Darley Abbey Society Annual report 2018

Darley Abbey Society Annual report 2018

Darley Abbey Society – Chairman's Report 2018

I am sorry to have to report that it has been a year of setbacks for the Society.
At our AGM a year ago we reported on two proposals that caused the Society to take action.
The first was a proposal to install a recycled waste incinerator with a 20 metre high chimney, in industrial premises off Alfreton Road. This plant is close to Darley Abbey Village, and in particular the Mills, Haslam's Lane and Folly Road. It is also adjacent to the Energas Depot.
The Society lodged objections on two fronts.
Firstly, its impact on the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site:
It is within the site's buffer zone, and within feet of the boundary of the site itself.
And secondly, environmental concerns; particularly around air and noise pollution.
As it became clear that the planning authority were going to approve the scheme, an action group was set up. This group then joined forces with the Society and raised funds to instruct barristers and other professionals to advise us on how we could stop this going through.
In September it came to the Planning Committee. Despite strong representations by Peter Steer and Juliet Beck, the committee granted permission by 6 votes to 5.
The action group then decided to raise further funds to cover the cost of a Judicial Review. Unfortunately the Judicial Review was rejected by the Judge, but I understand that the action group have lodged an appeal against the decision, so we await further developments.
The second application was to construct an "all user" path through the park.
There is a general acceptance that a hard surface path through the park adjacent to the River is needed. However, the controversy was over whether it should accommodate bicycles as well as pedestrians, and if so what width it should be. The proposal was for it to be 3 metres wide, which many consider is too much.
However, despite our best efforts, the cycling lobby have won the day, and permission has been given for a 3 metre wide path.
Another planning application which was opposed by the Society, is to demolish an attractive 1930s bungalow at No 1 Church Lane and build a three storey block of flats in its place. The Society considered the proposal to be out of scale for the area. The Planning Committee agreed and rejected the application. However, the applicants appealed and permission was granted on appeal.
There was one success, however, and that concerned three planning applications to build a row of cottages on vacant land in New Road. The applicants seem to have been unaware of the 2009 decision by a planning inspector, that no buildings should be erected in this sensitive part of the World heritage Site. Consequently, all three applications were rejected. The Society is now looking into the possibility of a long term sustainable use for the land such as allotments.
We had a very successful Autumn meeting last October. Our speakers were Daniel Martin, Curator of Making at the Silk Mill Museum of Making, who gave us an update on the next steps in the refurbishment of the Museum now that all the funding for the project has been secured; and Peter Steer, the man behind Kedleston Voice, who told us about his experience of successfully obtaining a Judicial Review of the appeal decision to allow planning permission for a housing estate near Kedleston Hall and how we might seek a Judicial Review of the Incinerator decision.
I would like to thank:
our wonderful committee members for all their hard work and dedication over the past year, and 
Peter Steer, Juliet Beck, Jane Travis and all the members of the Incinerator action group who did a fantastic job in raising money and preparing the case for the Judicial Review; and also
Doreen Goodman for organising the refreshments for our meetings.

David Ling, Chairman.

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