Housebuilder considering scaling back planned development in Chesterfield after residents raise concerns

A company which plans to build new homes in Chesterfield says it is considering reducing the size of the development – after residents raised concerns.

Thursday, 21st January 2021, 12:30 pm

Woodall Homes has submitted a planning application to build an initial 73 properties – followed by up to 144 more – on land off Oaks Farm Lane, Calow.

Resident Jack Woolley got in touch with Woodall Homes to set up a virtual residents’ forum so people could make their views known about the proposals.

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Jack Woolley at the site of the proposed housing development in Calow.

Woodall Holmes has now confirmed it is ‘looking at scaling the size of the development back’ after taking residents’ concerns ‘on board’.

Jack said: “The development in its current form would significantly change the size of the village and has caused a great deal of controversy locally with many residents opposing the development.

“Many residents have raised concerns that the new development would represent a large change for the small village and impact on local services, such as Calow school and the local GP surgery.

“There are also concerns about traffic on Top Road which already struggles with parked cars and considerable traffic.”

Woodall Homes' planning application is due to be decided in the coming months.

He added: “Given that we haven’t been able to hold an in-person residents’ forum, myself and a couple of other residents thought it would be good to set up a meeting with Woodall to get some answers to our questions.

“I wanted to make sure that residents had their say on the development and that they didn’t get left behind as an afterthought just because we couldn’t meet in person.”

A spokesperson for Woodall Homes said: “The development will boost the local economy during challenging times by providing new jobs, on top of the additional spending and investment at local shops and services that arise from additional homes.

“Woodall Homes will enter into a legal agreement with North East Derbyshire District Council (NEDDC) to help fund extra school and GP places.

“We submitted what we felt was a sympathetic and logical extension of Calow, adding much-needed, high-quality housing in the area.

“With the inclusion of bungalows and the development delivering 20 per cent affordable homes, the development will help local people buy their first home.

“As a local company we believe it is essential to listen to the views of our neighbours and, following the discussions, we have taken on board their concerns and are looking at scaling the size of the development back to address these.”

The site of the proposed development is currently agricultural land and sits to the south of Calow, bordered by a sports pitch, other homes and more farmland.

Access would be via Oaks Farm Lane, which connects to the A632 Top Road, and also via Dark Lane.

NEDDC is expected to make a decision on the planning application by the end of March.

Calow Parish Council chair Jayne Sabido said the authority ‘naturally has concerns’ about the application as it stands.

“If the application is ultimately approved by NEDDC, we would expect that any impact on existing village infrastructure, traffic, healthcare and school places would be mitigated by conditions attached to any planning approval,” she added.

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