Village green plan on land for housing

Field of Dreams: Ron Wilson and the residents of Conksbury Lane in Youlgreave are fighting a planning proposal to build affordable homes on a field known locally as The Alley, which they hope to turn into the village green.
Field of Dreams: Ron Wilson and the residents of Conksbury Lane in Youlgreave are fighting a planning proposal to build affordable homes on a field known locally as The Alley, which they hope to turn into the village green.

Residents are campaigning for a village green – on land designated for a housing development.

Eight affordable homes are set to be built in Conksbury Lane, in Youlgrave.

But villagers are opposing the scheme and claim the land, known locally as The Alley, has been used for many years by the community and should remain as an open space.

Over 20 residents have formed The Alley Committee and submitted a planning application to register the field, which is around five acres, as a village green.

John Wilson, of Conksbury Avenue and chairman of the committee, said: “This field has been used for decades by walkers, dog walkers, runners, children playing games, sledging and even as a fair ground.

“We think these activities should be allowed to continue and are worth fighting for.

“As a committee we believe Youlgrave is a beautiful village because of its green spaces and we should do our best to make sure it stays that way.”

Secretary of the group June Oldham, added: “We feel the buildings they are going to put on the field are totally inappropriate. We also believe they are not necessary as there are so many houses for sale in the village already.

“We don’t have a village green in Youlgrave. We have a playing field but it is on the outside of the village. This is an important open space.”

Youlgrave Parish Council made the application for the six houses and two bungalows, which was given planning permission in April.

They will be built and managed by the Peak District Rural Housing Association.

Residents opposed the development saying it would be out of keeping for the area, would create congestion, and spoil open space in the village.

But Peak District National Park Authority’s planning committee ruled that there was a need for more affordable houses in the village.

The application was supported by Friends of the Peak District, the chairman of Sustainable Youlgrave and the chairman of Youlgrave Village Plan Group.

Paris council clerk Matthew Lovell said the council had not yet discussed the residents’ proposals.

Derbyshire County Council will determine the application.