144 homes are approved for Snibston Museum site
PLANS to build 144 homes on the former site of Coalville’s Snibston Discovery Museum have been approved.
Councillors on North West Leicestershire District Council’s planning committee voted in favour of the county council development on Wednesday (May 9).
The visitor attraction was closed in 2015 by Leicestershire County Council to save cash, despite campaigners fighting to keep it open.
The museum was then demolished to make way for new homes.
Coun Terri Eynon, speaking at the meeting as a member of the Coalville Heritage Society, asked councillors to back the plans.
She said: “With proper management, this scheme will be something we can be proud of here in Coalville.
“Better this plan, than no plan at all.”
The former colliery’s historic pithead buildings will remain on the site and form part of a heritage trail.
Coun John Legrys said he was disappointed how things had turned out.
He said: “That heritage site has the same recognition in world order as the Taj Mahal. We need to be proud of that here in Coalville.
“But this is 144 houses on a brownfield site, it’s a no brainer.”
Coun Virge Richichi felt that the council could have created a ‘heritage site’. He said: “This site is a heritage site and we’ve been very negligent in allowing it to deteriorate to the way it is now. It could have brought money into the town.
“It’s rather unfortunate that we as a council don’t have the finances to create a real heritage site for future generations.”
The county council’s plans also include extending the popular Century Theatre to create a new café and visitor centre for the nearby Snibston Country Park.
It has also submitted a separate planning application for a new pedestrian and cycle route along the former mineral railway line that served the pit.
The county council has been asked to contribute around £750,000 towards services which would be affected by the new homes such as healthcare and education.
The land will now be sold to a developer.