Plans for more than 50 homes in a Derbyshire village are set to be approved despite overdevelopment fears
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The scheme, submitted by Woodall Homes, would see 57 homes built off Jacksons Ley, in Middleton by Wirksworth – off a new 47-property housing development approved at appeal. Derbyshire Dales District Council planning officers have recommended that the 57-home plans are approved at a meeting next week.
Among the 57 homes would be 17 affordable properties, comprising eight one-bed flats, eight two-bed houses and one three-bed house. The main vehicle access point would stem off Porter Lane with a pedestrian path onto Main Street.
Middleton Parish Council has objected to the plans, writing: “It is felt that the number of dwellings proposed is excessive and represents overdevelopment of the site. Concerns have been raised by members of the public about the capacity of the local infrastructure (schools and medical practices, for example) to cope with such a large development. Further concerns have been received regarding access and egress given the volume of traffic on B5035 Porter Lane. The Parish Council shares those concerns.” It also feels the planned location of a children’s play area close to Porter Lane is an unsafe spot.
Derbyshire County Council says that Middleton Community Primary School and Anthony Gell School (a secondary) both have sufficient capacity to take on new pupils linked to the new development.
Meanwhile, the NHS Derby and Derbyshire Integrated Care Board (which oversees health and social care organisations in the county and city) has asked for £51,300 to help improve facilities at nearby medical centres. The district council’s neighbourhood manager has asked for £21,400 towards park and garden improvements, children’s play areas and allotments.
Cllr Peter Slack, deputy leader of the council, wrote that the scheme represents “overdevelopment”, also feeling the proposed children’s play area was being planned in a “dangerous position”.
A total of 13 objection letters were submitted to the council by opposing residents with concerns about the overreliance on public transport due to the isolated position of the site; harm to the environment including wildlife; and noise impact from planned homes and from a nearby industrial estate. They also raise a fear that “the development will result in the loss of Middleton of a village and will become an extension of Wirksworth”.
District council officers say part of the planned site was earmarked for 45 homes in the authority’s blueprint for future development. Recommending approval, they write: “The development would not conserve the conservation area, however, the design of the development has been carefully considered to reflect and respect the character of the village and the development at Jacksons Ley while providing a high-quality design and urban form. The development would in effect create a new built edge to this part of the settlement.
“This application proposes more dwellings than the allocation but on a significantly larger site. While the development would affect the outlook of the (current Jacksons Ley) development, it would not materially harm the amenity, privacy or security of any neighbouring property due to overbearing, overlooking or loss of light.”