Don’t back down on centre plan

NRHNBE110712c1, Waingroves and codnor residents dont want more houses and traffic.
NRHNBE110712c1, Waingroves and codnor residents dont want more houses and traffic.

Peveril Homes is being urged to get back round the negotiating table and reopen talks for a new community centre on Codnor Common.

A fortnight ago the Belper developer won approval to build a further 79 homes on the green land between Codnor and Waingroves.

It means 177 houses will be built on the common now, an area many say was used as recreational land by the community for more than 100 years.

Last year, when Peveril won the right to build 98 of those homes it vowed to work with the Waingroves folk to look at putting a new community centre within the new build. In January 2013 it said: “Significant progress is being made and a planning application for a new community centre building is anticipated in the near future.”

More than a year on however and no planning application has appeared. Last week when the News asked Peveril whether negotiations were still progressing on the community centre plan, it declined to comment.

Now chairman of Waingroves Community Association Craig Plunkett is hoping the developers won’t back down on earlier assurances.

He said: “From our point of view it is about going back to the drawing board with them and saying, ‘look we are still interested’.”

Mr Plunkett said the talks had progressed to the stage where an outline plan for the new centre, complete with a large main room for functions, a separate room for Waingroves Pre-School to use and a bar and kitchen area had been drawn up with help of Peveril planners. He hopes to meet them again next week.

Talks had progressed with Amber Valley Borough Council about funding the build also, which Mr Plunkett says would be a slim silver lining to an otherwise unpopular development. “Once the first lot of homes were agreed,” he said. “We felt it would be better the community came out of this with something rather than nothing.”

The current 70 person capacity Waingroves Community Centre, at Church Street in the village, is Derbyshire County Council owned and regularly hosts sold out functions. Mr Plunkett believes up to 120 tickets could be sold for some events, if only the centre had the capacity.

“It’s not really fit for purpose,” Mr Plunkett said. “We’ve outgrown it as a community. It would make sense to have a new facility, certainly if we are going to get nearly 200 more houses on our doorstep.

“This wouldn’t just be for the Waingroves community, but for Codnor as well.”