Derbyshire business park expansion could create 800 jobs

More than 800 new jobs could be created if a Derbyshire business park extension gets the final approval it needs.

Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 12:43 pm

Garner Holdings wants to build a 60,000 square metre extension to Denby Hall Business Park off Derby Road in Derbyshire’s protected Green Belt.

In September, it won approval at appeal for its extension, following the plans being rejected by Amber Valley Borough Council due to the apparent negative impact on the protected countryside. This was against the recommendations of the council’s planning officers.

Now it is applying for permission to tie up the final details of the scheme. This application will be decided by the borough council in the next few months.

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Denby Hall Business Park

The firm says the development would create more than 800 new jobs and safeguard a further 100 existing jobs on the site, which used to be an extensive open-cast mine.

It had argued that the economic benefits of the scheme, particularly in the wake of the pandemic and Brexit, were enough to outweigh the impact on the countryside.

Government inspector Carole Dillon had agreed with this position at the appeal inquiry, saying the “social, economic and environmental benefits” outweigh its impact.

She also wrote that the merging of several business premises onto one site would cut down on carbon emissions, with some of the journeys in the current manufacture processes linked to the firms seeing travel to Norwich.

The applicants wrote in documents submitted with the new plans: “The economic case for development is very strong and was a determining factor in the appeal.

“Garnerlux Aluminium, HL Plastics (Liniar Ltd) and LB Plastics Ltd are all rapidly growing businesses and the expansion of the Denby Hall Business Park is needed now to support the growth of manufacturing and to meet the demand for UK produced aluminium and UPVC windows and doors.”

The documents say the buildings would have rooftop solar panels as well as ponds for gathering flood water.

Denby Hall Business Park is said to already support 1,200 jobs on site and generates around £90 million a year.

The current number of employees on the business park accounts for more than 10 per cent of all of Amber Valley’s manufacturing jobs, Ms Dillon wrote as part of the appeal.

She wrote that the borough is particularly reliant on manufacturing jobs, which account for one in five of all jobs in Amber Valley, writing that the sector has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, shrinking by 14 per cent.

Ms Dillon said the sector is forecast not to recover to 2019 levels of economic output until 2034.

At the time of the refusal, then deputy leader of the authority, Cllr Ben Bellamy had said economic reasons could not be used in favour of building on the green belt.

He said the applicants were taking the “easiest, most economically beneficial and convenient choice for themselves”.

Cllr Ron Ashton (Conservative), now vice chairman of the planning committee, had said: “Heavy traffic is already travelling through Marehay and Ripley and more traffic would not be acceptable unless there are restrictions put in place.”

Cllr Dave Wells (Green Party) had said: “It comes down to a decision between green belt protection and jobs.”