Villagers celebrate after homes plan is rejected

Nrhn 201011 Celebrations: Waingroves and Codnor residents John stamp, Paul Cox, Richard Lomas, Chris Emmas Williams and Peter Young by the proposed access to the site.
Nrhn 201011 Celebrations: Waingroves and Codnor residents John stamp, Paul Cox, Richard Lomas, Chris Emmas Williams and Peter Young by the proposed access to the site.

JUBILANT villagers cheered after a bid for 98 new homes between Codnor and Waingroves was rejected at Monday night’s planning committee meeting.

The proposal by Belper’s Peveril Homes would have also seen a football pitch with a car park, allotments and a play area on the 20-acre area of farmland between the two villages.

But Amber Valley Borough Council’s planning committee members voted unanimously against officers’ recommendations to approve the plan.

Councillors said the proposals did not meet the necessary requirements to warrant a development on countryside land.

Speaking after the meeting, chairman of the Waingroves Community Trust John Stamp said: “We are highly delighted, it was good to hear that local elected members who have supported us in the past have continued that support by rejecting this bid.”

Ripley town councillor for the Waingroves ward, Robert Phillips-Forsyth joined in the celebrations. He said: “It’s great to see councillors, irrespective of party differences, can work together on something that matters to the people of Codnor and Waingroves.”

However, campaigner against the development, Sylvia Mason, 59, of Waingroves Road, said the fight was not over yet.

She said: “Round one to us. I feel good, but we need to work even harder now to get the land protected so they don’t come back again.”

Around 50 residents from Waingroves and Codnor filled Ripley Town Hall for the committee meeting.

Eleven people gave individual accounts as to why the bid should be rejected during the public speaking session, highlighting fears of increased traffic and loss of green land.

Only Paul Stone, acting as planning agent for the Peveril Homes’ bid, spoke in favour of the plans.

He argued that the site was in a ‘sustainable location’ and reminded committee members that Amber Valley currently did not have a five-year supply of ‘deliverable housing’.

Mr Stone added that 62 per cent of the 20-acre site would remain as green space if the scheme were to get the go ahead.

But planning members said the proposal did not meet policy EN1 of the Local Plan, which states any countryside development can only take place when it cannot reasonably be built within an existing settlement. Cllr Bob Moon, of the Heanor and Loscoe ward, said Amber Valley needed to concentrate on filling its brownfield sites before approving development on green land.

Final blows were delivered to the Peveril Homes plan by Cllr John Walker, who said there were problems with the site having only one access point on Waingroves Road.

It is not known if Peveril Homes will submit an appeal. The firm was unavailable for comment.