Major new homes plan for former Derbyshire dye factory

The former dye factory site.
The former dye factory site.

Plans to develop the former site of an historic Amber Valley dye factory are finally making a step forward.

The former site of Stevenson’s Dye Works in Bullbridge, between Ripley and Crich, is set to be redeveloped with housing.

The former dye factory site.

The former dye factory site.

Peter James Homes has submitted an application for the first 21 of what could be 151 homes on the Bullbridge Hill site – which has been left vacant for 13 years.

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Amber Valley Borough Council will decide on the plans in the next few months.

The 17-acre site closed in 2006 at the expense of 87 jobs after 181 years of business.

At its peak, the factory had employed 2,000 people and was Europe’s largest garment dyeing and finishing house.

However, its closure came as a result of reducing production volumes, closely linked to the decline of the UK textile industry, and increasing utility costs.

JG Ambergate LLP bought the site in 2006 and had in 2008 had proposed outline plans for up to 171 homes.

However, in 2010, the firm filed for insolvency and went into administration.

While in administration, the firm was granted approval in 2012 for its housing plans.

It subsequently demolished the buildings on the site.

These plans lapsed in 2015 and in 2017 it refiled its plans, which were approved.

Now the first of the reserved matters applications, which tie up the details over what the houses will look like, along with access and the exact number of homes, has been put forward.

A smaller portion of the former dye works, to the east of Bullbridge Hill and to the rear of several houses and one of the remaining factory buildings, is the focus of an application for 21 homes.

This has been reduced from the previous plans for 22 homes on the site – which was the factory’s former car park.

Meanwhile, future phases of the much larger portion of the site, west of Bullbridge Hill, will now feature 130 homes instead of 149 – taking the overall homes set for the total site to 151.

Access for the proposed 21 homes would stem off Drovers Way. Eight of the homes would be two-bed homes, eight would be three-bed, three would be four-bed and two would be five-bed.

The remaining stone factory building on the site, which borders Bullbridge Hill, will be converted into three homes in a later planning stage.

This initial planning application also includes a vast swathe of open space, bordering the River Amber, which would also serve as a flood plain.

The Cromford Canal used to run through the site, but was filled in during the 1950s. The developer plans to make it a feature of the later phases of development, along with a now unused aqueduct.

A statement submitted with the application from by Urban Designs, on behalf of the applicant, says: “The aim of the scheme is to create an attractive place for people to live, an environment that fosters a strong sense of neighbourhood and community and creates a sense of place.

“The proposal is to develop a brownfield site in a sustainable location, which is in chronic need of redevelopment.

“This scheme makes a significant contribution to the borough-wide and national requirement for new housing.

“The scheme represents an innovative and sensitive design of the highest quality. It will make a positive contribution to the character and value of Bullbridge.”