Developer’s bid to build more homes on Derbyshire village field

New housing plans for a Derbyshire village field have been submitted – but with fewer homes classed as affordable.

By Eddie Bisknell, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 9th June 2022, 11:03 am

Numerous plans for a field off Thatchers Lane and Thatchers Croft in Tansley have been filed over the past couple of decades, five out of six of which have been rejected.

During lockdown, Derbyshire Dales District Council planning officers – using delegated emergency powers – approved plans for 19 houses on the site at the sixth time of asking. Of those homes, eight were to be classed as affordable housing.

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During lockdown, planning officers approved plans for 19 houses on the site at the sixth time of asking

However, the developer James Neville, now under Thatchers Croft Ltd, is now asking for approval for 17 homes on the site, just four of which would be “affordable” housing.

It says this would break down as follows: one one-bed house; four two-bed houses; one three-bed house; three three-bed “hybrid bungalows”; four two-bed “hybrid bungalows”; two four-bed houses; and one three-bed bungalow.

The so-called “hybrid bungalows” are said to be one-storey homes split over multiple levels.

Derbyshire Dales planning officers have recommended that the plans are approved at a meeting on Tuesday, June 14.

A report submitted by Evans Vettori, on behalf of the applicant, says: “When complete, the development will provide large family homes alongside smaller semi-detached and terraced properties, with a selection of homes aimed at those wanting to downsize, social housing and starter homes.

“There would be some harm to the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside. However, the site is essentially infill between previously developed sites and outline permission for 19 dwellings has already been granted.

“The site is a sustainable location for housing, as identified in the adopted Local Plan (the council’s blueprint for future development) through its designation as a site for housing.

“Furthermore, its proximity to amenities, local transport networks and employment combine to demonstrate that this is a sustainable location for development.”

The highways department at Derbyshire County Council has objected to the plans, saying that providing any vehicle access to the site from Thatchers Lane, to the south of the plot, is “unsuitable”.

Three properties would access the site from Thatchers Lane if approved.

A total of 23 objection letters have been filed by residents, with a further objection from Tansley Parish Council, opposing the density of the scheme, the access, insufficient parking spaces and the building of homes in a valuable “green corridor”.

Objecting residents wrote: “Development is too dense and can hardly be described as enhancing the surrounding area.

“Four-bed homes will overpower the adjacent country lane and gardens to such family homes are paltry and cramped and will be dark as they will be shaded by the proposed homes.”

“To enhance Tansley, the whole site should be stone bungalows and the number of properties should be reduced to 14.

“The access road is too narrow to allow future owners to park as the road is already used by existing owners to park.”

Council officers, recommending approval, wrote: “It is also considered that the increase in traffic (from Thatchers Lane) by possibly 12 vehicle movements a day associated with the three dwellings would not be significant.

“This is a single width road and it is the view of officers that vehicle speeds are regulated by this and the presence of pedestrians and horse riders.

“The development does not reflect the existing development at Thatchers Croft in terms of its character and appearance.

“However, the number of units proposed, and their character and appearance in relation to each other, does create a separate but homogenous development with the 17 units and the proposed development would create its own sense of place.

“The principle of residential development of the site is clearly established.

“It should also be noted, as the district council cannot currently demonstrate a five-year housing land provision going forward, that there is a presumption in favour of granting planning permission unless doing so would be significantly and demonstrably outweighed by any adverse impacts.”