The FIRST of a series of exhibitions detailing proposals for a major new housing development near Denby took place this week.
Nearby residents met with planning officers from Amber Valley Borough Council and representatives from the Commercial Estates Group (CEG), which wants to build up to 3,000 homes on the controversial Cinderhill site.
The massive area of land to the east of the A38 and north of Denby Bottles is being considered by the council as a late candidate for a possible large scale housing site – easing the burden on the 16 largely rural sites designated across the borough so far.
But at the first of four exhibitions around the area, held at John Flamsteed Community School in Denby, residents raised familiar concerns over the tar-pit laden land.
Kelly Patrick, a technology teacher at the school, said: “The fact that it is going to be built on these toxic tar pits will cause all host of environmental issues.
“They will have to dig very deep to get rid of them. And I think this area here, which is currently very nice, could be ruined with the extra influx of people .”
Development project manager for CEG Charles Johnson said the firm was not taking the issue of potentially toxic tar pits on the site lightly.
He said: “There’s a very detailed piece of work that needs to take place in terms of the best method to clear these pits up.
“There is a whole myriad of options. What is in them, what the ultimate use is going to be and the geology of particular sites is going to effect how it is cleared.”
The council says the consultations will help the authority determine whether there is public support for building a new settlement.
It is not a potential site currently designated on the authority’s draft Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA), which identifies possible building spots to meet future housing needs in the borough.
Whether it is considered as viable will only become certain when the final draft of the SHLAA is published in in the summer.
Leader of the council Cllr Stuart Bradford has urged residents to attend the remaining consultations today at the Lion Hotel in Belper, between 3pm and 7pm, at Ripley leisure centre tomorrow between 3pm and 7pm and at Kilburn Village Hall on Monday, from 4pm until 7pm. Feedback forms are available at the events.