Labour group says build stadium at brickworks

BRICK company Hansons has said it is willing to listen to offers for its brickworks site at Whiteley Road in the town.

The news comes after members of the Ripley Town Council Labour group approached the company to ask whether it would be willing to sell.

Labour members say the Brownfield site would be a better alternative than nearby Pit Top for the building of a new football stadium and car park.

Last July developers Clowes Westerman and Amber Valley Borough Council announced plans for a permanent home for Ripley Town FC at the grassy Pit Top area, as part of its controversial Gateway scheme for the town.

Town councillor David Williams says it is ‘remarkable’ the developers chose the borough council owned Pit Top land, rather than the Brownfield former brickworks.

He said: “We are making a point here - the original plans were to develop Pit Top for a football stadium.

“Why did they not think about approaching Hansons about the Brownfield site that’s right in front of them?

Cllr Williams said Pit Top is a well used public space and is an important ‘green lung’ for Ripley that needs preserving.

But Cllr Ron Ashton, a Conservative member for town and borough council, says the Labour group are ‘jumping the gun’ by approaching Hansons.

He said: “It could be developed but it belongs to Hansons. The council or the developers would have to buy it and the land is designated as industrial land.

“I don’t know why they are stirring this up - it is as if they’re just saying - let’s build it there.”