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Conservation area proposal for revolutionary Derbyshire farmstead.

An historic Derbyshire farmstead that was part of a radical scheme to provide work to unemployed miners through a national agricultural revolution is a step closer to being designated a conservation area.

Residents will get a say on whether the Oxcroft Settlement, near Bolsover, will be made into a conservation area after Bolsover District Council’s Planning Committee approved draft proposals.

The site consists of 40 smallholdings that were allocated to out of work miners in the 1930s by Derbyshire County Council in partnership with the Land Settlement Association, and was one of 20 such model farms established throughout the country.

The Draft Oxcroft Conservation Area Appraisal explains: “The Land Settlement Association was a Government initiative established in 1934 to address the mass unemployment of men in the coal mining and related industries. 

“Its purpose was to create the opportunity for the men to make a livelihood from working the land.”

It continues: “Oxcroft Farmstead was an ideal location being located close enough to the mines to enable the initial settlers to commute prior to taking up residence.”

Each semi-detached cottage was built with three bedrooms and a three-sty piggery and came with five acres of land, one of which was used for fruit trees and two for cultivation.

The miners had to complete two years of training in order to prepare them for agricultural life, after which they were given their smallholding.

Conservation area status would result in greater planning restrictions being enforced in order to preserve the settlement’s heritage .

The district council will now notify all property owners and make the appraisal document available for public consultation through the parish council and the Oxcroft Settlers Association.

Oxcroft Conservation Trees. Image taken from Bolsover District Council appraisal document.
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