Neighbourhood plan meeting

Ripley residents are being invited to a neighbourhood plan forum on Saturday, March 23, at a venue yet to be decided.

Since October Ripley Town Council has been consulting with townsfolk in a bid to draw up the plan - a legal document which could 
affect where future development takes place in the area.

A working group has been established to work on the proposals, which could provide an alternative housing blueprint to Amber Valley Borough Council’s core strategy, if it is approved by a referendum.

Early stage ideas for the neighbourhood plan will be on display at the event as will Amber Valley’s core strategy.

Leader of Ripley Town Council Steve Freeborn said the event will give residents a chance to compare the two visions for growth in the town. He said: “We are focusing on developing on brownfield, but we recognise we may need to use other land. There are sites available within Ripley township, which are perfectly acceptable and not Green Belt.”

Government targets state Amber Valley will need to provide 4,400 new homes in the Borough by 2028. A neighbourhood plan must be approved by both the borough council and the Planning Inspectorate before it goes to a referendum and must assist in reaching the housing target.

But Cllr Freeborn said Amber Valley’s current proposals to designate more than 800 of those homes in Ripley, 550 in Codnor and 1,800 north of Denby are ‘unfair’ on the area. He added that the neighbourhood plan working group is considering a site near the police headquarters at Butterley as possible for housing.