Eric Pickles to decide Denby plan

MDL090323A2 - Denby Pottery exterior
MDL090323A2 - Denby Pottery exterior

A decision on whether to grant permission to multi-million pound expansion plans at Denby Pottery is expected in the next fortnight.

The proposals to triple the size of the pottery village by building an 80 room hotel, a village inn, a bigger garden emporium and an outdoor activity centre were passed by Amber Valley Borough Council’s planning board by majority vote.

As nearly all of the expansion will take place on the Green Belt, a decision now rests with the Department for Communities and Local Government minister Eric Pickles- who will have the final say on whether the plans justify building on the protected land.

Planning committee member Cllr Alan Cox was one of two to vote against the scheme

He said: “Personally I felt a development on the Green Belt couldn’t go ahead.

“It’s completely against our local plan.

He went on to say: “If you allow buildings on Green Belt it must not affect the openness of that area – so what about the three storey hotel ?”

Currently the pottery employs 95 staff and brings more than 200,000 visitors a year to the village.

If plans are approved 600 jobs could be created at the site.

Amber Valley Borough councillor for the Kilburn, Denby and Holbrook ward Jean Gemmell lives less than a mile away from the development in neighbouring Kilburn.

She said: “My personal feeling is it would be terrible if Denby Pottery ceased to exist - to do the opposite and improve the prospects that seems to me a good idea.

“Anything which brings work and a degree of status to Denby has to be good.”

The development team, led by Derby-based architects Matthew Montague and London-based HRPS say it has worked closely with the local authority in preparing thescheme.

However bosses at the firms refused to comment on the plans until the secretary of state’s decision.