OPINION: Ripley neighbourhood plan will value the individual character of the town

Carr Wood, one of the areas that will be protected under the new plan
Carr Wood, one of the areas that will be protected under the new plan

The Ripley Neighbourhood Plan was written by and for the people of Ripley, and all the villages served by the Ripley Town Council.

Because of this the Plan is seen to value the individual character of the town and surrounding area, and is an important reason why it scored such a strong victory in the Referendum, with 89% in favour.

It’s important to understand that existing planning permissions cannot be undone – no matter how wrong they are.

But all of Amber Valley Borough Councils’ future decisions about planning applications in Ripley Township should be decided by what the Plan says.

This will mean:

lNo development of Green Belt sites;

lPossible development of only one greenfield site (between police HQ and the by-pass);

lEncouragement of development taking place on previously developed brownfield sites.

In addition to looking at housing needs, the Plan has also considered environment, employment, transport, heritage and sustainability issues. These are all important and some highlights are:

lThere are important open spaces within and around the township that have already been eroded by housing developments (Pit Top and Codnor Common). The Plan has now given these strong protection by designating them as Local Green Spaces which will protect them.

lTwo brownfield sites are identified for employment uses;

lMaintaining a vibrant town and village centres is seen as vital;

lThe protection and conservation of heritage features is given great significance

The Plan is not written in gobbledy gook and full copies are available on the websites of both Ripley Town and Amber Valley Borough Councils.