What now for the Morrisons site?

Moves to build a Morrison’s supermarket on open land on the edge of Ripley were blocked last month - but what does the future hold for the site now?

Although developers Clowes Westermen have warned they may yet resubmit an application, the company has declined to confirm if, or when, it will re-apply.

The News asked deputy mayor of Ripley, councillor Roland Emmas Williams, and leader of Amber Valley Borough Council, Cllr Stuart Bradford for their thoughts on the Nottingham Road site.

Cllr Bradford said: “As far as I know the scheme is finished. I have no evidence that the developers will reconsider or redesign. I think the opportunity has been lost. I think it is a bit of a shame because people in Ripley have not got any alternatives for shopping.”

But he state that promises made by the council to improve the sporting facilities on the site would be honoured.

He said the work would be paid for with cash contributions imposed on Clowes as as part of its planning permission to build 126 homes close to the Morrison’s site. The council owns some of this land which is now grassy with some trees and hedges.

Cllr Emmas Williams said: “I would like to maintain the playing fields and skate park and develop it even further. We started off with this fantastic sports hub - what we have ended up with is two football pitches, one cricket pitch and a pavilion. Personally, I think the area should be more developed for sports. One of the reasons I have been against this all the way down the line is that the council spent an absolute fortune on independent surveys and the reports told them there was no need for a new supermarket until 2028. But because the conclusion didn’t match up with what they wanted it to say - it didn’t make sense. One of my main concerns is the viability of the town centre. That is paramount.”