The recent town centre flood has once again raised residents’ fears about the cumulative impacts of the on-going development sites to the north of Matlock.
Recent years have seen an explosion of building towards Matlock Moor; on Asker Lane, Quarry Lane and below the golf course, all off Chesterfield Road. The September flood water came from the north side of the valley and flooded Crown Square, Causeway Lane and even affected shops at the head of Firs Parade.
The land on the northern slopes of Matlock is an area well known to locals for its natural springs and ancient underground water courses. The source of the water that put Matlock on the map as a successful spa town originates from this historic landscape.
There must be a likelihood that the recent accumulation of development on the north side of the valley is already having an impact on the natural water courses and changing them, leading to new flooding elsewhere. In fact, such changes have already been observed after even moderate interventions. Springs have appeared where they had not been seen previously.
The Wolds is a 60 acre greenfield site which has been earmarked in the local plan for a huge development of 430 new homes. The site has a history of runoff water, underground water and flooding. It is believed to have been the source of water for John Smedley’s hydros and more recently, for Matlock. It is complex in its geology and hydrology and locals understand how unpredictable it can be.
National Planning Policy makes it very clear that new developments should not increase the chances of flooding elsewhere or divert water to other places where it could cause flooding.
People are feeling very anxious about the potential future impacts of concreting over the huge natural sponge that is The Wolds and the vast quantity of underground water it conceals. They are also worried about the very close proximity of the Derwent Valley aqueduct which runs across the fields.
People have had enough and there should be no more development within the vicinity of Matlock Moor, this unique landscape has seen enough already and none of us, even developers and their consultants, can possibly know what may happen in the future as a result of over development on land of this nature.
The Wolds Action Group Save Our Greenfields
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