plan, which includes provision for a care home and an infant school, would also entail the demolition of five houses on Longlands and Welbeck Road to make way for a new access road.
Planning committee chairman, Councillor Duncan McGregor, said: “We have a difficult balance to strike - this is agricultural land but it is an area that has been previously identified for potential development.
“Given the demands of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the fact we don’t currently have a five year supply of housing, I will reluctantly approve the application.
During the meeting councillors were told by planning officers that, in the absence of a local plan, ‘considerable weight’ had to be given to the NPPF.
Bolsover’s current supply of housing stands at three and a half years - some way short of the five years demanded by the NPPF.
However, this did not stop a number of councillors expressing serious concerns over the proposed development.
Councillor Malc Crane said: “I strongly object to this application on the grounds of road safety.
“It won’t just impact the nearby roads - it will affect the town centre itself.”
He went on to say he thought the £395,000 the authority would receive as part of the section 106 agreement - where developers offer money to offset the impact of development - was ‘not enough’.
And the meeting also heard from local residents who were keen to voice their concerns about the application.
Marisa Cashill said: “This is open, green space in rural Bolsover that we should be preserving.
“Surely a couple of hundred houses dotted around the area would be better than almost a thousand on one large site.”