Council boost Darley Dale campaign to block housing plan

Residents campaign to preserve the landscape and character of Darley Dale is showing signs of success.
Residents campaign to preserve the landscape and character of Darley Dale is showing signs of success.

Darley Dale residents trying to block a planned housing development in the town have been given cause for optimism by district council officers.

The council planning committee will meet on Tuesday, September 5, to consider a proposal to build 126 homes on land off Dale Road South.

Officers have completed an initial assessment of the plans, and are recommending that they be refused.

The planning report notes multiple issues, many of which had been highlighted by the Darley Dale Action Group – set up by residents to oppose the development – and the town council, which is in an advanced stage with the neighbourhood plan.

A spokesman for the group said: “The recommendation for refusal is very welcome news. The planning application raised many concerns throughout our community and within the town council, not least because there was no public consultation nor any communication.

“It’s good to see that we are being listened to and the concerns raised are being taken seriously.”

Residents’ concerns related to the reduction of the green corridor between Matlock and Darley Dale, the lack of capacity in local schools, rights of access to neighbouring properties, and the aesthetics of the building designs.

The district council consultation recorded more than 100 objections from the group, the general public, the Two Dales Residents Action Group, Darley Dale Primary School, Matlock Civic Association and Darley Dale Town Council.

The spokesman added: “There are so many problems with the submitted application, it is clear that no thought has been given to the local area and it’s needs, a point which has been put across well in the recommendation.”

Explaining their findings, planning officers said: “The development, by reason of its incohesive design, layout and appearance lacks any overriding sense of place and would be harmful to the character of this part of Darley Dale.”

They also noted that properties on Station Road would be overshadowed by the new homes, compromising their privacy.

Officers also took issue with the planned layout in relation to crime prevention, drainage, highway safety, and traffic levels with regards to its proximity to the A6.

Furthermore, they found the developer had failed to provide sufficient information regarding its provision of affordable housing, archaeological preservation and landscaping.

The report concludes: “The authority considered the merits of the application and judged that there was no prospect of resolving the fundamental planning problems with it through negotiation.”

If the committee follow the officers’ recommendation, the developer will be granted the right to appeal.

To read the full officers’ report, go to http://bit.ly/2iG0QEB.