Green light for industrial units on former Derbyshire playing fields

Large industrial units will be built on a former playing field in Derbyshire, creating new jobs, but prompting concerns of sleep disruption.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 11:49 am

Peter Tomlinson applied to build two large warehouse units totalling 4,742 square metres in floor area and reaching more than 11 metres in height on land off Manners Avenue.

It would see up to 84 vehicles parked on the site, nine of which would be light good vehicles and four would be for electric cars. There would also be 16 spots for bikes.

Erewash Borough Council’s planning committee unanimously approved the plans, which would secure dozens of jobs and create more than 20.

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An artist's impression of the planned development

Catering 24 Ltd is one of the companies which would be setting up shop in one of the two warehouse buildings.

The meeting was told that the firm has been based in Ilkeston for decades and employs 43 staff, around half of which live in Ilkeston.

Meanwhile, the company intends to hire 22 more staff next year and create opportunities for two student apprentices, who would likely be offered jobs at the end of their terms.It said staff would be paid £10.80 an hour, real living wage.

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An artist's impression of the planned development

A statement from John Williamson, a resident living next to the site, was read at the meeting.

He said the development proposal has “caused me much stress”.

Mr Williamson said: “Since moving to this property my sleep has improved. I am concerned this (development) will disturb my sleep and be detrimental to my mental health.

“I am equally concerned about light pollution into my house. I am worried that floodlighting will disturb my sleep.”

A spokesperson for the applicants said the plan would enable “thriving businesses to further flourish” and would “enhance the wider industrial estate”.

Cllr James Dawson said residents living nearby were concerned at losing the footpath past the site entrance and wanted to avoid disturbance to their homes.

Steve Birkinshaw, the council’s head of planning, said the footpath would be retained.

The developer has said lighting on the site would be designed to prevent “upward and off-site light spill”, which would be on timers and powered by solar panels.

Cllr Val Custance said: “It is an industrial area and the people in this area know it is an industrial area, so are used to this. I think it is going to enhance the area.”

Cllr Paul Shelton said: “It is one of those areas that is a corridor between commercial and residential, so the residential properties hope it is going to remain greenfield, but it is not.

“It is a brilliant site, the two businesses looking to move in there are two local businesses.

“We should be encouraging applications like this and if we are to start refusing applications like this we may as well pack up and go home.”

Cllr John Frudd said: “We need jobs, we need all the jobs we can get in the area.”

A council report on the development says that while the last use of the site was for a playing field, this was “at least 20 years ago”.

It says: “There appears to have been no intention to recommence that use, so the proposal could not meaningfully be said to result in loss of playing fields or functional open space.”