Council’s reply to Blyth development

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A response to Sam Chetwynd’s article “Hopes over plans to get town thriving” (Worksop Guardian, July 12th 2013) from Blyth Parish Council.

Thank you for your article concerning the proposed commercial development in Blyth to the west of Blyth Road. We would like to point out immediately that the photograph accompanying the article is of Bawtry Road and the land immediately west of Bawtry Road, whereas the area of oncern is actually Blyth Road and the land to the west of Blyth Road, none of which is visible in your photograph.

We would also like to point out that the description of the area in question as “just outside the development boundary of Harworth and Bircotes”, although accurate, avoids the use of the much more appropriate description “in Blyth”.

Blyth Parish Council have consistently objected to this development and will continue to do so, although any remuneration as a result of the development would go to Blyth rather than

Harworth/Bircotes, we feel that this is far outweighed by the deleterious effects upon Blyth and its residents, particularly those who live on Harworth Avenue, directly opposite the site of the proposed development. Although we are in sympathy with the comments of Councillor June Evans concerning the employment situation in Harworth and Bircotes, we feel that those same comments identify a more convenient solution - the demise of the mining industry has already made available large areas within Bircotes itself which would be ideal for industrial redevelopment.

Our objections are:

1. The area earmarked for redevelopment is, and has been for a long time, productive prime farmland. In this day and age, it is irresponsible to destroy this in favour of an industrial development of questionable efficacy.

2. The development is based upon “starter” units mainly for small business purposes and including a substantial amount of warehousing space. Our position is that this would do very little to offer new employment to anyone in the immediate area. Warehousing, in particular, implies very low staffing levels. There are already industrial developments further north on Blyth Road and a considerable number of those units are, and have been for some time, empty. If those are not being utilised for new business start-ups and consequent job creation, then there is no logic whatsoever in the claim that a similar development a mile or so south of there would fare any better.

3. The outline plans for the new development include considerable areas for the parking of vehicles, and the implication is, therefore, that traffic on Blyth Road would increase. Blyth Road is already overused by heavy vehicles and this could only worsen that situation. This is of particular importance to the residents of Harworth Avenue and the few houses on Blyth Road itself, whose only vehicular access to their properties is Blyth Road. It can be a scary business trying to join the traffic stream on Blyth Road from Harworth Avenue. This development increases the risk to the physical safety of those residents.

4. The southern end of the proposed development site is an area of considerable historic interest recognised by English Heritage and by the conservation team at Nottingham County Council. The aerial photographs of Dr Derrick Riley identified cropmarks indicating the existence of what is possibly an important Bronze Age ritual site. Cropmarks identify ancient disturbances which may not be very deep within the ground. Without a detailed archaeological survey, it is impossible to say what these cropmarks represent and there is a very good chance that any development would destroy them.

On behalf of Blyth Parish Council