Green Belt Under Threat in Amber Valley

Details of the areas which Amber Valley Borough Council may delete from protected green belt land to pave the way for housing developments have been revealed.

In June last year, the borough council triggered its first green belt land review for 30 years. This is due to a need for it find more areas of land which a total of 9,770 houses could be built on, throughout the borough, by 2028.

A governing inspector had been overseeing these plans, listed in the Amber Valley Borough Council Submission Local Plan, and assessing it for approval. However, during analysis, it was found that not enough potential housing sites had been identified, with the council granted a pause to conduct the green belt review.

Details of the sites which could be deleted have been leaked to the Local Democracy Reporting Service. Some of the locations are no surprise, with the land already being the site of major developments.

This includes the redevelopment of American Adventure at Shipley Country Park. It will be the site of more than 300 homes, education facilities and a retail park, encircling the lake.

However, an array of sites adjacent to the country park are also earmarked by the borough council. These sites would stretch from Shipley Garden and Aquatic Centre all the way up to Breach Road, effectively merging the village with Marpool, Langley and Heanor, and further bridging the gap to Cotmanhay.

Similarly, another expected site is the area known as Cinderhill, north of Denby, where some 200 acres of green belt land was already earmarked to be deleted to pave the way for 3,000 houses and nearly 30 acres of business and industrial space.

Another large site, off Radbourne Common, Mackworth, could also be deleted. It would border the under-construction Langley Country Park, managed by Miller Homes and Redrow. The earmarked plot fills almost the entire of the array of fields west of this development, up to Brun Lane. Amber Valley had earmarked a further 670 houses in its Local Plan for Radbourne Lane. Deleting this land from the green belt could fastrack the possibility of this being achieved.

Also earmarked is the highly-contested and controversial site Kedleston Road and Memorial Road in Allestree. This site could be the home of 400 houses but it has been the subject of a battle between residents – including campaign group Kedleston Voice – and the developer, Catesby Estates, through the planning process, appeals system and the courts, for the past five years.

In Duffield, a medium-sized site off Cumberhills Road and a series of plots west of Duffield Meadows Primary School have been touted for deletion.

Meanwhile, Belper appears to be peppered with areas which could be deleted from the green belt.

This includes a large site between Bargate Road and Derby Road, completely encircling a small number of homes in Wildersley Road. Another large earmarked plot lies between Belper Road and the A38, linking the villages of Rawson Green and Openwoodgate.

Also included are sites off Chesterfield Road off the north east boundary of Belper.

At Codnor, a large site is labelled for potential deletion just to the west of Ormonde Fields Gold Club and Codnor Castle Inn, off Nottingham Road, curving around Codnor Sports and Social Club.

Finally, of the larger sites, is a plot to the west of Ripley wedged in between the town and the A38 and stretching from Upper Hartshay in the south to Hardwick Close in the north.

In September last year the business chosen by the borough council to conduct the review, DLP Planning Limited, was found to have an “inappropriate” history. This was due to it “boasting all over Twitter” about securing controversial planning permissions on green belt. The firm responded that it was completely independent and follows a strict code of conduct and industry standards when carrying out its work.

Eddie Bisknell (LDRS)

Eddie writes for Nailed through the Local Democracy Reporting Service, in partnership with the BBC. The Local Democracy Reporting Service is a partnership of media outlets sharing reporters to cover council meetings.

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