Controversial plan for major homes development on former Eastwood school rejected

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“The applicant has refused to engage with residents and now they are ignoring the will of this committee”

Plans for more than 100 new homes in Eastwood have been rejected after a committee heard they would “destroy lives”.

The major development was planned for the former site of Lynncroft Primary School, in Walker Street.

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A decision on the plans was delayed in July 2023 by Broxtowe Borough Council after a resident said it would have a “detrimental impact” on the community.

The controversial homes plan has been rejected by councillors. (Photo: Google Maps)The controversial homes plan has been rejected by councillors. (Photo: Google Maps)
The controversial homes plan has been rejected by councillors. (Photo: Google Maps) | Google Maps

Residents in Garden Road and Atherfield Gardens, which border the site, said they would also be overlooked “from considerable height”.

The homes would be accessed via a single road which residents said was ‘inadequate’.

Some councillors suggested bungalows should be built along part of the development which backs onto existing housing, but the developer Avant Homes said this was not viable.

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Instead, Avant said they had reduced the height of the housing and would plant trees along the border of the site.

‘Serious concerns’

Council officers recommended the plans were approved, but councillors refused them unanimously at a planning meeting on September 6.

Cllr Bob Bullock, Labour councillor for the area, said he supported housing on the site but added he had “serious concerns”.

He said Avant Homes was “trying to pull the wool over the eyes of this committee”.

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In 2020 the applicant gained outline planning permission to build up to 200 homes on the site. The school buildings have been demolished after the site closed in 2017.

There is also outline planning permission for 60 assisted living apartments on the same site.

Resident Steve Willgoose said: “Sadly, since the last meeting where the councillors suggested that the applicant might reconsider the layout of this development, no such change has been made.

“Our privacy would still be removed entirely and new houses would still look directly into our homes.

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“Light levels will be reduced and this development will permanently block it from ever reaching our gardens and homes.

“Our outlook and the character of our gardens would also be destroyed.

“The applicant has refused to engage with residents and now they are ignoring the will of this committee.”

“I see no reason why we should give up one candle of light, one square inch of sky or one minute of privacy to benefit the property developer who is unwilling to fulfil their responsibilities to consult with us.”

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‘Overlooking destroys lives’

Cllr Bullock added: “I am concerned about the low level of affordable housing on this site and the over-intensive development with 104 houses on a site originally scheduled for 75.

“Cramming that many properties onto this site has led to the developers trying to build as close as possible to neighbouring properties.

“The impact on residents of Garden Road and Atherfield Gardens would be profound.”

Cllr Lydia Ball (Con) said overlooking and overshadowing “destroys lives”.

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She said: “There must be some way that the developer can help these people.

“Some people have possibly been living there all their lives.”

Before the decision, a spokesperson for Avant Homes said: “Since the application was deferred from July’s committee, we’ve been working to address concerns about the impact of the development on neighbouring dwellings.

“Avant has met with officers to work through detailed amendments to the scheme and I am pleased to say we have been able to provide a number of significant and positive changes.

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“We have lowered the height of the proposed houses that will back onto the neighbouring properties in Garden Road.

“Avant commissioned a sun study to assess whether overshadowing would be an issue. The study demonstrates there will be no harmful impact as a result of overshadowing or significant loss of sunlight.

“Additional landscaping is also proposed in the form of tree planting.”

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