Somercotes housing plans refused over fears of toxicity

Plans to build nearly 100 homes on a Somercotes site where there are harmful contaminants leaking from nearby toxic tips have been refused.

Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 10:09 am
The plans, submitted by Paul Newman New Homes to Amber Valley Borough Council, would see 99 houses built on land off the B600 Lower Somercotes Road, opposite Amber Valley Rugby Club.

This comes after a High Court battle by local campaigners and decades of lobbying for residents in the area.

Amber Valley Borough Council has recommended that plans to build 99 homes off the B600 in Somercotes are approved but the planning board went against the officers recommendations and the application was refused.

However officers did say contamination issues can be remediated sufficiently through conditions if approval was granted.

Plans for the 99 houses, opposite Amber Valley Rugby Club, were refused in September last year over serious concerns about the adjacent historic tips named LS01 and LS41.

Now the scheme, from Paul Newman New Homes, has been re-submitted, claiming the previous refusal was “wholly incorrect”.

During the September debate on the 99-home plans councillor John McCabe said that an historic toxic tip in the vicinity of the site could put “people’s lives at risk”.

Meanwhile, councillor Brian Lyttle had said that it was “absolutely unacceptable” to build any housing near the tip, due to the threat he feels the historic site posed.

Paul Newman New Homes had submitted a ground investigation report from consultants BSP which found evidence of several abandoned mine entries which would need to be filled and capped.

BSP had also recommended that houses are not built over or in the vicinity of the abandoned mine entries.

It also said that soil on the site could contain a high concentration of metals and asbestos that would not be suitable for proposed gardens and landscaping around the development.

The developer is hinging its resubmission on a High Court decision announced in March in which local campaigners lost a battle against Amber Valley Borough Council over plans to build 200 homes at Nether Farm in Somercotes, also close to the rugby club.

Mr Justice Lewis ruled against the campaigners on the basis there was no requirement potential contamination issues had to be assessed.