Tories accused of ‘not in my backyard’ housing strategy

The leader of Amber Valley Borough Council’s Labour group has accused members of the Tory–run authority of taking a “not in my backyard” approach to building 9,000 homes in the area.

Paul Jones claimed the authority’s proposals for large housing developments in the area ensure that none of the building sites are in the wards of Conservative councillors.

Tory leaders have angrily denied Mr Jones’ claims, saying Labour politicians were involved in the process which saw sites, including nearly 2,000 homes in Far Laund and Mill Lane, Belper ditched.

At a meeting on Wednesday night the council decided to put out six sites for public consultation including 1,800 homes at Cinderhill, in Denby.

Cllr Jones said: “In fact, four of the six sites proposed are between Heanor and Ripley.If you look at these proposals they are all on the eastern side of the A38, with the exception of the proposals for Alfreton,

“It is noticeable that the only town with no significant developments is Belper. You are forced to ask the question why? Is it because there are no Labour councillors?

“Despite any public outcry about the sites identified it will be the controlling Tory group which decides which sites are identified for housing once the consultation period has finished and by these proposals it is quite clear it won’t be in their back yard.”

Leader of the Conservative group, Stuart Bradford, said council officers, along with a cross-party Local Development Framework Group had helped select development sites.

“I’m most surprised and disappointed Mr Jones seeks to politicise this process which is ultimately to achieve homes for people,” he said “It’s a cheap point. The homes happen to be where they are. Sites in Heanor as well as Belper were discarded. It’s the geology of the areas that has concentrated population.”

Concerned residents filled the council’s public gallery for the meeting.

Philip Rose said: “It’s a disaster for the people of Amber Valley as it stands.”

Syvia Mason, from Amber Valley SOS, said: “It’s clearly against the wishes of the majority of people.”

Rebecca Deans said: “I fail to understand who is going to buy these properties.”