Developers are ‘already paving way for homes’

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Developers may already be approaching people living near Bullsmoor to sell their properties to pave the way for the building of 450 houses, town council officials claim.

It is thought that some residents on Kilbourne Road have been approached by interested firms looking to find out whether creating a road access onto the huge plot of land being considered for development by Amber Valley Borough Council might be possible.

Belper Town Council is urging anyone who is contacted about the matter to get in touch with them.

The borough council is proposing 250 homes could be built at Bullsmoor/ Cherry House Farm and 200 new homes near Pottery Farm. Meanwhile, 120 houses are also proposed on a separate site in Derwent Street on land belonging to Tesco as part of the council’s core strategy development blueprint for the area.

More than 300 people attended a public meeting at Strutts Community Centre last week objecting to the plans.

A spokesman for Belper Town Council said: “It is thought that developers have already been in touch with residents living on Kilbourne Road to ask them to sell their properties to gain access for the development on Bullsmoor. If you have been approached please let the town council know.”

The council has now compiled a list of what it says are ‘valid objections’ to the housing plans which can downloaded from its website. It comes after calls for such a document to be produced at the public meeting.

MP for Belper, Pauline Latham has offered to collect responses and pass them on to the planning inspector, if residents send copies of them either to her at the House of Commons or her office in Spondon. She has also committed to writing to both the Planning Inspectorate and the borough council with locals’ concerns about the core strategy.

She said: “Belper can simply not accommodate such an increase in population, and that should the proposed areas of development take place, local people would suffer.

“I will do all I can to ensure that the voices of Belper residents are heard on this issue, and will be writing to the planning inspector about the inappropriateness of the core strategy.”

Resident Eric Manning has produced a set of figures which show the total population in Belper has risen from 16,960 in 1991 to 23,417 today. Meanwhile, the population of Amber Valley had risen by 3.652 people, meaning Belper had taken 64 per cent of the population increase in the borough, he claimed.