Application for 110 homes of green space

Angry residents at the Askers Lane development site in Matlock
Angry residents at the Askers Lane development site in Matlock

A residents’ group plans to fight a proposal to build 110 homes on the last remaining green space in Matlock.

Developer Richborough Estates has submitted a planning application to Derbyshire Dales District Council to build the homes on land off Asker Lane.

A residents’ group was formed at the beginning of 2013 when the site was earmarked as a potential site for development in the district council’s Local Plan. Following a successful campaign, the group was delighted when the site was designated low priority for housing by councillors.

Now the group plans to object to the planning application.

Carl Owen, who lives in Chesterfield Road and is a member of the residents’ group, said: “It’s such as shame because it brings so much pleasure to so many people.

“It’s inside the town and it’s not like their building on a new little area, this is within the town and it’s used by hundreds of people and has been for years – that’s where our sentiments lie.

“It’s not really about building – whether they should or shouldn’t – it’s going to have to come down to whether the people of Matlock want a housing development on the last bit of land left that is green.”

The residents’ group is currently awaiting the outcome of an Open Spaces application to give the land ‘village green’ status, which would been it could not be developed upon and would still have public access. Richborough Estates received 126 responses to a public consultation it carried out on the proposals last year.

A consultation report published by the developer states: “The majority of the responses disagreed/objected in varying degrees to the proposals.

“Whilst we understand whys some residents so not wish to see the site developed, Matlock is the largest settlement in Derbyshire Dales and as such has to be the focus of new development because of it’s sustainability credentials.

“We are of the view that with a high quality sensitive design the proposals can be successfully assimilated into the surrounding area.”

Commenting on the Mercury’s Facebook page, Daz Lacey said: “The use of brownfield sites would be favourable over building on greenfield sites, but what brownfield sites are available for a development of around 100 houses in the Matlock area.”

Graham Lane added: “This is terrible. Such a beautiful area of natural beauty. I always enjoy walking there when holidaying with my daughter every summer.

“Please keep this place untouched. God bless Matlock.”

To view and comment on the planning application online, search for reference ‘14/00089/OUT’ on the planning section of the council’s website,