Chesterfield councillors set to approve latest plans for controversial development on green field site

Chesterfield councillors will be advised to give the latest stage of a controversial housing development the green light next week.

Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 2:18 pm

Developers already have planning permission to build 150 homes on the land, off Northmoor View, Brimington, but residents have been ‘clinging to the hope’ the builders could be held up by recent archaeological finds.

Chesterfield Borough Council leader Tricia Gillby has also described the development as ‘something no one wants’.

However, the latest plans for the site, known as ‘reserved matters’ and which concern the density and type of housing, will go to the authority’s planning committee on Monday, August 23, with council officers advising members to approve them.

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Chesterfield Borough Council leader Coun Tricia Gilby at the site of the 150-home plan in Brimington.

Developers’ initial plans for 300 homes were thrown out by Chesterfield Borough Council, and the authority’s planning committee also rejected the current scaled down bid for 150 properties.

However, after an appeal in 2019, the planning inspectorate granted planning permission – a decision which many people in the area cannot understand.

Coun Gilby said members of the community were ‘devastated’ and ‘angry’ when the inspector ruled against them.

She said the council would also fight to ensure there wasn’t excessive clustering of new homes on the 6.6ha site and promised concerns about drainage were listened to.

The latest plans are for 105 open market homes, of three, four and five bedroom designs, and a further 45 affordable homes.

Planning officers say the designs of the house types are of a ‘traditional and relatively simple form’ with their layout altered in the latest plans to now show ‘a scheme which is of a simple form with perimeter blocks’.

Brimington Parish Council has raised concerns about the public footpath from Northmoor View to Chesterfield Road.

"This is shown along the main estate road and needs to be kept in its natural state so people can enjoy countryside walks,” the council said.

"The footpaths are part of our village heritage.”

Chesterfield and District Civic Society had called for a delay to development for archaeological work, which they said could have yielded ‘genuinely useful’ information about Romano-British settlement in Brimington.

Recommending the plans are approved, council officers say in their report: “The outline permission established the principle of the development.

“The proposed reserved matters are considered to be appropriate and will result in a form of development that will assimilate well into the wider context of the site in terms of scale, appearance, landscaping and layout.

"Subject to a number of conditions matters of biodiversity, landscaping and highway safety can be satisfactorily resolved.”

Officers recognise ‘public concerns’ remain about the density of homes but say these meet recommended targets.

Planning documents add: “The layout will secure existing footpath routes and will create a shared cycle and pedestrian route in line with the aims of the Adopted local plan.

“The scheme also proposes an informal footpath to the south of the site for residents to enjoy the connectivity with the adjacent countryside.”

Developers for the Brimington site, the Vistry Group, say their project will eventually provide much-needed housing and construction jobs.

The planning committee will meet to make its decision on Monday.

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