The News hands over your views

A dossier of comments, letters and news stories on the proposed Morrisons superstore in Ripley has been handed in to Amber Valley Borough Council for consideration.

Since we launched out online poll to see if you wanted the multi-million pound supermarket on Nottingham Road in February, the response has been phenomenal.

Close to 3,000 of you cast a vote on the issue with the results returning a resounding ‘NO’ to the plan from the public. More than 2,260 of you - or 77 per cent - voted against the plans while nearly 670 people - or 23 per cent - said yes.

A total of 53 comments were posted on the News’ website alone - with many more writing us letters and commenting on Facebook.

Now the News has compiled all of these into a 20-page dossier, which we handed to the Amber Valley Borough Council on Thursday for consideration when the plan is finally decided by the authority later this year.

Cllr Liz Bowley said: “We are certainly not in the business of ignoring people, we are in the business of doing the right thing .

“I am absolutely sure the council will be looking through this with interest.”

The News’ dossier also contained all the stories our reporters have written on the issue since we launched our poll, including an interview with Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills, calling for a referendum on the subject.

News Editor Julie Crouch said: “Mr Mills called for a referendum, and The News has hopefully delivered the closest thing to that. We said we’d pass on your views and the council has agreed to consider them as part of the planning process.

“I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you again for voting and commenting as you have done - the response has been phenomenal.”

The Morrisons store is part of a wider development planned for Nottingham Road, which includes building new homes and recreational facilities. The sale of the land to developers would also help fund a relief road between Ripley and Codnor.

Less than 24 hours before the News handed in its dossier of opinions on the Morrisons plan - a 2,600 name petition started by former Ripley mayor Roland Emmas-Williams was also handed in to the 
borough council on the issue.

Mr Emmas-Williams, who twice held the chain of office for the town, launched the petition in mid-January, with the heading: “We do not want a new out-of-town centre 
supermarket on Nottingham Road.”

Copies of it were left in shops in Ripley town centre.

Mr Emmas Williams, now retired, of Porterhouse Road, Ripley, said he was ‘surprised’ by the number of people who signed the petition in such a short space of time.

He said: “My intention was to try and save the 
playing fields there and the green open space.
“It’s a space we’ve always had and it’s always been recreation land.

To me, to take it and build a supermarket, which the town doesn’t need at all - we have three as it is - is wrong. That’s why I have opposed all the way down the line.”

Mr Emmas-Williams served on Ripley Town Council for 12 years and the borough council for four years.