North east Derbyshire town vows to fight ‘destruction’ of ‘treasured’ greenbelt

Group chair, Dr Lynne Gadsden, overlooking a stretch of the Hallowes Golf Course, which  may be used for housing.
Group chair, Dr Lynne Gadsden, overlooking a stretch of the Hallowes Golf Course, which may be used for housing.

Residents from across Dronfield are to launch a campaign to protect the town’s ‘treasured’ greenbelt land.

The Dronfield Greenbelt Residents’ are protesting against the district council’s plans to build 860 homes on the outskirts of the town as part of its much heralded Local Plan.

We need a sustained campaign from as many residents as possible to stop these plans.

Campaign chair, Dr Lynne Gadsden

A public meeting will take place at Cliffe Park on Tuesday May, 23 at 7pm to publicise their campaign and agree a plan of action.

The meeting will include a ‘Greenbelt Question Time’ with local general election candidates to ask what they will do to protect the green belt if elected.

Dronfield resident and group chairperson Dr Lynne Gadsden explained that more than 1,000 residents have already joined their campaign.

She said: “We are holding the public meeting in Cliffe Park following the huge response we have already seen against these plans.

“But let’s be clear, we need a sustained campaign from as many residents as possible to stop these plans.”

Dr Gadsden said that golfing facilities, playing fields, farmland, footpaths and open countryside all stand to be lost if the plans go ahead.

The residents’ group are calling for vacant homes and brownfield plots in Dronfield and the wider district to be used instead.

A Council Spokesperson said, “A lot of hard work has gone into producing this document which must be in line with Government requirements and at the same time meet the needs of local people. We have a duty to ensure that enough land is identified to support growth and meet the development needs of the District in a sustainable way.

“Central Government dictates that sites selected for development must be capable of being built within the Plan period, this means that they must be both available and suitable for development and be located in areas where there is market demand. The Local Plan consultation document set out the Council’s proposals for where development could take place across our District in the next fifteen years, that’s why we have been going out, showing people the plans and talking to them to get their views.

“All the comments we received before the deadline are now being collated and will be put before Council for them to decide the next steps.”