Packed-out meeting discusses housing at beauty spot

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Belper folk turned out in force to express their concerns over plans for 150 houses at a Belper beauty spot.

Many were left shocked after receiving flyers through their doors giving details of the plans for Belper Lane End, north east of the town.

Ben Bellamy, Amber Valley borough councillor for Belper North, said the number of people who attended the packed-out meeting was overwhelming, with many standing outside using umbrellas to keep the rain off.

He added: “The main focus of the meeting was giving people an opportunity to understand how the planning system works in these circumstances and that when a plan is in they do need to object.

“What came out in the meeting was that the land is in a World Heritage Site buffer zone - and this is the same as being within the site itself.

“This is the third big set of plans for Belper - I am hoping to meet with developers to talk about developing brownfield sites as we do risk becoming a doughnut town with derelict sites in the centre and big housing estates on the outskirts.

“A lot of developers are locally-based and they have the chance to leave a legacy like that of Strutts if they get it right.”

Coun Bellamy said there was also concern about how schools and health services would cope with population growth.

Developers Wheeldon Brothers intend to submit a full planning applications to Amber Valley Borough Council in the near future, but at this stage is asking residents to give feedback on the types of houses needed in the area, key local issues and how the development could improve them and which community facilities residents would like developed.

To view the consultation by Wheeldon Brothers, visit www.planningconsultationonline.co.uk.