Homes plan sparks traffic concerns

Harry Martin, of Midland Road Heanor sent the News this snap of cars parked along the road during rush hour.
Harry Martin, of Midland Road Heanor sent the News this snap of cars parked along the road during rush hour.

A plan for 176 new houses off Fall Road in Heanor could create traffic chaos along a narrow access road, nearby residents fear.

The scheme for a mixed residential development on land at Bailey Brook Farm went on show at the Gladstone Street Community Centre in the town on Thursday, June 20.

But some residents were left wondering how narrow Midland Road – nearly always lined both sides with parked cars – would be able to serve as an access for a possible 300 extra residents.

Retired Fall Road resident Keith Watson said: “I’m not really against the properties but I am against the access.

“I wonder what the police think about it? The fire brigade? The ambulance service? They’re not going to be able to get down there.

“It’s a problem Midland Road is - if you go down there tonight at six o’clock, I |
guarantee there will be 30 cars parked there.”

Mr Watson also questioned the need for another large -scale housing development, when so many properties in Amber Valley were empty.

He said: “I’ll be quite honest, is there the market for this?. They’re not going to sell them.”

Builder Harry Martin, 62, of Midland Road, fears a potential 500 extra houses at Taylor Lane, Heanor, outlined in Amber Valley Borough Council’s long-term strategic housing plans, could put further strain on the road network around the north of the town.

He said: “There’s not only going to be another 200 cars from Fall Road you are going to get all the traffic from Taylor Lane eventually.”

He is also worried that a former section of railway bridge, filled in around 30 years ago, which Fall Road runs over might not be able to support the extra traffic movements.

He felt people would face great difficulty getting into Heanor Free Church on Midland Road.

He said: “What about when there’s a funeral down there?

The plan has been submitted to the borough council, but Paul Gaughan, whose firm is acting as the planning agent for the proposal, said it was not due to go before the planning board until December.

The entrance to the development could only be provided through Midland Road - as the alternative route would take the road through Bailey Brook north of the site, which he said was classed as an area of ‘scientific significance’ and cannot be developed.

He said: “The biggest sticking point with this plan will be access, but we are going to wait for the comments from Derbyshire County Council.

“If there is anything we can do to improve this, or to help residents in the area to overcome their fears we will do it.”

The Fall Road plan would feature a mixture of two, three and four-bedroomed houses with around 20 per cent earmarked for social housing.

The application is being made on behalf of Steven Creswell who represents the owners of the land: Victor, Eric and Stuart Martin.

The 13-acre site has been a smallholding for more than 70 years and was passed on to the three men, who are brothers by their mother, Kathleen Martin, who often kept cattle there .