Chesterfield homes plan comes under scrutiny

Protesters at last year's planning inquiry in Chesterfield.
Protesters at last year's planning inquiry in Chesterfield.

An inquiry has been launched after council chiefs refused controversial plans to build almost 100 homes on a greenfield site.

Worcestershire-based firm GKN Group Services Ltd is seeking to build the 91 properties at the site of the former Sheepbridge Sports and Social Club, on Newbold Road, Chesterfield.

The applicants launched an appeal after the contentious proposals were rejected unanimously by Chesterfield Borough Council’s planning committee last year amid public opposition.

A three-day planning inquiry took place in the town last week to hear representations from both GKN Group Services Ltd and protesters who want to see the land transformed into a sports facility.

The application was turned down by the borough council as it was found to contravene its Local Plan.

Lisa Hopkinson, from the Friends of Sheebridge Fields campaign group, told the hearing: “Permission for development should not be granted as it would result in adverse impacts which would significantly outweigh any benefits of housing.

“We see no reason why the facility cannot be restored as a sports facility in the future.

“If the land is developed for housing the option of restoring it for sports pitches or using it for other types of recreation would be lost forever.”

Mrs Hopkinson added: “The council received nearly 90 objections to the planning application.

“This is a significant number of objections by Chesterfield standards.”

GKN Group Services Ltd said its plans would address the need for housing in the area. They would not comment further when approached by the Derbyshire Times.

The planning inspector is currently studying the evidence and is expected to make a decision within the next few months.