Retford: New social housing plans rejected on historical grounds

Bridgegate, Retford

Bridgegate, Retford

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A plan to build new social housing in Retford has been rejected by Bassetlaw Council.

The original proposal, by William Davis Ltd, was to demolish buildings containing empty shops in Bridgegate and build 32 new houses in their place.

That was then amended to retain a rebuilt facade of one of the buildings with four flats behind that, while an additional new-build on the corner of the development would raise the number of new houses to 33.

However, the scheme was rejected by the council’s planning committee, who felt the historical cost to Retford town centre was too high.

“This scheme looks like it’s been cobbled together and I want the developers to go away and come up with something better,” said Coun Graham Oxby.

“I support affordable housing and it is much-needed but not at the expense of knocking down an historical part of Retford.”

“Bridgegate is historically rich and is the historic gateway into Retford.”

“There are no real objections to this proposal, just views, and a scheme like this is good from a social housing point of view.”

“But it seems to me that the developer appears to have no concept of the history of Retford and the historical value of these buildings on Bridgegate.

Coun Oxby’s views were backed up by Coun Annette Simpson, who said: “If there was some way we could put the houses behind the original facades and so keep those original buildings and the shops in them, that would be perfect.”

The proposal was rejected by the council’s planning committee, to the disappointment of Sarah Robinson of Waterloo Housing Group, who were working with William Davis on the scheme.

“This is an opportunity missed to provide a community with affordable housing,” she said.