Rules ‘flouted’ by developers

The entrance to the controversial Hallcroft housing development in Middleton-by-Wirskworth, which, according to existing residents, have been built too high and exceeded their original plans.
The entrance to the controversial Hallcroft housing development in Middleton-by-Wirskworth, which, according to existing residents, have been built too high and exceeded their original plans.

Angry neighbours say an affordable housing scheme should not have been given the go-ahead after developers ‘flouted’ planning regulations.

Derbyshire Dales District Council gave the green light for the plans which will see 14 homes built, at Hall Croft, in Middleton by Wirksworth, despite 19 objections.

Residents alerted planners to the site, in New Road last year, after properties were built 0.7 metres higher than the permission granted.

Applicants Derwent Living then applied for retrospective planning permission – claiming the houses had to be built higher due to highways and drainage issues.

But the parish council objected to the changes along with residents who said the houses were much more intrusive than originally planned and overshadowed neighbouring properties.

Steve Wood said: “The developer never bothered to show its face to the planning committee to explain why it ignored the planning process and will get away with flouting the consent.

“Is this a precedent the committee wishes to set?”

Robert Rawlinson added: “Could it be that the developers knew all along that they were not keeping to the planning decision but decided they would get away with changing the plans later.”

Catherine Housley said: “Why did they carry on building the foundations of 11 houses and two bungalows knowing they were higher than was passed at the last planning meeting? Did they think nobody would notice or object?”

In his report planning officer Gareth Griffiths said the matter of raising the levels should have been addressed before work started but the proposals to alter the buildings were considered acceptable.

He added: “The relative increase in levels does not lead to such a significant loss of light, outlook or privacy that officers would consider it justified refusal of the application.”