Developer to contribute £300k to community after plans for 34 homes in Clay Cross given go-ahead

A developer is set to contribute more than £300,000 to the community after plans for more than 30 homes in Clay Cross were given the go-ahead – despite dozens of objections.

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 9:54 am

North East Derbyshire Council had provisionally approved plans for the homes on land of Clay Lane, subject to a satisfactory 106 agreement, detailing what financial contribution the developer, Barlborough-based Woodall Homes, would make to infrastructure improvements in the area.

An agreement has now been made for the developer to pay more than £180,000 towards “enhanced education facilities" at Tupton Hall School, as well as a £100,000 contribution towards biodiversity and more than £35,000 towards play equipment and its upkeep in Clay Cross.

Dean Trowbridge, Woodall Homes technical director, said: “We’re pleased to be providing the local community of Clay Cross with more than £320,000 towards infrastructure improvements such as additional school places, habitat creation and off-site open space, along with allocating 20 per cent of the homes as affordable housing.

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The council’s planning committee provisionally approved the plans for 34 homes at a meeting in December, despite dozens of objections.

Coun Tracy Reader, Labour member for Clay Cross North, in a written submission, said: “I’m concerned for the amount of traffic that may be bought onto the A61 corridor.”

Other concerns raised included flooding and drainage, unnecessary green-field development, loss of privacy to neighbouring homes and the potential impact on wildlife in the area.

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Conditional planning permission has been granted for more than 30 homes in Clay Cross.

Nature of community changing

Coun Kevin Gillott, Derbyshire County Council member for Clay Cross South, objecting, said the cumulative effect of a number of developments in Clay Cross was “changing the nature of the community, from a small-sized village to a small town”.

A written objection from Flood and Wildlife Protection Clay Cross said: “Clay Lane has always been a small, tranquil, separate part of Clay Cross, able to maintain its distinct identify and character.

“Its residents are proud of this heritage and want to preserve the setting and special character of the historic town, while preventing convergence of the two places.

An aerial view of the location, above Clay Cross Tunnel and bordered by Smithy Brook to the west and Clay Lane to the south.

And Louise Booth, of Clay Lane, said: “There are already plenty of new builds in and around Clay Cross. The schools are full, the doctors are full, the roads are so busy and wildlife will suffer.

“This no doubt will add to risk of flooding further down Clay Lane and just ruins what little of greenery we have left in Clay Cross. It is totally unnecessary.”

However, council planning officers recommended approval, saying it would bring social and economic benefits, there was no detrimental effect on highways or privacy and any loss of biodiversity could be countered by a condition to ensure compensation.

Mr Trowbridge said: “We appreciate the concerns raised over The Orchards.

“However, we would like to reassure the community we have carried out numerous investigations into the suitability of the land for development.

“We have worked closely with the council and statutory consultees to ensure the development will be beneficial for all and I’m delighted to say we've already taken 17 reservations.”

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