A furious resident, angry at houses being approved for his Derbyshire village, threw a handful of 5p coins at councillors and staff.
A meeting of Amber Valley Borough Council’s planning board descended into chaos after an application for 35 homes in South Wingfield was approved, despite 60 objecting residents making the trip to Ripley to voice their displeasure.
One resident took it a step further, shouting “here’s 30 pieces of silver from South Wingfield, you Judases!” before throwing the coins at councillors and planning officers.
This term refers to a passage in the Bible in which a story is told of one of Jesus’ disciples, Judas, being paid 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus.
Fortunately none of the coins appeared to hit the intended targets, with the coins clattering against the bases of desks and dispersing around the council chamber.
Following the meeting on Monday, March 11, councillors joked “he could have thrown £1 coins instead”.
So many residents had arrived to hear the debate on plans for 35 houses in Wessington Lane, South Wingfield, that tickets had to be handed out to ensure that fire safety restrictions were not breached. The proposals, pitched by Alfreton firm Wildgoose Homes, had previously been brought to committee in February – with residents furious after being told that some would have to leave the chamber so that the council chamber was not over capacity.
At Monday’s meeting, councillors opted to approve the application, with a vote of six for and five against – chairman Coun Norman Bull cast the deciding vote.
In total, 122 objection letters had been sent in by residents, claiming that the development would “ruin the rural feel” of the village. They also said that the village could not cope with a further influx in families – fearing a negative impact on schools, roads and the doctors’ surgery.
Access to the site would stem off the single-track Wessington Lane – which locals say cannot take the strain of construction traffic.
One member of the public, Ms Scott, said that a memorial bench, dedicated to her deceased grandmother, had been placed on the application site. She said: “This application would represent total desecration of my grandmother’s memory.”
Oliver Evans, whose family owns two farms close to the site, said that extra traffic “would have a severely negative impact on our business and our livelihood”.
Agent for the developer, Jonathan Jenkin, said: “It would only increase the population of the village by five per cent.” Coun Ron Ashton said: “Sometimes this is a very difficult thing to do, sometimes we are not happy with certain things to do with an application, but if there are no objections from highways and other consultees we would have a very difficult time defending this at appeal.”