Action group needs help to save Matlock ‘oasis’

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An action group is appealing for help to fight a developer which wants to build 110 homes on Matlock’s last remaining green space.

The Asker Lane Action Group wants help to pay for a barrister to fight its corner against a developer who wants to build a housing estate on land off Asker Lane, Matlock.

Residents formed the group in 2012 to fight the Richborough Estates application.

Derbyshire Dales District Council has refused the planning application.

However, the developer has now appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.

To protect the land further, the group is applying for ‘open spaces’ status.

Carl Owen, of the Asker Lane Action Group, explained: “If you can prove that somewhere’s been used by the public for 20 years or more, it can be given to the people and you can’t build on it.”

An open spaces hearing with an independent Government appointed barrister will take place in the Imperial Rooms, Matlock, from February 24 to 26.

Both Richborough Estates and the Asker Lane Action Group will have their own barristers to plea their cases during the hearing.

“We have employed the services of a barrister to help manage us and we’re trying to raise some funds to pay for that because it’s £3,000,” Carl explained.

He asked residents of Matlock to support the group’s effort as the land off Asker Lane is a little ‘oasis’ in the town.

He said: “The overwhelming factor is to reclaim the outlining character of Matlock and to show these large companies that ‘no’ means ‘no’.”

Anyone who wishes to donate to the costs can do so by cash or cheque made payable to ‘Asker Lane Action Group’ and posted to Pam Wilmot, 13 Asker Lane, Matlock, DE4 3FY.