11
Jun
09

Pleasley Hill Redevelopment

At a recent meeting of the Western Area Assembly, there was further discussion of the future of Pleasley Hill. Although Mansfield District Council opened  by blaming the credit crunch for the continued the delays, they claim to be still on track.

Pleasley Hill

Developers were due to submit their proposals to the council by the 20th April. We understand that the council are now considering the proposals submitted by any potential developers, and will return to the residents after their meeting at the end of June. At some point a consultation process will start with residents, who either wish to be re-homed or choose to remain in the area.

Home owners in the area raised concerns about the recent drop in property values, due largely to the economic crisis and the state of the surrounding area. It was put forward that compensation would be paid to these residents, and that previously similar cases had received up to £20,000. However with homes losing their value and mortgages hard to come by, to some this offered little hope.

There were also concerns raised over monies and how much will be put in by the council and the developers, suggesting that no clear cost or budget has been established. And a local councillor pointed out that the residents had once been told that the money was allocated, only now to be told that the money needed to be raised. Some residents were left wondering about the cost of public art in the town centre, while they continue to live in a poorly maintained and neglected environment.

Other residents raised concerns about already growing heating bills being exacerbated by empty properties on each side of their homes, pleading with the council to act.

Should the development move forward in June, it will be interesting to see how many of the requirements Mansfield council placed on the development are actually met. Mansfield Council’s vision for Pleasley Hill as the Gateway to Mansfield is a lofty ideal. At the heart of their plan is the desire to transform the area in to a visually attractive “Gateway to Mansfield”. They have also asked developers to show that they have considered a whole host of sustainable building methods, and energy saving measures. These include such things as water re-cycling, solar power, wind turbines, green roofs and much more. While we have found no reference to this project as an “eco-town” it is clear that the houses they would like build broadly fall in to this category. It was also noted that the portion of the development allocated for social housing would not end up as council properties. Instead they would be housing association houses, that many view  as more expensive. We can only wonder how much rent will be demanded for these new houses. Especially from people who simply want to stay in the area. We also wonder how many of the eco-friendly features will be a part of the social housing.

Eco-houses are of course good news. New houses that are cheaper to run, and environmentally friendly can only be a good thing. So long as a premium is not demanded simply because of their features. One resident did ask if these plans were going ahead, and Mansfield Council’s spokesman said that they were. Hopefully once a developer has been chosen, and the residents get to see the developer’s proposals. Residents will be able to ensure that their interests are not neglected again.

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