Petition over homes bid is signed by 1,800 people

sp92311 Ripley Housing Petition Handed Over. L-R, Valerie Phelps, Robert Briggs, John Payne, John Briggs, Pam Briggs, Wendy Hogg.

sp92311 Ripley Housing Petition Handed Over. L-R, Valerie Phelps, Robert Briggs, John Payne, John Briggs, Pam Briggs, Wendy Hogg.

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A PETITION with over 1,800 signatures was delivered to Amber Valley Borough Council last week protesting against proposals to build as many as 500 houses in Swanwick.

Villagers are calling on the council to withdraw two sites from the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) - which could see them earmarked for building.

They say greenfield land at Lily Street Farm and Greenbelt land at the back of Derby Road, between South Street and the Butterley Reservoir, should never have been included in the Housing Growth Options consultation.

Resident John Briggs, who lives on Derby Road, said: “They should never have been identified as potential sites. It will be a sprawl linking towns up and it will be out of control.”

Mr Briggs said he has personally received 93 individual letters opposed ot the sites but assumes there have been hundreds of other objections.

An open meeting in August saw around 300 concerned residents pack into an emergency meeting called by Swanwick Parish Council.

Councillor Gareth Hardwick said: “Residents were keen to maintain their village status and in maintaining areas of natural beauty, in which to walk and enjoy the wildlife.”

He said that villagers were concerned about potential subsidence from mining, flooding problems, as well as the increased pressure on local infrastructure. He added that over the last 15 years, planning permission to develop land on either side of the B6179 had been challenged by the Parish Council and turned down by the Planning Inspectorate.

Mr Briggs fears the National Planning Policy Framework would reduce planning restrictions and give free rein to landowners and developers. He said: “People are really up in arms and angry about it. We are not against development but there are plenty of brownfield sites.”

The last round of consultations for the SHLAA finished on Friday, September 30. A spokesman for Amber Valley said they had a huge reponse to the consultation and no date has yet been set for the next round.