RE: Proposed Development – Nottingham Road, Ripley.

Oh No! Here we go again! Once more are we going to hear the same platitudes, outdated reasoning and politics for yet another ‘out of town’ retail development?

Please believe me that I am not against proactive and progressive developments that add value to our community. However, I remain far from convinced that, as a community, we currently need this type of development.

If this proposed development is to be considered I ask all these involved to ponder the following - The existing transport infrastructure in the area is already overburdened and the proposed relief road, along with other improvements, is required regardless of the proposed development. It has been on the agenda for over 20 years already; The new proposals should only be considered alongside simultaneous and innovative plans for Ripley, Town Centre. It’s time to think outside the box; With the demands being placed upon Amber Valley Council, to provide housing for the future, have considerations been given to the provision of schools, doctors, dentists and all other related services that are already under resourced? Have Councillors ‘really’ communicated and listened to retailers in Town Centres such as Heanor, Alfreton, Ripley, Eastwood, Ilkeston and Kimberley and other smaller town centres around the country? Their livelihoods have been destroyed by poorly thought out developments that may provide short term again but long term pain; What is the real net gain, if any, in employment opportunities after smaller retailers and service providers have been put out of business? What is the real net gain, if any, in business rates receipts after smaller business close and their premises become empty? How many private and council landlords have empty and boarded up premises in town centres, that are no longer producing rental income but instead are falling derelict and into disrepair? These are other potential development areas, within the town centre, that could consider, and which could actually invigorate and breathe life into the area. Areas such as the huge and underused co-op car park, the area to the rear of the 3 Bar and the old Butterley works site are just three areas that spring to mind; Councillors, developers and planners get into your vehicles and drive into town centres, and if you can afford to park your vehicles, see first hand their decline, closed business premises, growing dereliction and neglect and really think about proposals for the future.

I’m all for positive development and regeneration, but like many others I am not convinced that these latest proposals are the right way forward.

Peter A. Clay