Homes ‘should be built in city before the town’

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More houses need to be built in Derby before Belper’s green fields are concreted over, according to a town planner.

Bob Pick, who has been hired to help Belper Town Council fight plans for nearly 600 homes, which are being proposed as part of Amber Valley Borough Council’s new core strategy, claimed there was plenty of scope for more homes on the outskirts of the city.

Local authorities have been told by the Coalition Government that they need to work closely together with their neighbours to ensure housing targets are met.

Mr Pick told a meeting it was his opinion that there was scope for more housing developments on the outskirts of Derby, before Belper is brought into consideration.

“One of the key things is that not enough land has been allocated on the edges on Derby,” he said.

“They are over-allocating(for Belper) as far as I can see. The calculations have been done with the gross area of each site.

“The numbers are likely to be less – all they are doing at the moment is providing additional sites, which will be given back to the inspector.”

Amber Valley’s final core strategy recommendations will be approved at the end of September. A Government inspector will then make a final decision on what homes will be allocated to each town in the autumn.

The authority’s original plans were thrown out by aplanning inspector following a public inquiry.

Now, the borough council is suggesting for Belper: 120 houses in Derwent Street, 250 homes in Bullsmoor/Cherry House Farm, Belper, and 200 houses near Pottery Farm, Belper,

Resident Eric Manning said at the meeting at Strutts Comunity Centre that 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.

Sixteen major companies had also been closed in Belper during the last 40 years, he said. One concerned resident said Pottery School, Belper School and St John’s School were all over capacity and that other services such as sewage works and GP Sugeries would not be able to cope.

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