Plans for hillside homes above flood-hit Derbyshire town set for their final approval despite “deep concerns”
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The scheme, from Homes by Honey, would see 75 homes built off Chesterfield Road and Quarry Lane on the hillside above Matlock.
Derbyshire Dales District Council officers have recommended that the plans are approved at a meeting on Tuesday, December 12.
This application looks to tie up the final details of the scheme, with initial approval granted last December, and this plan would see the overall project given its final green light.
The site, if approved, would contain 12 one-bed houses; 21 two-bed houses; 21 three-bed houses; 18 four-bed houses; and three five-bed houses.
Of these homes, 23 would be classed as affordable housing.
The developer had detailed that every home would be fitted with an electric vehicle charging point, solar panels and solar thermal technology for providing hot water.
However, in a report released ahead of next week’s meeting, council officers say that the “majority” of homes would have solar panels.
Matlock Town Council has lodged a substantial detailed objection focusing on the feared flooding issues in the surrounding area which it claims could be worsened by the development. This includes sewers in the area overflowing and flooding a nearby care home.
It writes: “The proposed building of a further 75 houses, adding foul sewage to this already failing system, will significantly add to the health risk and be detrimental to the quality of life for Matlock residents living further down Chesterfield Road East.
“Proposed housing developments should be halted until such time that a thorough investigation can be carried out into the causation of these major incidents of sewage ingress into properties lower down Chesterfield Road East, and remedial action has been taken to prevent further incidents arising.”
The Local Democracy Reporting Service has previously detailed the extensive flooding issues which have impacted Matlock and the specific issues relating to the aged sewer network in the upper section of the town.
This sewer network saw foul waste flood the Presentation Sisters Care Home in Chesterfield Road on July 8 and 14.
Those flooding incidents led to the cellar and boiler room being flooded with around a metre of water containing human waste and sanitary products.
Human waste was also found in the surrounding area as a result of the overloaded system, with young children reportedly being observed picking up the deposits believing it was mud.
Neither the Environment Agency nor flood officials at Derbyshire County Council have made any further comment on flooding concerns relating to the proposed 75-home site, having backed the initial approval last year.
Derbyshire’s NHS has asked for £67,500 to help improve services at nearby GP surgeries to help cater for the expected new patients connected to the proposed housing site, with Chesterfield Royal Hospital asking for a further £67,680.
Cllr David Hughes says following details of the tricky situation facing the local sewer network being revealed in September, there needs to be a full review of the problem and how it can be managed “to ensure that current problems are not exacerbated”.
Seven objection letters have been submitted by opposing residents with a focus on flooding concerns, the loss of green space and traffic and road safety issues.
They wrote: “Following yet another serious incident for Matlock during Storm Babet it is quite clear that a hold should be put on all large developments in Matlock, especially those at the top of the valley which are causing a lot of damage to properties from surface water flooding and sewage discharges.
“Wherever the recent large numbers of new homes have been built Matlock is suffering from repeated sewage discharges including Castle View Primary School, Presentation Convent, homes on Hurst Farm, Twiggs on Bakewell Road and outside the Premier Inn.”
District council planning officers, recommending approval, wrote: “The proposal is considered to be compatible with the edge of Matlock having regard to the scale, layout and appearance of the dwellings.
“The design and materials proposed would integrate and blend with this part of the settlement and no significant adverse impacts on residential amenity or landscape would ensue.
“The development would respect the character, identity and context of this part of the settlement and all technical matters have been addressed.”