Last week I wrote a blog in response to a proposal to build 400 new homes in Allestree…well, actually they would be in Quarndon. Click here to see it.
Following my blog I had a lot of responses. One was from Mid Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham. Pauline asked me to attend a public meeting to explain to local residents how the Planning process works for a development like this. The meeting this evening was attended by around 250 local residents.
The initial proposal for the site can be seen in more detail by clicking here. The plan below illustrates how the scheme might look. The road to the right hand boundary is Kedleston Rd.
- Impact upon the historic Kedleston Hall/ Estate.
- Impact upon infrastructure, particularly roads which, are already congested at peak times.
- Impact on local schools (Curzon in Quarndon, Portway, Lawn, Woodlands and Ecclesbourne).
- Lack of local medical facilities (GP surgery’s, Dental practices etc)
- Environmental impact (green space, views, trees, wildlife and flood risk).
All of these concerns are completely valid and should be considered as part of a robust Planning application process. However, if the developer can satisfy the local authority that the proposal will be sustainable and, importantly, complies with relevant policies, then the scheme could go ahead.
You can find out more about the local Planning policies by clicking here.
The problem however as I see it, and it is a serious one, is that the site is within Amber Valley Borough Council control (not Derby City which, all of the remainder of Allestree sits in). What this means is that Amber Valley will administer and determine the Planning Application, but the greatest impact will be on residents of Allestree. Furthermore any potential financial contributions towards improving amenities and infrastructure (through a Section 106 agreement or Community Infrastructure Levy) may sit with AVBC, with Derby City Council only getting limited benefit. The same will apply to Council Tax if the dwellings are built.
Having spent some time in the last week researching this proposal a bit more, it seems clear that this site has been identified for sometime as a potential zone for the urban expansion of Derby. Both Derby City and Amber Valley have high demand for new housing supply to be built and this is reinforced by central Government.
Having considered the points people have raised in terms of concerns/ objections, I suspect most, if not all of them, can be dealt with through relevant policies.
I absolutely understand and appreciate the resistance of local residents to this proposal and the impact it will have. But most of these can probably be addressed by the developer and the relevant Local Authorities.
- The direct impact on Kedleston Hall would be minimal.
- The roads will be more congested and the highways may require modification’s/ improvements (Five Lamps is the big problem for me – and always has been).
- A new school may be on the cards if the existing schools can’t handle further expansion (and that seems to be the case).
- Further medical facilities may be required.
- The Environmental impact can perhaps be managed – It might even be improved through more trees/ wildlife habitats, better flood mitigation control.
From my personal perspective; I’d rather this scheme was not permitted/ developed. But in my honest and professional opinion, at this stage, I predict that the odds are stacked in favour of this getting a green light from an objective Planning Policy and Strategic/ Political point of view.
The Outline Planning application is due to be submitted in September 2014. At this point all documentation relating to the proposal and its compliance with policies will be publicly available.
If the opposing residents of Allestree really want to stop this development from happening, I’d suggest that they will need to engage a suitable professional Planning Lawyer to interrogate the proposals/ application. This of course may not be a fruitful endeavour.
Change seems inevitable to me.