Challenge made at council’s meeting

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A county councillor has thrown down the gauntlet to Darley Dale councillors who claim to be acting in the interests of the majority of residents over a controversial planning proposal.

Mike Longden, Derbyshire County Council’s representative for the Derwent Valley, is at loggerheads with members of Darley Dale Town Council over their opposition of a housing development on the site of Darley Dale Primary School, in Greenaway Lane.

The plans will see 15 affordable homes and seven private properties built in the old school building, which is grade II listed, and three new classrooms built at the junior school.

Darley Dale Town Council has ferociously fought against the plans – opposing them in the first instance and applying for the land to have village green status.

Speaking at the town council’s annual meeting, Mayor Ingrid Pasteur, who was later elected for another term, said: “There is a certain amount of outrage at having just had a public inquiry about the village green application, the county council is proposing to build on there regardless.

There seems to be very little reason now to have more affordable housing.

The message of the town council has always been that we want to keep our green spaces.”

However Cllr Longden was met with a round of applause from members of the public when he challenged the council to provide evidence that the majority of people in Darley Dale were against the plans.

He said: “I am aware this town council supports the Greenaway Lane Residents Association, which I have to say is largely a single issue pressure group who are spearheading the resistance to the application.”

He told the meeting that the county council had gone to consultation with regard to the appropriation of the school site and had only received one objection, which was from a resident of Greenaway Lane.