Housing plans would be ‘huge strain’ on town

Tesco Corporate Affairs Manager's Adam Williams (left) and Mark Thomas (right) with Belper MP Pauline Latham
Tesco Corporate Affairs Manager's Adam Williams (left) and Mark Thomas (right) with Belper MP Pauline Latham

Plans formore than 100 houses on a huge development site owned by Tesco in Belper will put a “huge strain” on local amenities, according to the town’s MP.

Pauline Latham hosted a public meeting about the proposed plans for the Meadows Edge site in Belper,off Derwent Street where the Old Thorntons factory stands. 

The meeting was held as a consequence of the dissatisfaction that was voiced by some residents about the supermarket giant’s proposed plans for Meadows Edge site at the public consultation the company hosted in Belper on May 1. 

At the consultation, Tesco proposed to sell phase one of the site on for housing, despite previous discussions hosted by Tory MP Mrs Latham, in which residents suggested a mixed-use development.

Mrs Latham, MP for Mid-Derbyshire said: “I am concerned that proper consideration had not been given to things like the provision of school places and the effect on the environment in the planning of this development. 

“I believe that a mixed use development is the better option, and feel that in its current state, the intended use of the land will be a huge strain on local amenities.

“Belper residents would like the long promised library to be built by the county council as part of this development.

“I will of course keep my constituents updated on the planning application, and any responses I receive in relation to this matter. ”

Residents attending the meeting felt that in spite of the results of the road impact assessment carried out by Tesco, residential development on the site could cause an increase in traffic volume on Derwent Street.

They also felt that a large, modern housing development was inappropriate on a world heritage site, and that the increase in population could put a strain on already over-stretched public services.

Mrs Latham went on to question also offered locals guidance on how they could object to the planning application, which could be submitted as early as the end of May. 

Tesco corporate affairs manager, Mark Thomas, said: “After it was decided not to progress a large supermarket scheme for the site, we have been working hard to come up with an alternative proposal that will see this part of Belper regenerated and revitalised. We think that a housing-led proposal would act as a catalyst for the whole of the site to be developed with a mix of different uses. We have been careful to ensure our proposals are appropriate for Belper and our application will rightly be scrutinised by statutory consultees, the local authority and the community before it is considered at committee.”