Swanwick housing development: concerns over relocation of new school

Amber Valley Borough Council's planning board will meet in Ripley tonight to decide on the first detailed plans for Lily Street Farm in Swanwick.

Amber Valley Borough Council is set to decide the fate of a major new housing development in Swanwick which continues to cause controversy.

The planning committee will meet on Monday, February 19, and council officers have recommended they approve construction of up to 157 homes on land at Lily Street Farm.

It represents the first phase of a planned 600 homes—which were given outline permission in 2016—running along the western side of Derby Road, just south of the A38 junction.

The development has a troubled history with many residents long opposing it and Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills unsuccessfully asking the government to intervene in 2015.

The first phase has also stirred up concerns, as it no longer includes a promised new school building to ease pressure on Swanwick Primary, which is already at capacity.

Swanwick Parish Council have noted that no new plans have been produced to show where and when the school may eventually be built, and have suggested the developer, Peveril Homes, is failing to comply with previously agreed planning conditions.

The number of homes in the new plan is also below the point at which the obligation to build a school would automatically be triggered.

A parish council spokesman wrote: “There is concern that the relocation of the school site indicates the development of the school will be delayed further, and is possibly the start of a situation leaving the development without the promised facilities.”

A spokesman for Derbyshire County Council said that, as the education authority, they were satisfied a new school be part of phase two.

Representatives from the school will be attending the planning committee meeting to make their feelings known.

Chair of governors Neil Pickering said: “We are proud of our large and very popular Swanwick Primary School, rated Good last year by Ofsted.  

“However, our ability to deliver vibrant teaching is limited by aging main facilities and the critical lack of space due to our ever growing population.

He added: “The Lily Street development is a chance to get a new combined primary school to build on our foundations, rather than starting from scratch for a second, smaller school - but we are dependent on Derbyshire County Council to fund it.

“That is why we will be at the meeting. We strongly believe this development is our once in a lifetime opportunity to create an excellent combined primary school for the next 60 years and increase our links with the community.”

To read the planning application in full detail, search for AVA/2017/1080 at www.ambervalley.gov.uk.

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