New Derbyshire homes plan sparks fears over flooding and traffic

Plans for more than 400 homes in a Derbyshire town have riled residents, who have expressed concerns over over flooding, traffic and pressure on schools and health services.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 2:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 10:37 am
An artist's impression of how the development might look
An artist's impression of how the development might look

The Matlock application, from William Davis Limited, would see 423 homes built on land to the north of the town, close to Highfields School, off Pinewood Road, Gritstone Road and Sandy Lane.

William Davis initially submitted its plans in 2018, which have yet to be debated, and it has now altered its plans, including a slight increase in homes up from 415.

The number of four-bed homes has also been reduced, with more two-bed homes. A “green corridor” would also link the existing homes in the area, through the development, to an open space dubbed a “countryside park”.

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The planned site for hundreds of new homes

If approved, the sloping site would include 15 per cent affordable housing, half of the 30 per cent the district council asks for – 64 homes in total out of the proposed 423.

It would also include a “local” centre, near Far Cross, with shops such as a hairdressers, takeaway, newsagent and general shop. The floor above these shop units would be flats.

A total of 28 acres of the site – the equivalent of 14 football pitches – would be open space, mostly in the form of a “countryside park” along the northern boundary of the site. This would also include a large children’s play area.

The historic Derwent Valley Aqueduct runs below the northern section of the site and as such no homes will be built over it, and just one road crossing, off Sandy Lane to the east of the development. There would be several balancing ponds to collect flood water.

The Derbyshire Times is campaigning to protect the loss of green land to development

More than 200 residents appear to have submitted objection letters opposing the development, though most of these date back to the original scheme submitted in 2018.

Around 20 are within the past few weeks and raise concerns around flooding, impact of traffic include construction vehicles during the development of the site, and the impact on local services such as Highfields School.

Cllr Steve Wain, a district councillor for Matlock, has recently submitted an objection letter to the council, saying: “As an area with many young adults wishing to purchase houses it is very disappointing that this large developer has indicated that they will not be able to support a fully policy compliant level of affordable housing.

Cllr Wain, the town’s flood warden, is also concerned about the impact of the development on flooding in the town, with water from the site to run into the Bentley Brook eventually leading to the Knowleston Place Pump Station, which he says has been at capacity during the past few flooding incidents in Matlock.

The developer says it would give money for a series of improvements in the area as part of the application, including junction changes at Gritstone Road, Bentley Close and Wolds Road; a new signal crossing at the A632 to the south of Wolds Road; changes to the Sandy Lane and A632 junction; money for a possible residents’ parking scheme in the Cavendish Road area; new road surfacing and lighting on the footpath between Wellington Close and the A632 and resurfacing works along Sandy Lane up to Gritstone Road.