The following added 12/05/17

Proposed Demolition of Two Agricultural Buildings, Proposed Renovation and Change of Use for Two Existing Agricultural Buildings into Two Dwellings and Eight Further Proposed Dwellings

Moorgate Farm Buildings Tiln Lane Retford Nottinghamshire 


The Society has no concerns about conversion of the existing buildings but objects to the proposed erection of new dwellings.  

The site is well outside the built up area and the openness and rural character of its setting contribute significantly to the attractiveness of the listed main house here as well as to the rural character of this part of Tiln Lane.  The proposed new buildings would change this.  As they would not be confined to where structures are to be removed but would extend building out to the Lane, they would make the listed house appear more part of a continuous built up area with the fields in front of it being anomalous. The setting of the listed building would become much more urban in character at odd with its present rural nature and with the original function of the building. The development would also make it difficult to resist building on these fields as well which would further erode the character of the listed building and of this part of Tiln Lane.Application 16/01777/FUL

Demolition of Nursery Buildings and Erection of 113 Dwellings together with Access to London Road and Creation of Public Open Space at Kenilworth Nurseries Including Mount Vernon Lodge London Road Retford Nottinghamshire
Retford Civic Society is concerned about aspects of this development.
A single road access to London Road is proposed. Visibility here is restricted by the railway bridge and speeds are quite high.  Professional assessment of the access arrangements will be needed.  There may be a need for alterations within the highway e.g. right turning lane, slip lane, roundabout, speed limit, or lights. However, even with such alterations it is likely to be difficult for vehicles to emerge from the new access and the Society is concerned that drivers may be tempted to push out into the London Road traffic when it is unsafe to do so.  Even with careful design the junction may not operate safely and, if this is likely to be the case, planning permission should be refused.
This part of the London Road conservation area is characterised by large buildings relatively well spaced out.  The proposed access would run between Kenilworth Lodge and Mount Vernon Lodge, taking up all the space between their flank walls. There is so little space available that, although all the main roads within the development and in the wider area would have a footway on either side, here there would be room for a footway on one side only.  This would be dangerous for pedestrians who would have to cross the road and may instead be tempted to merely walk along the carriageway.  It would look squalid – a cramped entrance to a large housing estate wholly at odds with the spacious character of this part of the London Road conservation area.  For this reason, in its present form the development should not be permitted.
It is understood that this access design has been chosen in response to advice from the planning department so as to avoid having to demolish either of the existing road-side buildings.  Views may differ on the architectural quality of these buildings but squeezing an access road between them will erode what visual merit and setting they have individually and produce an unattractive cramped form of development.  It would make both houses much less pleasant places in which to live. If a new housing estate is to be built here it must have an attractive and safe entrance even if that means some demolition. Although they are attractive buildings, the houses flanking the proposed access are not particularly special and one of them should be removed to ensure that the new development blends well into the London Road scene.  Removing the northern house would allow the access to be moved slightly away from the railway, marginally improving visibility.
The site has drainage problems.  Measures will have to be taken to hold back rainwater so at to prevent downstream flooding in storm situations. This is acknowledged but there are no specific proposals and there can be no certainty that a satisfactory solution can be achieved.  The necessary works may prevent the layout proposed being implemented and they may require substantial works which are not shown in the application.  Balancing ponds and other changes could affect the appearance of this area and affect public safety as there is a public footpath nearby.  Planning permission should not be granted until detailed drainage proposals are provided so that their adequacy, and their effect on the appearance of the site and on public safety can be assessed
It appears to be envisaged that the housing shown in this application would eventually be extended to the rear. This is likely to involve opening a link into Rutland Road and would affect the living conditions of people there and add to pressure on the London Road/Grove Coach Road junction.  No permission or commitment in relation to this further development must be given until it is possible to fully assess its effect on traffic and the living conditions of residents in the area.
The development would greatly increase use of the footpath which runs along the edge and is partly within and partly outside the site. This footpath is unsurfaced and already muddy and difficult to use in wet weather.  It would need to be properly drained, surfaced and lit as part of the development and before any permission is granted there must be arrangements in place to ensure that this occurs. 


