Plans to build 400 houses near Kedleston Hall are set for their final sign-off – after a more than five-year fight.
The National Trust, responding to Catesby Estates’ plans for land off Kedleston Road in Allestree, said the scheme was a “significant disappointment”.
Amber Valley Borough Council planning officers have recommended that the plans, which would tie up the remaining details of the 400-home scheme, are given the go-ahead at a meeting on Monday, October 14.
Campaign group Kedleston Voice has been fighting to stop plans to build on the 42-acre site since 2016, after a planning inspector overturned Amber Valley’s 2014 rejected planning permission.
Isobel Shorrock, a member of Kedleston Voice, said: “We are planning to object, but our job now is to accept that this is going ahead and to help mitigate the damage to the area.
“The environmental side of the project should be given more importance, there should bigger trees planted and more to cater for wildlife.
“The attenuation ponds (used to offset flood water) aren’t in the right place, and this is what we have been saying all along, there isn’t the amenity or infrastructure to support it.
“Our view is that it shouldn’t be there, it does obscure the view of Kedleston Hall.
“They are going to get 400 homes any which way but they need more planting and hedgerows.”
In response to the application, the National Trust, which owns Kedleston Hall, said that it was “concerned that the developer is compromising the overall masterplan to cram in precisely 400 homes”.
It says the ability to conserve the view of Kedleston Hall would be “severely compromised” by the arrangement of the development – with two-storey buildings planned in the north-east corner of the site.
The charity also says: “We are disappointed to note that only minor changes have been made to the scheme, with a number of plans being resubmitted unchanged.
“It is a significant disappointment that the applicant continues to make no commitment to providing solar panels (or other renewable energy) as part of the scheme, relying instead on future occupiers.”
In total, 163 residents have lodged objections to the scheme.
The area’s MP, Pauline Latham, has also objected to the plans, saying that the house designs in the scheme are “inappropriate for the heritage setting of Kedleston Hall”.
She wrote: “Parking is likely to be an issue as there are too many houses for the size of land and therefore cars are likely to park on the roads and pavements.
“The landscape design is inappropriate and the majority of the green space is not integrated within the housing site but placed in a corner which is an off-road cycle track.”
The scheme, which would be called The Oaks, would have 986 parking spaces – an average of nearly two and a half per property.
Of the 400 homes, 120 (30 per cent) would be affordable housing – and would be a mix of two, three, four and five bedroom houses and apartments.
A statement submitted with Catesby’s application by Pegasus Group, says: “The Oaks at Kedleston Road is a development with a distinctive, contemporary style architecture, sympathetic to its surrounding, creating a new gateway to Allestree.
“The Oaks is designed to integrate with the existing trees and green corridors.
“These green open spaces are the heart of the community providing multifunctional, accessible spaces to play, rest and enjoy, with a community park benefiting both the existing and proposed communities.”
Recommending approval, borough council officers wrote: “The repetitive rhythms and consistency of form, detail and materials, generate a commendable strength of design sense that is lacking in the vast majority of modern housing developments.
“The proposed development responds to its surroundings by sensitively integrating with the existing built form of Allestree to the South, Quarndon to the north and Kedleston Hall estate to the west.
“The proposal represents a sustainable form of development for the delivery of 400 dwellings as such a recommendation of approval is put forward.”
Kedleston Voice had raised thousands to take its battle to the High Court in July 2017, where the planning inspector’s decision was quashed in a judicial review against the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Catesby took the case to the Court of Appeal in 2018, which upheld the planning inspector’s decision to approve the plans.
Campaigners took the case to the Supreme Court in 2019, but was refused permission to appeal in March.