£13m housing plan next to Crich nuclear dump re-emerges

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A controversial plan to build over 100 new homes in Crich has re-emerged, which residents say will over-develop the small town and pose serious health risks.

Developers have fought back against Amber Valley Borough Council’s decision to deny a new plan on lands off Roes Lane in Crich last July, due to concerns of potential radiological contamination from the former toxic landfill at Hilts Quarry, which used ot be used by Rolls Royce to dump low-level radioactive waste.

Having now undertaken an impact assessment of human health risks, Gladman Developments is now appealing against the refusal.

Peter Brett Associatyes performed an assessment in February, finding the main risks posed to future residents would have been by contamination of groundwater and the release of radon gas – a “daughter propduct” of uranium.

But the report found that the area, which already has an elevated level of natural radon on the atmosphere, would not be affected by the landfill, though radon proection will be needed on new houses.

The report stated: “There was no evidence of significantly elevated levels which could be attributed to the radioactive materials deposited in Hilts Quarry.

“The radiological risk posed by the low level radioactive waste which has been deposited in Hilts Quarry does not merit any specific remedial measures for the proposed development.

Gladman Developments said the reason for denying the application has, therefore, “been removed, and as such the material circumstances of the site have changed”.

The plan would provide for local housing requirements, described as “devastatingly poor”, added the company.

As well as 113 dwelling, the plan aims to provide a children’s play area and will involved £13 million investment.

Many local residents objected to the original plan, stating that local amenities could not cater for more families, and that the site is very close tot he Hilts Quarry.

Jane Howard of Bulling Lane, who objected to the proposal said: “An additional 113 houses would put too much of a strain on all existing amenities and especially on the local road network. It would not be able to handle an additional 200 cars that would come with the housing development.

“Crich has already had a number of new houses, why does it need more?”

When asked for any suggestions to improve the proposal, Mrs Rennison of Lumley Drive said: “Ditch them.”

“Even with improved security it is clearly not safe to house around 100 families within such close proximity.”

Elizabeth Brierley said: This application was refused last year and has now been resubmitted. It is important to protect Crich and such precious areas of the Amber Valley from over-development.”

Philip Brooks of Coasthill approved of the plan.

He said: “too often those who grow up here have to move out of the area. There is a need to assist first time buyers.”

And Joyce Brooks said Crich was “a wonderful place to consider building some of our country’s much needed new houses,

The developers responded to comments, stating: “A Phase One site investigation report which highlights all relevant environmental matters confirms development can be delivered without risk to future residents of the site.”