New details of plan for 400 homes north of Matlock draw criticism from town council and residents

New details have emerged around controversial plans to build more than 400 homes, shops and a park on land north of Matlock, sparking fresh criticism from neighbouring residents and the town council.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 3:17 pm

Developer William Davis Homes submitted a planning application (18/01242/EIA) in 2018 for the greenfield area known as the Wolds, between Sandy Lane, Bent Lane and Gritstone Road but protracted consultations mean it has yet to come before the council for consideration.

This month, the applicant has submitted further information about how it intends to manage the environmental impact of the build – but it appears to have done nothing to satisfy those who have long harboured reservations about the project.

Responding on behalf of Matlock Town Council, clerk Susan Smith said: “The council is concerned that the revisions to and additional information do not overcome the fundamental issues with the development.”

The principle issues the council says are still outstanding include the potential for increased surface water and a lack of groundwater retention, which could multiply the existing flood threat to neighbouring properties and the town centre.

The council also notes the likelihood that development would last for nine years, with a projected 50 to 90 construction vehicles every day on Chesterfield Road, bringing noise, dirt, congestion, safety hazards, and worsening air pollution around schools.

Susan said: “A whole generation of children will be unable to play outside their houses because of the danger from these vehicles.”

Those sentiments have been echoed by the residents group Save Our Matlock Greenfields, who were defeated in their campaign to have the site omitted from the district council’s Local Plan for potential development.

Residents say the site is a vital natural flood defence, a haven for wildlife and has offered them a lifeline escape during lockdown.
Residents say the site is a vital natural flood defence, a haven for wildlife and has offered them a lifeline escape during lockdown.

The group have also raised issues with the environmental impact assessment such as interfering with wildlife, the likely lack of sustainable transport to and from town, and loss of privacy.

They are encouraging people to comment on the plans by June 4, citing the planning case reference. Write to [email protected] or Regulatory Services, Derbyshire Dales District Council, Town Hall, Bank Road. Matlock. DE4 3NN.

A spokesman for the developer said: “William Davis Homes has worked closely with the local planning authority to mitigate any flooding risk on the proposed site.

“We are sympathetic to local concern regarding flood risk and are confident that the latest proposals address the issues which have been raised. The site includes a large open space, incorporating a country park, which will feature industry-recognised sustainable drainage systems to help control the effect of surface water.”

Residents have been fighting against the proposed development for several years.

They added: “Overall, the proposed development will bring huge benefits to the area, including a boost to the local economy, improved public access to land for recreation and the opportunity for young families to stay in the area due to the provision of affordable housing.”

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