2,000 signatures on Ashover housing petition

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Almost 2,000 people have signed a petition calling for the council to refuse plans for a housing estate in a picturesque village.

Villagers formed a protest group after the application was submitted to North East Derbyshire District Council to build 40 homes at the junction of Narrowleys Lane and Moor Road, in Ashover.

They have since handed a petition into the authority asking for it to refuse the plans, which was signed by 1,961 people.

Ashover resident Catherine Wild came up with the idea for the petition and was helped by Ellen Hardwick, who leads the protest group, among other residents.

Ellen, who also lives in Ashover, said: “Lots of people asked if they could help and there were quite a few people collecting signatures around the village.

“We were only doing it for about two weeks and we ended up with nearly 2,000 signatures.

“I think the council was quite surprised because I don’t think they normally get that many signatures on petitions.

“We’re hoping that will carry some weight and show the council just how strongly local people and visitors feel about it.”

The application has been submitted by Marsh Green Estates Ltd and would include 10 per cent affordable housing on a site opposite Ashover Primary School.

“We feel very strongly about it because it’s a greenfield site and a special landscape area,” Ellen, a mother–of–two, continued.

“It’s a site that’s very open and is seen from all the hills and it’s a very special area akin to the Peak District landscape, which we want to protect.

“It’s on the edge of Ashover which has a very strong community and has also got character.”

She added that she didn’t feel the 40 homes were meeting local needs because only ten per cent of them were affordable.

The design and access statement submitted by the applicant states the overriding need for housing in the area, in particular affordable housing, outweighed any of any perceived adverse impact on the local area, adding: “The development is well placed to access the existing facilities in the village and is served by public transport links.”

A spokesman for North East Derbyshire District Council said that this application, like every other planning application, will be decided upon on its own merits.

To view the application, visit the council’s website, www.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk, and search for reference ‘14/00766/OL’.

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