The area’s economy is set to receive a major boost after ambitious plans to create a country park on the former Bentinck tip site were given the go-ahead by council chiefs yesterday.
The decision to create the park will see the creation of more than 100 new jobs in the area – and campaigners also say it will allay people’s fears that the site could be used for landfill in the future.
Last year we reported that Broomco had unveiled plans to create the park.
The proposals for the park, which borders Selston include a host of facilities such as outdoor classrooms, an equestrian centre, an 18-hole golf course and club house, camping facilities, fishing ponds, small business units, wind turbines and football pitches across the 83-hectare site.
They were approved by members of Nottinghamshire County Council’s planning committee at County Hall last week.
Plans had previously been submitted to create a landfill site in the area – but these were thrown out by the county council in 2010 following a long campaign by residents.
The site, which is currently made up of colliery waste and lagoons, is set to be called Portland Park after the mining shafts which were once in the area.
Addressing the meeting, Paul Stone, who represents Broomco, said: “The application provides a unique opportunity to restore a large, prominent scar on the landscape and replace it with a recreation facility that will appeal to all people from the new-borns to the centenarian.
“The site has a long and chequered history that has galvanised and politicised the local community for many years.
“However, the current application is in stark contrast to previous proposals.”
Cllr Gail Turner, who represents Selston, said: “On entering Nottinghamshire on the motorway the first thing people see is not the green and pleasant canopies of Sherwood Forest but the weeping, open sore of Bentinck tip.
“It doesn’t give the impression of a vibrant, open-for-business county – but this application will change that.”
Cllr Turner, who helped fight plans to build a landfill in the area, added that the park will not only create jobs directly, but will also boost nearby cafes, shops and attractions, while people in the community were prepared for the impact of lorries because they wanted to see the end result.
Speaking after yesterday’s meeting Leigh Dyson, co-owner of Broomco, said: “It’s great news. We’d like to thank everybody who has helped us along the way.”
Cllr Turner added: “It’s fantastic news. It’s now going to be an outdoor recreation facility that the whole community can use. There will be open air classrooms and football pitches – who wouldn’t want that? We are also free from the scare from landfill.”