Society comments on Bridgegate Kebab Shop signage

I comment on behalf of Retford Civic Society. May I firstly say that the society is pleased that this building is being brought back into use after having been empty for some years, even though its location close to an existing Chinese takeaway, whose patrons sometimes park illegally outside it, gives rise to concerns about potential exacerbation of existing traffic problems on a narrow section of Bridgegate. However, our main concern is about the size and style of the proposed signage. The application makes the point that this is in keeping with that of other outlets in the vicinity, but in fact that is not the case. For one thing, the proposed red-and-yellow colour scheme is likely to appear very garish alongside the more restrained schemes of other businesses. For another, the size of the signage is also incongruous. In particular, the society is concerned about the erection of a large sign on the side (west) elevation, which it views as inappropriate and unnecessary. In conclusion, RCS believes that these proposals are inappropriate as they stand, and need to be modified so as to make them more in keeping with the character of a conservation area, and more in line with the scope and style of signage on adjacent outlets. R.T. White for Planning Committee, RCS

Society letters commenting on recent matters August 2014

Re: 14/00769/LBA Proposed New Build Residential Development, Consisting of; 8 No. 2/3 Bedroom Bungalows.

Former King Edward V1 School, London Road, Retford

The Society accepts that some of the land around the former school building should be developed for housing, but is keen to ensure that this leads to the refurbishment and reuse of the listed building which to Retford is a hugely important building and landmark as one enters the town.

Planning permission has already been given for a large number of dwellings to be erected at the rear of the site.  These are now more or less complete and are being marketed.  Despite this, no substantial progress has been made towards refurbishing the listed building other than relatively minor tidying up of its exterior.

The existing planning permission was given on the basis that the new dwellings permitted then, would help pay for works to the listed building and ensure that it is brought back into use.  There is nothing in the current application to show that more new building is required as ‘enabling development’.

The Society considers that no further buildings should be erected on the site, unless and until refurbishment of the listed building is complete and dwellings there are ready for occupation.  This should be made a precondition of any planning permission granted.

The Society is also very concerned about the scale and layout of the current application, and the fact that a 6 foot fence has been erected presumably without permission, either side of the London Road access.

 One of the proposed new buildings is far too close to the road, and well forward of the listed building and other buildings nearby.  Its presence and that of the fence seriously harm the setting of the listed building and street scene by reducing the openness of the London Road frontage.  Planning permission in the context of the current application should be refused, and a modified scheme reflecting our comments and concerns hopefully submitted. 

Re: Erection of a new automated petrol filling station and formalisation of the existing parking (Resubmission of P/A 12/01212/FUL)

Car Park Chancery Lane, Retford Ref. No: 14/00857/RSB

At a recent meeting, Retford Civic Society (RCS) fully discussed the above application, and it is quite apparent that views have hardened against any petrol filling station being permitted on this site.

We are well aware of the appeal inspector’s comments, and the views expressed in support of the application by agents acting on behalf of the applicants. It is our view however, that the impact from increased traffic on an already congested Wharf Road/ London Road junction is detrimental to the town. There are frequent delays and queues around the traffic lights, as well as the Aldi and Asda entrances. The filling station would make matters worse.

Pedestrian access for those entering the town on foot from the Queen Street area via West Street is poor, as pedestrians already walk in the road because the footway is unattractive, narrow and overgrown with vegetation. The introduction of a filling station will greatly increase the number of vehicles using West Street, increasing the hazard to pedestrians.

RCS feel strongly that Kings Park and its environs are a jewel in the crown for Retford, and as such should be protected from adverse development such as a town centre petrol filling station. RCS urges the Council to refuse permission for this development.

Re: Residential Development Comprising 68 New Residential Dwellings, Construct New Vehicle and Pedestrian Access

Former Retford Oaks High School, Ordsall Road, Retford Ref. No. 14/00803/FUL

The Society accepts the principle of residential development in this area but is concerned that the current proposal would remove completely the car park to the former sports centre which now acts as an over flow car park to the new leisure centre and sixth form college.  As the attached records show, this parking area is very well used by people visiting the leisure centre and sixth form college and unless equivalent provision is made elsewhere its loss would lead to roads in the area being congested with parked cars and to many people being deterred from using the leisure centre due to difficulty parking their cars. The situation would get worse as the leisure centre and sixth form college expand and attract more people.

There are currently no proposals to provide alternative parking facilities and there is no means of ensuring that such provision would be made if planning permission were granted.

The District Council is currently considering a formal request from the Society for designation as a Community Asset under the Localism Act 2011 of the parking area which would be lost.  The loss of this potential Community Asset is a material consideration to which considerable weight should be attached.

Planning permission should be refused because of the impact of the development on the present parking area and the consequences which this would have for kerbside parking, traffic flow and the amenity of residents in the area and its effect in deterring people from using the leisure centre.

