Proposal for 100 houses on Matlock’s green space

Angry residents at the Askers Lane development site in Matlock

Angry residents at the Askers Lane development site in Matlock

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Controversial proposals to build houses on greenfield land have reemerged months after residents thought the coast was clear.

When choosing housing sites for its Local Plan earlier this year, Derbyshire Dales District Council gave land off Asker Lane, in Matlock, a low priority.

Residents who formed an action group to oppose the proposals thought the matter was over and done with, however developer Richborough Estates is now proposing a development of 100 homes on the site, which is designated greenfield land and has a protected badger set on it.

Roy Goodhall, of Hurst Rise, Matlock, is opposed to the new houses as he believes Matlock has already got enough housing. He said the new homes would stretch resources such as schools and doctors surgeries and questioned where all the new residents were going to work.

Carl Owen, of Chesterfield Road, who was involved in the Asker Lane Residents’ Group, added: “A lot of the older residents are quite upset about it because they thought it was all put to bed. This is the last bit of green space in Matlock.”

He said the residents’ group is awaiting the outcome of an application to make the land a village green – protecting it from development.

Paul Campbell, director of Richborough Estates, said: “The land at Asker Lane has a long planning history with the council previously allocating the site for housing in the local plan adopted in 1998.

“In 2012 officers of the council also undertook an objective assessment of all the available sites in Matlock and concluded that the site was the most suitable site for a housing allocation of nearly double the 100 dwellings that we are now proposing.

“Councillors chose to ignore this advice and are proposing to allocate housing mainly on former quarry sites which may not be viable and should be continue to be allocated for employment as this is important for the town.”