New homes set for green light in Derbyshire countryside despite more than 100 objections

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Plans to build 35 houses in the Derbyshire countryside are set for approval – despite objections from more than 100 residents.

Alfreton firm Wildgoose Homes has pitched the plans, for land off Wessington Lane in South Wingfield, in an application to Amber Valley Borough Council.

The authority’s planning officers have recommended that the project is approved.

Members of the council’s planning board will decide on the application on Monday, February 18.

In total, 122 objection letters have been submitted to the borough council over the plans, claiming that the development would “ruin the rural feel” of the village.

They state: “This is a greenfield site and should not be developed on and brownfield land should be used first.”

Meanwhile, they also commented: “There are no local amenities within the village as the shop has closed and schools and doctors’ surgery cannot cope.”

They also fear the impact on the area’s roads, stating: “Wessington Lane is single track and local road network cannot support additional traffic or the heavy construction traffic.”

Access to the site would stem off an existing track opposite a home in Wessington Lane to the north of South Wingfield.

The short stretch of Wessington Lane from the village to the proposed site access is only wide enough for one vehicle.

As a result, the applicants aim to widen this section of road to five-metres in width.

The site lies 650 metres from the South Wingfield Conservation Area, which was of some concern to residents.

In its application, the developer states: “It is considered that the proposed development would make a very useful contribution to the current housing under-supply situation and as an identified housing site in the emerging Local Plan (a blueprint for future development) would yield substantial social benefits to the village.

“The physical works on site would bring investment to the local construction industry and increase the usage and thus support to local facilities, ensuring their longer-term viability.

“This would be economically beneficial.

“It is therefore considered that the contribution that the new housing would make to the village constitutes a benefit to which significant weight should be attached.

“Set against the limited harm identified in landscape and visual impact terms, it is concluded that the adverse effects of granting a planning permission would not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.”

Concern has been raised by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust that the proposal may result in the loss of biodiversity due to the potential loss of hedges on the site, and as a result bat foraging habitat could be destroyed, it claims.

Borough council officers state that the authority does not currently have a five-year housing supply – which places added pressure on it to approve applications for new homes.

As of April 2018 it had an estimated supply which should last 3.42 years.

Recommending approval, planning officers state: “The proposal will inevitably have a significant impact upon the views currently enjoyed from properties which surround the site, however there is no right in planning terms to a view.

“Taking into account all other material considerations, including the number of representations, it is considered that on balance that the proposal is acceptable, in accordance with the council’s strategic objectives in terms of regeneration and growth, and the provision of housing, which is demonstrated to be required by the council’s current lack of a deliverable five year housing land supply.”