Inquiry probes 98 new homes bid at Codgraves

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

A PUBLIC inquiry to decide whether 98 homes will be built between Waingoves and Codnor finished on Friday.

Protestors say the homes proposed for land off Waingroves Road, between Codnor and Waingroves, are not needed and that traffic from the site would cause gridlock.

Belper-based Peveril Homes want to build 98 houses, along with a football pitch, allotments, a play area and land dedicated to wildlife, on the site.

Last year Amber Valley Borough Council rejected the application after 179 people objected - but Peveril appealed to the Planning Inspectorate and a three-day public inquiry to make a final decision was held.

John Stamp, chairman of Waingroves Community Association, said: “People are genuinely concerned. Of course the developers say it’s not a problem. They have said our fears are exaggerated.

“But if this went ahead, it would be a significant alteration to current residents’ way of life.

“22 councillors on the planning committee agreed to turn this down. I shall spit feathers if we lose - but I will have to accept it.”

Sylvia Mason, of Waingroves Road, said the proposal would “totally change the neighbourhood’s character” and warned of the effects on the local infrastructure.

Amber Valley council’s legal team told planning inspector John Papworth that the proposal would “effectively destroy” the gap between Waingroves and Codnor and could erase the villages’ individual identities.

Andrew Williamson, representing Peveril, said the plans would “result in the creation of significant new public open space” and that “no material harm” would be caused to the road network.

Peveril Homes estimate the extra housing would create an additional 635 traffic movements per day.

The inquiry concluded at Butterley Lodge, on Friday, when Mr Papworth conducted a site visit.

Mr Stamp praised the way the enquiry had been conducted. He said: “We were allowed to say what we feel and question witnesses. There’s no point in trying to second guess how it will turn out. Now we just have to hope for the best. It’s been a very thorough hearing - but we hope it doesn’t happen.”

He added that residents feel embattled following a proposal by Sheffield-based Hallam Land Management to build 400 more homes on a 51-acre area of land between Peasehill and Queen Street.

The firm says the site, which is called the Coppice Farm development, would feature an 11-acre community park for public use and 14 acres of employment land.

He said: “This is a very difficult time - we could be looking at a 125 per cent increase in dwellings potentially.”

Peveril Homes declined to comment on the inquiry. No date has been given for a decision.