Plans finalised for 313 new homes on Melton factory site
Detailed plans have been submitted for more than 300 new homes in Melton which would result in one of the town’s larger employers moving its operations to another site it owns.
The properties are earmarked for the land at Snow Hill which has been in industrial use for over a century and which is currently occupied by JELD-WEN, which manufactures, stores and distributes timber doors, windows and staircases from there.
Landowners, Worthearly Ltd, have applied to Melton Borough Council to build 313 houses and apartments on the site, which is just south of Melton Country Park.
Planning permission has already been given by the council for JELD-WEN to move its activities to its Thorpe Road site nearby, including demolishing, altering and extending existing buildings, and the landowner has extended the company’s lease until September 2023 to give it time to do that.
Part of the Snow Hill site will be retained to continue manufacturing staircases for up to five years - while the homes are being built - before that activity is also relocated to the site.
If approved, the scheme will include a range of houses, maisonettes and apartments, with one, two, three and four bedrooms.
There will be 172 ‘affordable’ properties, made up of 144 ‘intermediate’ shared ownership units and 28 for rent.
Access would be via existing roads, Stanley Street and Egerton Road, plus a further new point of access close to where the northern gate to the plant is now.
A report from the applicant accompany in the report states that the aim ‘is to create a richly vegetated residential community, to connect to the
existing green networks surrounding the site including the Melton Country Park and to maximise outdoor activity and use’.
It continues: “The site is well connected to local facilities and services, and the housing being offered is of a range of type and sizes, and will provide much needed affordable accommodation and make a substantial contribution to the delivery of Melton’s affordable housing needs overall.”
The site has been a sawmill and a place where timber goods have been manufactured for more than 100 years while before that the land contained a flour mill and mill leat, with water being diverted from the Scalford Brook, which forms the eastern boundary of the plot.
Proposals for a housing development on the land were first outlined at a two-day public consultation in October 2017, when 72 people from 59 local addresses attended.
Concerns were raised then about significantly increased traffic accessing the scheme from Norman Way but the applicants say the subsequent advanced progression of the town’s partial bypass, the Melton Mowbray Distributor Road, should result in fewer vehicles moving through the town centre.
Attendees were also concerned that employees at JELD-WEN, which has occupied the site for 30 years, would retain their jobs.
Referring to that public consultation, the applicant’s planning report says: “The general feedback from the large majority of attendees was positive, and welcomed the regeneration of the site – especially on the basis that the existing commercial use was to be relocated within the town.”
The delay in moving the plans forward in the last almost four years are blamed on changes to government housing leglislation and then the coronavirus pandemic.
The application site also includes the small parcel of land on King’s Road, to the east of the Scalford Brook, which currently contains the firm’s visitor reception and car park.
A disused railway embankment - from the old Melton to Nottingham railway line which was closed in 1966 - forms the northern boundary of the development and the thicket of trees and shrubs will be retained as an attractive green space.
There will be open space is provided along the eastern border adjacent to the brook, and in two main areas to the north and south of the site, connected via a central avenue. The existing footpath to the country park will be upgraded and better lit, according to the plans,
The landowner has pledged to gift two areas of the site - where the rentals are proposed adjoining Beckmill Court and also land to the west which is currently occupied by the staircase site until it is relocated.
The overall application will be determined by Melton Borough Council’s planing committee at an upcoming meeting.