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Nottinghamshire County Council to spend £4m so Top Wighay construction can begin

New council papers reveal opening up the site for development is expected to cost £4.382m between now and the end of March 2025.

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Nottinghamshire County Council expects to spend more than £4m alone on opening up the Top Wighay Farm site near Linby so new homes and council offices can be built.

The Conservative-led council is planning the huge building project alongside property developer Vistry, which is expected to submit detailed planning documents for the housing next month.

In total, more than 800 houses have already been given outline planning consent for the site, while 600 more could be given permission in future.

Now new council papers reveal opening up the site for development is expected to cost £4.382m between now and the end of March 2025.

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The costs include the construction of a new access road for the residential development, which would also be used to access the council’s future £15.7m office building.

Overall, construction and building work provided by the authority is expected to cost £4.078m during this year and the next financial year.

The Top Wighay Farm Development (credit Nottinghamshire County Council)

Papers reveal £3.978m of this is due to be spent before the end of the current financial year in March 2024, with the remaining £100,000 allocated for 2024/25.

Construction works, the authority says, will include a road and roundabout into the site.

In a report on the spending, the council said: “The proposed arrangements to develop the wider site with Vistry (for residential development), the release of the employment land, and the further access considerations for accessing the safeguarded land requires the provision of infrastructure in advance by the council.

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“The infrastructure also enables the opening up of the proposed council office site.

“The provision of the access road and roundabout into the site will accelerate and ensure the delivery of the overall Top Wighay scheme.”

An impression of the Top Wighay building. Image: LDRS

Papers reveal a further £305,012 will fund professional fees for the wider Top Wighay project.

This includes costs for all stages of development and planning, as well as site surveys and costs to the authority’s contractor Arc Partnership.

It follows an exempt report being filed by the authority confirming the land at Top Wighay will be sold off so the development can begin.

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Papers do not reveal the exact sum for the land sale due to the risk of causing “significant damage to the council’s commercial position”.

However, the council says Homes England funding has also been secured to deliver the wider project.

The council adds the wider scheme is “complex” and needs “significant upfront infrastructure works” to deliver the development.

The Top Wighay boarding on Annesley Road, Linby. Image LDRS.

This, it says, will help to deliver not just housing but also a new school, a local centre and the planned office space.

“It has been necessary to futureproof these aspects of the site to ensure these additional land parcels are protected in terms of access, services, and to enhance their value to the council in the future,” the authority adds.

The documents were approved during a delegated decision by Cllr Keith Girling (Con), cabinet member for economic development and asset management, on May 10.

Speaking after the decision, one opposition councillor called for any extra income from Top Wighay to improve services in nearby Hucknall.

Cllr Dave Shaw (Ash Ind), who represents Hucknall West on the council, said: “This development, whilst in Gedling, will have a significant, adverse impact on the infrastructure of Hucknall.

“We will therefore be fighting for as much money as possible from the expected windfall to be spent in Hucknall.

“We need urgent investment in our roads and pavements, more money for healthcare, urgent assistance with school places and much more.”

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