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Reader’s letter: Vigorous opposition is required

The issue of the future of the Lilley and Stone School site has been out of the press for a while.

However according to the developer, Bildurn, it may be about to become the subject of the submission of an outline planning application that they are currently preparing.

I ask my fellow residents and the councillors and officers of both Newark Town Council and Newark and Sherwood District Council to consider the real situation as I see it.


An article in the Advertiser on September 28 about the Southern Link Road, referred to this development as liberating sites for an additional 2,600 homes to be built, between Middlebeck and Farndon.

Another piece on October 5 referred to an additional 3,500 homes to be built at Middlebeck.

Therefore, surely local housing need will be satisfied.

So what is the imperative for development of the Lilley and Stone site, with up to 150 new homes, when over 6,000 are likely to be built on the southern margins of our town?

I suggest that the imperative is that the developers will have acquired the site at a cost significantly below market value, should outline planning consent be granted.

If outline planning consent is given, the developers stand to make a huge amount of money from the sale of any properties they may construct, or part of the site they might sell for others to develop.

Any community benefit from approval would be nominal compared to the money to be made by developers.

It would be a tragedy if the benefit of this site and buildings to the people of Newark was to be lost to them for ever, or if the 'beneficiaries of the Lilley and Stone Charitable Trust' did not benefit in fair proportion from a sale at a proper value.

It is vital that any application for approval to develop this site should be vigorously resisted by both the public and the authorities to the limit of their powers.

Consideration might be given to taking it into public ownership, perhaps funded by the authorities, grant support, charitable support and public subscription.

The Towns Fund and Levelling Up spring to mind as examples.

The public resistance to this development is a matter of record in an ongoing petition and many letters previously published in the Advertiser.

For the avoidance of doubt, I am not opposed to developers per se, or them making money, and believe strongly that endeavour and risk should be proportionately rewarded. Development of this site is not an example where this would be the case. — THOMAS C. GREEN, Newark.

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