RIPLEY: Noisy protest on homes masterplan

Placards placed outside of Ripley Town Hall showed the strength of feeling against future housing proposals for Ripley and Codnor.

Placards placed outside of Ripley Town Hall showed the strength of feeling against future housing proposals for Ripley and Codnor.

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Protestors confronted councillors with klaxons and a loudspeaker outside Ripley Town Hall over proposals to build thousands of new homes in the east of the borough.

Last week Amber Valley Borough Council published its Core Strategy document which pinpoints key areas it wants to be designated for business and housing in the borough for the next 25 years.

Seven preferred sites for new homes have been identified, covering 540 acres.

But despite vocal protests over the past year, almost all of the land earmarked for homes is concentrated in green parts of Ripley, Codnor and Alfreton.

Steve Atkinson, of Dakins Row, Codnor, was one of about 60 people at the protest outside Wednesday’s full council meeting.

He said: “I’m here because I’m opposed to development on our green space.

“There is no justification for these builds – they have not shown the area can sustain this level of development.”

Laura Miller, of Nottingham Road, Codnor, only moved to the area three months ago.

She said she was at the protest because of fears for her eight week-old son Archie securing a school place in the future.

She added: “We could have an extra 4,000 people living here with all these houses.

“We’re worried about the schools being overcrowded or having to travel long distances just to get to one. People will move out of the area because of this.”

During the meeting Labour Codnor Cllr Chris Emmas-Williams said the new homes would “crucify us,” calling for a rigorous assessment of how the surrounding transport system would cope.

Belper Cllr Alan Cox said the Core Strategy was still out to consultation.

The document is available to view at Ripley Town Hall, Alfreton Library and at www.ambervalley.gov.uk. Comments should be made by 4.30pm on Friday, August 23.