Planning minister Nick Boles said the former Butterley Engineering site in Ripley would be the ‘ideal’ site for housing - providing a developer could be found to take it over.
The Secretary of State’s assessment came after he visited the former home of the world-beating firm with Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills following Thursday’s public meeting in Waingroves.
Many green campaigners have mooted the brownfield Butterley site as a potential spot for hundreds of new homes. Mr Mills said the visit was to get the planning minister’s take on the viability of the land.
Mr Boles told The News: “It certainly would be great to see it developed, I completely understand why people would be irritated when a site like this doesn’t have a plan attached to it.”
But Mr Mills said that developers are put off the site because of issues over who owns the land and the need for remedial work before homes could be built there.
Mr Boles said Amber Valley Borough Council could look into persuading the owners to sell the land and developers could then seek grants to help with remedial work. He added: “It just seems a perfect site, it’s got good access and it’s in a natural dip so it’s not blocking anyone’s view.