Store plan sparks row

NDET 99063'Save Sherwood Green campaigners.
NDET 99063'Save Sherwood Green campaigners.

OVER 80 residents with concerns about a proposed multi-million pound Morrisons’ development coming to Bolsover packed a protest meeting to form the Save Sherwood Green campaign group.

The campaigners hope to preserve the land in the town centre which has been included in Morrisons’ plans to convert Bolsover District Council’s Sherwood Lodge council offices into a supermarket and a petrol station.

District Cllr Duncan Kerr, who voted against the council’s plans and hosted the meeting, told the Derbyshire Times: “This green has been loved by generations and continues to be used and appreciated and provides a wonderful habitat for wildlife.”

The council is selling its HQ and green land, off Oxcroft Lane, as part of a cost-saving plan with Morissons as its preferred developer and the authority aims to move to Clowne College while developing a £2m contact centre in Bolsover.

But residents packed the meeting at The North Star club, Bolsover, last Tuesday evening, to raise concerns including the loss of green land, increased traffic and the impact on businesses.

Steve Boler, of Oxcroft Lane, said: “I would like the project scrapped because I live 50 yards from the proposed secondary entrance and it will destroy our quality of life.”

Resident John Dale said there is ‘mass opposition’ because the scheme will destroy amenities and not bring jobs.

Selvanayagam Elanchelian, of Bolsover petrol station, on High Street, also submitted a petition at a council meeting, last Wednesday, with around 1,000 names of protestors who fear plans could squeeze out businesses.

The petition requested the council converts part of the site into a leisure centre instead.

The council argued it wants to preserve green space but feels this development will preserve a memorial garden, includes landscaping and addresses regeneration.

Morrisons and the council believe the scheme will ensure locals shop in the town and it will attract others and create 200 jobs.

The council rejected calls for a leisure centre on the grounds it would not be profitable but stated it wants to develop business relations. Council leader Eion Watts said: “We have to build a working relationship with the smaller businesses.”

A planning application is due at the district council this month with a decision in November and building may start by March 2013 with completion in May 2013.