LETTER: Housing - town is creaking at the seams

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It was interesting to read the comments in last week’s edition, praising the friendliness of Matlock people.

We ‘Matlockians’ as we are quaintly referred to, don’t ‘fear’ the new housing plans, but we do intend to ensure that the new homes needed are built in the most appropriate places.

Most of the new building currently taking place is on the north side of the valley and it’s all on greenfield sites.

What most of us want is for the eyesore brownfield sites, mainly former quarries, which have been lying fallow for decades, to be developed for new homes.

However this is not the case currently. Developers are snapping up greenfields as they are easier and cheaper to develop.

This will leave Matlock with a lasting legacy of ugly, former industrial sites that will forever lie empty while housing developments sprawl ever further into the beautiful countryside that rightly makes Derbyshire so appealing to people.

All of us value the character and setting of Matlock and quite rightly don’t want to see any further encroachment into the fine countryside which makes Matlock such a special place. Indeed, this is the very reason new comers love to settle here. And it’s why everybody loves it.

Destroying more greenfields, whilst leaving brownfield undeveloped is not the answer to Matlock’s housing needs and that is why we are fighting for fairness, sustainability and transparency in the approach to development in our town.

There is also the key issue of infrastructure and services being unable to cope.

Matlock is already creaking at the seams and rampant development will lead to difficulties in accessing services.

We already know that there are real issues with getting doctors’ appointments, the highways network is already at gridlock in summer and peak times and there is no indication that developers will contribute enough to alleviate these issues.

The danger is that the friendly, relatively small community of Matlock will be swallowed up into yet another faceless commuter town where thousands of people may live in, but travel to work, shop and socialise outside, creating another dormitory town devoid of the sense of belonging that our Milton Keynes friend so rightly praises.

Julie Atkin

& Colleen Marples

Matlock Wolds Action Group