Plans to build 250 new homes on Derbyshire site would be for the good of the community says developer

Cliff Richards with the housing plans.
Cliff Richards with the housing plans.

A Derbyshire farmer is planning to build a 250 home development on land which has been  in his family for three generations for the'good of the community'.

Cliff Richards, owner of Richards Nurseries has applied for planning permission for the residential development on a former coalfield site in Holmewood and North Wingfield.

Holmewood housing site.

Holmewood housing site.

Mr Richards, 53, and a consortium of businesses behind the scheme says the development would deliver 250 high quality homes significant environmental benefits and a £50million income boost to the local economy.

He said: “This new development will breathe new life into the area, provide a huge boost to local trades and bring a significant amount of local spending power to the area. Farming is no longer viable at this site, but it could still be used to provide affordable, sustainable housing for families and play a major role in the further regeneration of two former coal mining communities.”

"I want this to work for the community. If We had just wanted to make money, we could have planned a lot more houses, built on all the land and not left a nice green area for people to walk on.

"I have knocked on doors and talked to local businesses asking if people are happy and everyone is backing the scheme. I have collected a 700 name petition backing it."

He added that he wanted the development to become his long lasting legacy for the area.

The site, located east of Williamthorpe Road and south of Tibshelf Road, currently consists of two existing residential properties with adjacent gardens, buildings and land presently used by a commercial plant nursery, as well as three fields next to the Five Pits Trail.

The consortium - including Inspire Design & Development, Merlin Developments, and Richards Nurseries, which has owned much of the land on the 10-hectare site since purchasing it from The Coal Authority in 1994 - has submitted an outline planning application for the development to North East Derbyshire District Council.

The plans propose a mixture of semi-detached and detached two-story townhouses that complement the existing natural and built environment. They include a mix of three, four, and five-bedroom architect-designed homes to meet the demands of families in the area. A fifth of the houses will be designated as affordable housing and made available to a local housing association.

The consortium say the development aims to provide homes that are as sustainable as possible. They will incorporate modern energy-saving building materials and sustainable methods of construction and are likely to be supplied with renewable energy sources.

The site will be screened from the local road network by the existing built environment. Existing trees, scrub vegetation, and hedgerows, which screen the site further, shall be retained where possible and protected during construction.

More than four hectares of the site will be used to create two new ecological areas, improving the habitat for wildlife and increasing flood resilience for new and existing properties.

The site will be screened from the local road network by the existing built environment. Existing trees, scrub vegetation, and hedgerows, which screen the site further, shall be retained where possible and protected during construction.

More than four hectares of the site will be used to create two new ecological areas, improving the habitat for wildlife and increasing flood resilience for new and existing properties.

The consortium is committed to working with local construction companies and tradespeople where possible. This commitment is expected to result in £30m - £40m in contracts being awarded to local companies to support the construction of the site.

With official Government figures showing average Gross Disposable Household Income levels of £14,925 in North East Derbyshire, the consortium has calculated that the development will attract families responsible for over £3.7m in annual spending power.

Lee Barnes, Managing Director, Inspire Design Group, added: “There is a clear need for more affordable and sustainable housing in North East Derbyshire, and this development will help meet that need and provide a significant spending boost to the local economy. This proposed development has been meticulously planned by people who know the area and care deeply about the communities involved.”