Flood fears spark call to revoke planning permission for controversial Chesterfield housing scheme

A councillor has called for talks on revoking planning permission for a controversial Chesterfield housing development because of flooding fears.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 1:58 pm

Concerns over the Woodall Homes development for 34 homes in Clay Lane, Clay Cross, have been bubbling away ever since Derbyshire County Council outlined flood concerns at the site after it had already been granted planning permission by North East Derbyshire District Council.

District councillor Ross Shipman said he has been contacted by numerous Clay Cross residents worried their homes may be at risk as a result of a nearby brook, which runs in between the development and Windermere Road.

He said: “The brook has flooded in the past and the drainage from the development is going into the brook. But then you’re going to get all the surface drainage water as well.”

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A spokesman for Woodall Homes said as part of the planning application, the company submitted a flood risk assessment, which did not find a likelihood of increased flooding.

Cllr Shipman has put a motion forward to have the case sent back to the planning committee with the potential of revoking permission. He explained that if it was revoked, the district council would be liable for the cost of work already done, but argued this may ultimately be better than having to pay to rectify flooding if the development is allowed to go ahead as planned.

Councillor Charlotte Cupit, cabinet member for environmental services, said officials from both district and county councils had been working with North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley to find a solution to the problem with Woodall Homes.

A spokesman for Woodall Homes said as part of the planning application, the company submitted a flood risk assessment, which did not find a likelihood of increased flooding.

They said: “In the spirit of being a good neighbour, and in an attempt to alleviate existing residents’ concerns, we have discussed various ways forward with local councillors and the MP for the area. Following these discussions, Woodall Homes have undertaken assessments on Press Brook to ascertain the likelihood of future flooding.

“Despite these assessments confirming that the development does not increase flood risk, we have offered to increase, at a considerable cost, the capacity of Press Brook by installing an underwater storage system.”

The development is due to be discussed in a meeting of North East Derbyshire’s full council, held at Dronfield Sports Centre at 3pm on Monday, October 4.