The Society is also concerned about the effect of the development on trees within and adjacent to the site.  The applicants acknowledge that some trees would have to be felled and others pruned.  However the impact may be much greater than suggested as many of the houses would be very close to and overshadowed by trees shown as to be retained.  The Council is requested to check the relationship between each house and tree to ensure that it is not likely to lead to pressure in the future for more extensive felling and pruning which would harm the wooded character of the area.


 Society comments on recent planning matters  Feb. 2014

We are supportive of Bassetlaw’s preferred options consultation paper to provide a large area on the North Road for Employment growth and the suggested extension of Residential development sites to provide 359 dwellings between now and 2028, split 175 on the North Road and 184 in Ordsall. We have emphasised that Employment Growth should be delivered before or in line with Housing growth on the North Road, and highlighted the need for more local facilities (e.g. local shops, surgeries, parks etc) to support the continuing increase of dwellings in Ordsall.

·        There has been much public discussion surrounding the Council owned land adjoining the Sports Centre and Sixth Form College. We understand from Cllr Jo White that developers will shortly submit a scheme for planning approval, at which time RCS will be able to voice their concerns regarding public Car Parking at the Sports Centre which we think is totally inadequate, and will be made a lot worse if additional provision is not made within any scheme of development. We understand the plantation of trees fronting Babworth Road is not effected by the development.

·        We have supported the retrospective planning application by Mark Parkes to retain the Upvc windows fitted to the flats above 78/80 Carolgate (Watson’s Old Shop).

·        We have not objected to 5 Buttermarket House (the empty BDC retail shop next to the Town Hall) becoming a food storage and distribution centre.

·        We note an application to convert the former Salvation Army Freedom Hall on Exchange Street into a dwelling.

·        Greenswitch Developments Ltd have an application pending for a large Solar Farm just beyond the level crossing on the RHS of the Grove Road. It is set slightly back from the road, and discussions look as they will be ongoing until a flood appraisal plan is approved. If all proceeds, we assume it will look similar to the site under construction at Morton, again just beyond the level crossing on the LHS of the Babworth to A1/Worksop Road.

·        The February Hayton Newsletter refers to a consultation document received for the installation of two 77 metre high Wind Turbines on a site off Smeath Lane. Further information available from Peter Wilson Email . RCS takes all such applications on merit and has no specific policy as such on renewables, other than to highlight the energy crisis in the UK where long term solutions are required to meet an increasing demand.

February 2014



Relaxing Permitted Development Rights for Home Extensions and Businesses

 Hundreds of planning decisions are made every day across England that affect the places where we all live. We may not always agree with the results. Yet the fact that our cities, towns like Retford and countryside retain so much character is testimony to the importance of good planning informed by the views of the local community. This could change if the new Planning Reform Proposals are accepted at the end of this month.

  The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has released a consultation document entitled ‘Extending  Permitted Rights for Homeowners and Businesses’. The consultation proposes to increase permitted development rights for extensions to houses and business premises in non-protected areas in England, as well as streamlining the regime covering the installation of broadband infrastructure.

 The DCLG have said the new rights will not apply in protected areas such as National Parks, conservation areas, Areas of Outstanding Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest and would not remove the requirement for separate listed building consent.

 DCLG is proposing the following:

  • Increasing the size limits for the depth of single-storey domestic extensions from 4m to 8m for detached houses and from 3m to 6m for all other types of dwellings in non-protected areas. Currently this relaxation is set to be in place for a period of three years. No changes are proposed for extensions of more than one storey.
  • Increasing the size limits for extensions to shop and professional/financial services established to 100m2, and allowing the building of these extensions up to the boundary of the property in non-protected areas, with the exception of where the boundary is with a residential property. This too is set for a period of three years.
  • Increasing the size limits for new industrial buildings within the curtilage of existing industrial premises to 200m2, in non-protected areas, for a period of three years.
  • Removing some prior approval requirements for the installation of broadband infrastructure for a period of five years.


So the changes essentially allow the same permitted extension as before, but stretching up to twice the distance allowed at the present time, garden size or space permitting.

 We are told that these measures will increase economic growth within the construction industry and the economy in general.

 In September the Royal Institute of British Architects published the results of a YouGov survey it had commissioned. This survey found that more than half of the respondents believed that the extensions policy would see the design quality of neighbourhoods get worse. The Civic Society movement believes the short-term policy could pave the way for poor design decisions that could damage the built environment for years to come.

 Planning will never be easy. Many conflicting views have to be taken into consideration. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but what is essential is we all have the opportunity to have our voice heard.

 These proposals will mean neighbours will not be able to object to unsightly and intrusive developments and big business will be able to install broadband boxes and other infrastructure without notifying local councils, effectively removing the community voice.