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Hall rumours rejected





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Rumours that Ollerton Hall could be used as a young offenders’ institute have been dispelled.

The future of the hall, being redeveloped by Pullan Homes of Sheffield, was raised at Ollerton and Boughton’s annual town meeting.

Mr Pete Wilkinson, Newark and Sherwood District Council’s planning services manager, told the meeting that covenants were in place that restricted its use.

He said: “There are lots of rumours going around including that it is going to be a naughty boys’ home.

“There are quite strict restrictions on the covenants.

“Apart from nursing home or care home for the elderly — that’s where the council has reasonable discretion — the others are a distinct no-no.”

He said it could not be used as a provision for secure residential accommodation, including use as a prison, young offenders institution, detention centre, secure training centre, custody centre, short-term holding centre, secure hospital, secure local authority accommodation or use as a military barracks.

He said it could not be used for a residential institution, except as a residential care home or nursing home for the elderly, laser eye surgery or private cosmetic surgery clinic, at the council’s discretion.

Plans for the proposed redevelopment of the site were displayed at the Town Hall.

Mr Wilkinson told the public they were very privileged to have seen them because he had been trying to get them for months.

He said the company’s managing director, Mr Kevin Pullan, had indicated he was using planning permission granted for the Sue Ryder development in 1990, which was still valid because work was started.

But Mr Wilkinson said a long extension nearest to the river had been set back further than the original plans showed.

Mr Pullan has also indicated he was looking at making some revisions to the interior and exterior of the building, so new plans were needed.

Mr Wilkinson said once the plans had been submitted there would be a public consultation period.

Mr Wilkinson said the planning and the covenants were separate issues.

He said planning permission could be granted by the planning committee but the council might not agree to it because of the covenants.

Mr Wilkinson said Mr Pullan had indicated people were interested in a care facility, but he was keeping it close to his chest until negotiations were completed.

A member of the public, who was at the meeting, said the Ollerton Hall situation was a complete mess.

She asked why the planning conditions were not removed when the district council sold the site.

A town councillor, Mr Ray Shilling, said the people of Ollerton wanted it to be used l FROM PAGE 1.

for residential purposes and luxury apartments.

He said covenants could have been put in place that would have over-ridden existing planning conditions.

Mr Shilling said it was unfortunate this was not done, either because of an oversight or because it was not thought of at the time.

He said: “It could have ensured the building was used for what the people of Ollerton wanted.”

The chief executive, Mr Andrew Muter, said the council had no power to remove planning consent once it had been granted. He said he would look into Mr Shilling’s comments.

Mr Muter said it was not accurate to say people thought they could not build in the grounds and anyone who wanted to research the planning background of the site had had the opportunity.

A town councillor, Mr Stan Crawford, said there was not enough carparking shown in the plans, which would create problems in Ollerton village.

Mr Crawford called for the money raised through the sale of the hall to be spent in Ollerton.

Mrs Karen White, the district council’s head of legal, democratic services and human resources, said: “As landowner, the council can, and did, put covenants in place which override the Sue Ryder planning permission in respect of the use of the premises.

“However, in respect of operational development for which planning permission had already been granted a covenant prohibiting this would have been open to challenge.”

She said: “The council does have an option to buy back the property if the various events in the development timetable set out in the sale contract do not occur within the agreed timescale.

“One of these milestones is to complete the renovation works defined as making the property suitable for beneficial use and occupation and in any event to include making it wind and water tight, repairing the sash windows, installing stairs and floors and connecting to mains services, within 30 months from the completion date, which was July 20, 2007.

“If the council exercises its option to buy back the building, it would be at the same price the developers paid.”



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