Council opposes plans for 520 new homes

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to develop housing on greenfield sites have taken another blow after Matlock Town Council unanimously voted against the proposal.

At a meeting on Monday night, town councillors voted against Derbyshire Dales District Council’s proposal to develop 520 new homes across the Dales.

Town councillors would instead like to planners to consider brownfield sites rather than the untouched green space they propose building on.

Alternative locations suggested by the town council are the Halldale and Harveydale quarries, the Ambulance station – provided the site is sold – and the Bakewell Road development.

The council also feels that the overall level of housing requirement is too high and that a higher density of dwellings is preferred for each site.

Sue Burfoot, who is a member of the town and district councils, said: “We welcome plans to build more affordable housing but we don’t want Greenfield sites being developed.”

Former councillor Martin Burfoot added: “Once the precedent has been set for developing on green space, my worry is that over the years it will keep growing and we could be looking at an urban sprawl problem.”

As part of the district council’s local plan, the authority aims to build the homes over a 16 year period.

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Eight sites have been suggested for Matlock with a total of 270 additional houses being built.

A further 160 new homes have been proposed for Darley Dale over three different sites while Wirksworth has been earmarked for 60 houses over two sites.

Four sites in Tansley have been proposed with a total of 30 homes planned for the village.

Sue Burfoot said: “There’s been so many public rejections to these proposals and now the town council has voted against it, I wonder how the district council is going to respond.”

The district council has said they welcome the many suggestions and are keen to further consult on how they can meet future housing needs of the Dales.

Paul Wilson, Director of Planning and Housing Services, said: “The District Council fully understands public concerns regarding the possible allocation of greenfield sites for development and we can give a categoric assurance that all alternative options will be considered before any decisions are taken.”

The deadline for submitting representations has been already been extended by four weeks to August 30 2012.

The district council is now encouraging anybody who has not yet submitted representations to do so promptly.