Homes plans for former Heanor Derby College site set for rejection

Derby College Heanor
Derby College Heanor

Plans to turn the former home of Derby College in Heanor into houses and apartments are being recommended for refusal for the second time this year.

Two applications were pitched for the site nearly a year ago by an Adam Cavell of Vale Property.

One application seeks to turn the large Grade II-listed building into 24 apartments, and convert the former science block into nine further apartments.

The second application aims to build 19 houses in the former college grounds.

There would be a total of 100 parking spaces to cater for the scheme’s residents.

The combined scheme was brought before Amber Valley Borough Council’s planning committee in June and was recommended for rejection by officers. They felt that the proposal represented ‘substantial harm to the setting of the listed building’ and also that they considered that insufficient information had been submitted.

As a result, the application was deferred to allow the applicant to submit the necessary information.

Three months on from that committee, and just nine days short of a year since the proposals were first submitted, the applications are back on the table – but are set for rejection again.

Borough council officers remain steadfast in their opinion that there is ‘insufficient information’ to make an informed decision.

They wrote in a report: “It is not possible to assess whether or not the proposal would result in substantial harm to the listed building by virtue of the insufficient information.

“It cannot be assessed whether or not the proposal will significantly harm the original plan form and spatial qualities of the hall and corridor arrangement without significant public benefits to outweigh the harm being demonstrated.”

Officers have highlighted the perceived lack of information in a number of different areas.

Originally the Heanor Grammar School from 1912 until 1976, the site was then used by Derby College until 2013 – it has remained vacant since.

The government-funded conservation organisation Historic England has objected to the plans saying they would result in ‘substantial harm’ to the listed building.

It has urged the developers to work closely with residents and the Heanor Grammar School Action Group to keep the buildings in community use.

The action group, along with 58 residents, also object to the scheme.

They feel that the plans would be the ‘loss of a community asset’.