“Is this an exceptional use for the Green Belt?” was one of the questions posed to planners as proposals for a link road and 1,000 new homes between Ripley and Codnor went on show.
Last week a planning application for the homes, the road, sports grounds, a cricket field, hotel and a pub were lodged with the borough council. But the bid is unlikely to be decided until at least May next year.
Town and country planning adviser Karen Davenport of Alfreton Road, Codnor, would live near one of the proposed entrances to the link road –which would ultimately provide access to the largest of the planned housing developments on Green Belt land east of Codnor.
She said: “This is totally against the national planning policy – to build on Green Belt you need to show exceptional circumstances.
“There’s no hard evidence that shows a real need for this road. We need to look at maintaining the existing roads and public transport better.”
There were also questions raised by some residents about how ‘democratic’ the project is - with Amber Valley Borough Council acting both as an applicant and as the planning authority which will decide its success.
However planning officer Derek Stafford said: “It’s not uncommon for council’s to be an applicant. It’s crucial that the information given to the planning board members for them to make their decision – is a separate process to them making their actual decision.”
The two events form part of a six week consultation period on the scheme. Formal representations can now be made to the council via its website www.ambervalley.org.