Planning Committee reject North Avenue application
Derby City Council Planning Committee rejects the proposed housing development off North Avenue, Darley Abbey
10 September 2015
The Committee meeting started with one of the Council's planning officers summarising the main points of their report, which recommended that the councillors on the planning committee should reject the developer's proposal. The main reasons for this were the detrimental effect on the world heritage site; the erosion of the green wedge; the development not harmonising well with the existing housing; and a filling in of the gap between Darley Abbey and Allestree. There was no mention of traffic issues, other than the proposed access to the development, which would not meet current standards. There was mention of revised transport proposals having been submitted, but the detail of these were not explained.
A representative of the developer was then invited to speak, and like all the public speakers was limited to 3 minutes. He made great play on the fact that the land for the proposed development was effectively low grade waste land; would barely be seen from the world heritage site; and would merely 'square off' the green wedge around the end of North Avenue. He said that turning down such developments just forced new housing into South Derbyshire and Amber Valley, and Derby desperately needed new housing. He accused objectors of being nimbys and said the committee should go and make a site visit. This last point irritated the chair of the committee who stated they had already made a site visit and knew what they were doing. Chris Hall spoke on behalf of the Darley Abbey Society and particularly emphasised the traffic problems that would arise and said that an assessment must be carried out to demonstrate that the existing roads could cope with the increased traffic. The third speaker was councillor Jack Stanton, who further emphasised the harm to the world heritage site, erosion of green wedge and extra traffic. He called into question the whole viability of the development pointing out that it was unlikely to be a great place to live, being so close to the A38 and with its 'back turned' to the existing housing.
After that, it was thrown open to the councillors on the committee to speak and a number did so. All stated that they would be voting to reject the proposal; the main issues appeared to be the potential harm to the world heritage site and the erosion of the green wedge. It was then put to the vote, which was to unanimously reject the proposal. A great result therefore, and we will just have to wait now to see if that is the end of the matter. It seems that the planning committee was not at all well disposed towards the development having rejected a very similar proposal only about a year previously. If the developer appeals, the Society has laid the foundations to mount a very effective fight to ensure this development never goes ahead.