This week’s News - legal action against gateway bid

Nrhn 190412'Gagging protest: Campaigners surrounded Ripley Town Hall on Monday night to complain about freedom of speech, after Amber Valley Borough Council issued renewed guidelines for the public speaking section of council meetings.
Nrhn 190412'Gagging protest: Campaigners surrounded Ripley Town Hall on Monday night to complain about freedom of speech, after Amber Valley Borough Council issued renewed guidelines for the public speaking section of council meetings.

TOWN councillors in Ripley are aiming to take legal action in a bid to get the controversial Morrisons supermarket plan stopped.

They are to meet with solicitors soon with a view to getting a judicial review of the planning application for the change of use of land off Nottingham Road Recreation Ground on the edge of town, which was approved by Amber Valley Borough Council on Monday.

The plan is part of the larger Gateway project, which includes the new supermarket proposal.

Town councillors fear the new store would have a serious affect on shops in the town centre.

A judicial review would see a civil court look at whether it was legally right of the borough council to pass the plan, to reclass ‘agricultural land’ off Nottingham Road as ‘recreational public open space’.

The plan will allow Amber Valley to continue moves to expand the current playing fields there to ten acres, improve the area to a Green Flag park status and provide permanent homes for a number of the town’s sports teams.

But on Tuesday, Ripley Town Council’ agreed to begin moves to challenge the decision in court as it says it would then pave the way for the Morrisons superstore on neighbouring land - despite protestation from the opposing Tory bench.

The news comes in a week which saw yet another protest outside of Ripley Town Hall.

Campaigners, angry at renewed guidelines on public speaking at borough council meetings, which state a speaker may not talk on a subject already raised within the past six months at a meeting.

For more on the story grab a copy of this week’s Ripley and Heanor News.