The developer behind a plan to demolish the site of Amber Valley Rugby Club and build 200 new homes in its place has defended the project against criticism from nearby residents.
Worried householders near the site on Lower Somercotes Road, Lower Somercotes, claim the land is contaminated with dangerous chemicals buried in the old clay pit underneath the rugby pitch.
They fear any development of the land could unearth and make airborn potentially toxic particles, causing health problems for the local population.
This cliam has been strongly denied by the developers.
Concerned resident Kellie Judson said: “Of course we all want the rugby club to have a new ground and facilities but not at the expense of our lives.
“The majority of local people knew nothing of the plans as the leafleting campaign can only be described as diabolical.
“We have letters stating that this land should never be developed as the health implications to local residents could be catastrophic.
“I am not willing to take the chance and neither should the developers.
“You also have to take on board the environmental issues as it raises concerns over additional traffic on our already crumbling road system.
“Not to mention the lack of school places for the children in the area. This year alone 18 children due to attend Riddings Infants’ School have been unable to get places in the reception year.
“Where are the kids from the proposed site going to go to school?”
Roger Carter, a representative of the consortium of landowners behind the development, said the land had been carefully tested and contained no dangerous containments.
He said: “The land has been penetratingly tested for gases and chemicals over a two-year period by a professional ground investigation company. It is not related in any way to other areas where contaminants have been found.
“All of this testing and the safety certificates will be made public .”
As part of the development, Amber Valley Rugby Club is to be provided with brand new facilities on Charity Road, Riddings, complete with two new pitches and a state-of-the-art clubhouse.
Mr Carter added: “The purpose of this project is to provide up to 200 new sustainable homes in an area that needs reasonably-priced housing.
“And the new facilities are a massive step forward for the rugby club.”