Thoresby Colliery closed in July 2015 ending nine decades of mining and the loss of 400 jobs. This had a major impact on the local community who were keen to have their views heard regarding the future of the colliery site. The resulting redevelopment proposals evolved as a result of extensive stakeholder engagement and pre-application discussions involving a range of events held at Thoresby Colliery itself.
In September 2015 local representatives and key stakeholders were engaged from very early in the process. Over 70 people attended an initial workshop which looked at the issues, opportunities and site constraints. This day long event included participants joining a land rover tour of the former colliery and spoil heap (the highest point in Nottinghamshire) to gain a first hand appreciation of the site and its surroundings. Representatives from Local Authorities and Parish Councils, Coal Authority, Network Rail, footpath and cycle organisations, adjacent landowners and ecologists from Natural England and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust then shared their thoughts as they explored potential future uses and how these might contribute to the future of the site and surrounding area.
Participants then returned for a second workshop in November 2015 to consider how their ideas could be reflected in an emerging masterplan and to explore how added value could be gained through connections between the site and surrounding areas (the former colliery is located in the heart of Sherwood Forest). Proposed uses included housing, employment and tourism focused opportunities
There was then a need to engage more widely with the local community. A public exhibition was held in July 2016 (key stakeholders invited to a preview session prior to the public opening). Over 400 people attended the exhibition which include a tour of the colliery, free pizza and a photographic exhibition “The End of the Mine”. 66% of the comments received supported the proposals in principle.
A suggestion from the initial workshop in September 2015 had included a ‘zip wire’ tourism attraction and in October 2016 a Zip Wire trial run/consultation event was held with approximately 50 guests trying out a temporary constructed line. Feedback was very positive and a Zip Wire attraction was included within the proposals.
An outline planning application was submitted in December 2016 seeking permission for up to 800 dwellings, strategic employment site, Country Park, local centre, leisure and recreation facilities, primary school and green space. The proposals will deliver over 1,000 jobs and have strong local community support.
Planning permission was granted in October 2017. Members were impressed by the quality of the submission and the extensive consultation undertaken. The decision was unanimous and Pegasus Group is now coordinating the reserved matters submissions and continuing the dialogue with stakeholders.
Our approach to consultation has been focused on an open and transparent engagement, starting early, listening to comments, sharing issues and opportunities and securing strong stakeholder and community support for the final masterplan.