Disputed 75 homes plan appeal move

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a CONTROVERSIAL housing development plan in Belper is set to spark debate again — six months after it was first rejected.

An appeal has been launched by developers to build 75 new homes on a field off Mill Lane in the town.

The properties would be built on farmland at the top of Mill Lane, if the appeal is successful.

In August the proposals were thrown out by Amber Valley Borough Council.

The plans were hotly disputed by residents, local groups, and local politicians, before they were eventually turned down by the council.

Campaigners claimed the development, at Hill Top Farm, would have a drastic effect on the town’s infrastructure, and could easily be the ‘thin end of the wedge’, paving the way for more development on fields in that part of town.

Amber Valley Borough Council refused the application because it was feared the development would have a negative effect on Belper’s World Heritage Site.

Now, a concerned resident, who declined to be named, claim the new proposals were slipping under the public’s radar before anyone could voice any fears.

She said: “It was turned down on all sorts of grounds. But they have put in an appeal now.

“Not many people seem to have been told about the appeal. I am concerned that those who might want to object to the plans will not get the chance. And objections have to be in by Monday, February 21.

“Mill Lane is narrow. Any development would increase traffic. How would emergency vehicles get down the lane?”

The Duncan Group submitted the proposals last year. Now, in appeal documents submitted to the council, the developer states the proposal, which would result in a loss of green space, would “provide a well-designed, high-quality residential development making efficient use of land”.

A government planning inspector will decide whether or not to uphold the appeal.

At the time of rejection, council chief executive Peter Carney said justification had not been provided to outweigh the harm the proposal would have on the buffer zone in which it is located.