Newark Town Council’s planning committee has objected to plans submitted by Bildurn to develop the former Lilley and Stone School Site with housing
Plans to develop the former Lilley and Stone School with housing have received further objections.
Newark Town Council's planning committee met this week to discuss a hybrid planning application submitted by Bildurn for the former school site on London Road, Newark.
The plans would see the conversion of Lilley and Stone's main listed buildings to provide 32 apartments and the demolition of other out-buildings to make room for the erection of 35 new dwellings, including access, parking and landscaping.
The hybrid aspect of the application refers to outline planning permission also being sought for the principle of up to 67 additional new dwellings elsewhere on the site.
The plans have already faced significant criticism from the public and campaign groups such as Lilley and Stone Site in Peril Community Organisation.
A number of councillors sitting on the Lilley and Stone Charity board of trustees also subsequently resigned as trustees over the plans.
A member of the public was invited to speak on behalf of concerned residents before the plans were then discussed by the council's planning committee.
The man said: "l am against this development because it is the wrong kind of development in the wrong place for Newark.
"I am not going to go into the application in forensic detail because that is irrelevant to the principle, however there are inaccuracies, errors and inconsistencies in the application.
"There is no programme or sequence of operations given and neither is a commitment to complete conversion of the listed buildings before any new construction is started, which had been stated orally."
"I know that my opinion is shared by in excess of 1,200 Newark residents who have signified their opposition to this kind of development on this site.
"However some kind of development may be inevitable to save and protect listed buildings that are fundamental to the character and quality of the environment in Newark.
"Any developer that is prepared to become involved in this site is to be applauded — but the current plans are not."
The resident suggested that the application should be refused for several key reasons, including the loss of green space used by many within a short walking distance of the town centre and residential areas and the loss of important mature trees.
Impact on biodiversity was also raised with residents reporting seeing foxes, grass snakes, hedge hogs, and the possibility of nesting buzzards on the site.
"Existing infrastructure would be impacted and it is by no means certain that it could cope," he said.
"The impact of the discharge from 134 new homes would be significant on an ancient system.
"Schools and Health facilities would be impacted and they are already running at capacity.
"Impact on local traffic to the north and south of the site would be significant.
"Congestion on London Road is already disruptive and would be much worse at peak times."
Concern was also raised about the plans being submitted as a hybrid application and accused the developers of 'paying lip service' to the public consultation, suggesting that the wider public opinion on the plans was very different from the implied positive responses published by the applicant.
Councillor Cropper also had concerns about the planning process, saying: "I didn't feel that the consultation itself was done properly.
"The questions felt very leading and left no room for alternatives.
"I recognise that the listed buildings are in need of repair but we were given no other option by the developer when it comes to the rest of the site."
Neil Ross praised the plans to save the derelict listed building and bring them back into use, but said that there was already a sufficient level of land allocated for new housing around Newark over the next five years and that the current plans for the Lilley and Stone site were not necessary.
Mathew Skinner, said: "I have my reservations about the plans but I also see their merits.
"I think the point raised by the gentleman that spoke was excellent and we should encourage the developer to follow a condition whereby the listed buildings on site have to be developed before any other housing can be built.
"I would also be concerned about the surrounding roads, such as Boundary Road which is fragile as it is.
"These roads were designed for horse and cart, not great big lorries.
"I came in with an open mind but I'm not sure I can make a decision at this stage."
The council chose to object to the application, with two abstentions.
Comments about the negative aspects of the site will be highlighted in their submission to the developer, but positives will also be included.
Newark and Sherwood District council will have the final say on whether or not the plans are approved.