A Derbyshire Dales town council has urged the planning authority to solve the local housing crisis by building a completely new, self-contained village in the area.
Members on Darley Dale Town Council say this would be preferable to trying to cram more and more houses into already stretched towns and villages.
The motion was passed at a meeting of the town council last Thursday and the suggestion has been welcomed by the district council who has urged those who support it to let them know in their current local plan consultation.
Proposing the motion, Councillor John Evans, mayor of Darley Dale, said: “The district council Local Plan will require them to build an additional 6,500 houses over the plan period.
“That’s more houses than in the whole of Matlock. Rather than force Matlock, Wirksworth, Ashbourne, Darley Dale, Tansley and other established villages to accommodate these houses with already creaking road systems and services.
“The council should build a new village, with a doctors’ surgery, primary school, shops and a community centre.”
Research undertaken by a Government-supported think-tank has shown that a village of 2,500 houses would be completely sustainable, and could support all of the facilities it would need.
The think-tank proposes that, instead of paying £400,000 an acre for land on the outskirts of existing settlements, local councils should buy farms at £10,000 an acre, and put the remaining £390,000 an acre towards roads, schools and shopping centres.
It also says that house prices would come down as a result.
“With so many dairy farmers wanting to get out of farming, it would be relatively easy to buy a 250 acre farm, suitable for a new village of 2,500 houses or more,” said Coun Evans.
A spokesman for Derbyshire Dales District Council, told the Mercury this week: “Darley Dale Town Council’s suggestion, while not new, is most welcome and we encourage that authority and residents who share its view to feed it into our current Local Plan consultation, which includes an online questionnaire that is open until December 14.
“The online link is www.derbyshiredales.gov.uk/LocalPlan.
“We take extremely seriously the suggestions of local people and, following this initial consultation, will be engaging our residents again at various times next year as we prepare a Local Plan for the Derbyshire Dales for Government approval.”