The Co-Operative Group: Papplewick Lane, Hucknall

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The promotion and planning application for a 300 home site that crossed the boundary of two local authorities.

NJL Consulting has been involved in the promotion of a site at Papplewick Lane in Hucknall, near Nottingham, since 2009. NJL has provided strategic advice on the site’s promotion through the planning process and managed the subsequent planning application which was submitted in November 2013.

The Co-operative Group controls over 15ha of agricultural land to the north east of Hucknall. The site was previously allocated as ‘Safeguarded Land’ and in 2009, NJL were appointed to promote the site through the Local Plan as a Sustainable Urban Extension to the town.


In addition to complex on-site issues, the site straddles two local authority boundaries, with the homes falling in Gedling Borough Council but the access road within Ashfield District Council.  Hucknall itself, which the site would be an extension of, was also in Ashfield.

Our Role

The early stages of the project involved promoting the site through the emerging Local Plan in Gedling Borough.  As well as preparing representations to the various drafts of that document, NJL also managed a consultant team to prepare a Vision Document for the site, setting out why it was suitable for development.  Given the cross-boundary issues, care was taken to involve Ashfield District Council at every stage in the process.

Papplewick LaneThrough continued close working with both Council’s a number of potential challenges were identified.  As well as ensuring the access arrangements could be workable, ground related issues meant that drainage of the site was difficult.  However, NJL was able to come up with a solution that worked technically but was also acceptable in planning terms which involved placing balancing ponds in an area of Green Belt to the north of the site.  This off-site solution, branded an ‘Ecology Park,’ ensured that the scale of the development was uneffected.

As a consequence of this work, Gedling Borough Council proposed to allocate the site for residential development in their new Local Plan.  Consequently, NJL prepared and submitted a planning application for the site.  As well as producing a supporting Planning Statement, NJL project managed the wider consultant team to ensure that the application was comprehensive and robust.

The development site has faced strong local opposition throughout the process and therefore extensive public consultation was carried out prior to submitting the application. NJL managed that process, organising mailshots, setting up and attending public exhibitions and managing the creation of a website. In addition to this, NJL engaged with a local architectural design review panel in order to obtain their views on the scheme.

The application is now live and is currently being considered by both Gedling and Ashfield Councils.