Plan for 650-job busi­ness park and 150 new homes is re­jected

Derby Telegraph - - NEWS - By ED­DIE BISKNELL ed­die.bisknell@reach­plc.com @Ed­dieBisk

PLANS for a new busi­ness park and 150 houses near Belper have been kicked out af­ter a pub­lic in­quiry. The scheme would have cre­ated more than 650 jobs.

The con­tro­ver­sial de­vel­op­ment, put for­ward by Pev­eril Homes and Vail­lant Group UK, would have been built in fields off Not­ting­ham Road on land known lo­cally as Bullsmoor.

Plans for the site, 23 acres at the back of the firm’s ex­ist­ing fac­tory, at which do­mes­tic boil­ers are made, came be­fore the Am­ber Val­ley Bor­ough Coun­cil plan­ning board in Novem­ber.

The scheme was di­vided into two ap­pli­ca­tions, one for 150 houses and a fac­tory ex­ten­sion, and the other for the busi­ness park.

It faced fierce op­po­si­tion from the pub­lic and Mid-Der­byshire MP Pauline Latham due to its lo­ca­tion within the Der­went Val­ley Mills World Her­itage Site Buf­fer Zone. An ob­jec­tion was also made by His­toric Eng­land.

In to­tal, 105 mem­bers of the pub­lic sub­mit­ted let­ters ob­ject­ing to the over­all scheme.

A pub­lic in­quiry was held for seven days from April 10 at Ri­p­ley Town Hall.

Yes­ter­day, govern­ment plan­ning in­spec­tor Colin Ball, re­vealed his de­ci­sion on the over­all scheme.

He said plan­ning per­mis­sion for the de­vel­op­ments should be re­fused due to the “se­ri­ous harm” which they would have on the area. Mr Ball stated that any ben­e­fits from the scheme were out­weighed by this dam­age.

He wrote: “The de­vel­op­ment pro­posal would cause se­ri­ous harm to the un­changed his­toric coun­try­side into which the pi­o­neer­ing in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment was in­serted and which now pro­vides a val­ued ru­ral land­scape set­ting for the built de­vel­op­ment.

“Be­ing able to ap­pre­ci­ate the 18th/19th-cen­tury in­dus­trial com­plexes in an 18th/19th-cen­tury land­scape is an im­por­tant at­tribute of the Der­went Val­ley Mills World Her­itage Site.

“Tak­ing ac­count of the neg­a­tive im­pact on the sig­nif­i­cance of Pot­tery Farm [a Grade II-listed farm site to the north of the site on Kil­bourne Road] and the set­ting of the Belper and Mil­ford Con­ser­va­tion Area, the loss of part of the val­ued land­scape would re­duce the au­then­tic­ity of that at­tribute, caus­ing per­ma­nent and ir­re­versible dam­age to the out­stand­ing uni­ver­sal value and sig­nif­i­cance of one of the coun­try’s most valu­able her­itage as­sets.”

He did con­cede that build­ing of 150 houses, of which 45 would be af­ford­able hous­ing, pre­sented clear ben­e­fits and ad­dressed a sig­nif­i­cant short­fall in sup­ply, but that this was not enough to over­turn the neg­a­tive im­pacts.

Mr Ball con­tin­ued “On bal­ance, giv­ing sig­nif­i­cant weight to the iden­ti­fied harm to the World Her­itage Site and the other her­itage as­sets, I con­sider that the pub­lic ben­e­fits of the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment do not out­weigh that harm.”

The Sec­re­tary of State for Hous­ing, Com­mu­ni­ties and Lo­cal Govern­ment, James Bro­ken­shire MP, could still over­rule the de­ci­sion of the plan­ning in­spec­tor.

An artist’s im­pres­sion of what the new de­vel­op­ment would have looked like.

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