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News : Centre Set To Go Ahead Despite Planning Row
Dec 4, 2013 -- Protestors opposed to a new council contact centre believe the development may not have got the go-ahead if council bosses had not committed a planning oversight.
Bolsover District Council hopes building work will start for the new centre, on Middle Street, by January, after the council sold its former Sherwood Lodge offices to make way for a new Morrisons supermarket.
But after the Ombudsman announced last month that Sherwood Lodge included public open space that was wrongly sold by the council, Bolsover Civic Society feels Morrisons’ council-approved application may have been considered differently and this may have affected the centre planning decision.
Society chairman Bernard Haigh said: "It’s sad the council did not check records. If they had checked the original conveyance there may have been a different outcome."
Mr Haigh opposed Morrisons’ application, which is going ahead, because of the potential impact on smaller traders, its central location and limited access concerns. The society was also opposed to a new, big, expensive contact centre on a restrictive site with limited parking and access and feared it would fail to blend in with surroundings.
The council said there had been nothing in the deeds about public open land, that Sherwood Lodge had been appropriated for development years ago and Derbyshire County Council had rejected the site for Village Green Status. It argued people had been given a chance to object during consultations and all concerns were considered before its planning committee approved both plans.
The complainant, who alerted the Ombudsman about the public land, said: "I think it would have made a difference to the end results because people have felt strongly that it was public land."
Bolsover District Council’s planning committee has approved the Morrisons development and the contact centre plan. Both are still going ahead despite The Local Government Ombudsman’s findings that public open land was wrongly sold.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Bolsover District Council:
Bolsover is a local government district in Derbyshire, England. Its main town is Bolsover.
Published: Wednesday, December 4, 2013