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‘Dangerous’ Derbyshire housing plans are the worst bosses have ever seen

today16 September 2022 1

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A council leader says “dangerous” housing plans in a Derbyshire village are “the worst” he has ever seen for causing potential risks to public safety. Cllr Garry Purdy, leader of Derbyshire Dales District Council, told a planning meeting last night (September 13) that plans for 15 houses across from Biggin View in Dog Lane, Hulland Ward, must be rejected.

Councillors were fuming about the plans, from John Yates, claiming that the access for the housing site was unacceptable, and refused the scheme. Access to the proposed 15-home plot would be off a new 33-house Cameron Homes development and would see traffic for the new site pass over private driveways for five of the recently built properties.

Cllr Purdy told the meeting: “I think we were all disturbed when we saw the closeness of that property to vehicles that would be coming into and out of there (the proposed new site). I wouldn’t want to live there and I’m sure the agent wouldn’t want to live in that house with vehicles going back and forth.”

Read more: Get the latest politics stories from Derbyshire Live

He said he was “really seriously concerned about highways safety” particularly due to the lack of a pavement. Cllr Purdy said: “We were all gravely concerned on-site.

“It is dangerous and the fact they (Derbyshire County Council) have said they won’t adopt it I think speaks volumes. This is the worst situation I have ever seen of access into a site, providing danger to residents that are already in situ.”

Cllr David Hughes called the plans a “disgrace” saying the proposed access was “incredibly dangerous” and was too narrow, claiming vehicle wing mirrors would nearly be brushing each other when passing by. Cllr Peter Slack said the proposed access was “an accident waiting to happen” and would be too narrow for delivery vans and emergency vehicles.

He said: “This is a grave road safety issue that could result in a fatality. We want new houses but we don’t want them at any cost.” Cllr Richard FitzHerbert said: “Certainly to me, it doesn’t look right, it doesn’t feel right. Maybe the plot is right but the access there…I really can’t understand why highways have acceded to this, it doesn’t make sense to me.”

Cllr Neil Buttle said: “We don’t want to be responsible for a death.” Cllr Peter Birkbeck, chairman of Hulland Ward Parish Council, said the village had already exceeded the number of new homes it was set to see by 2033, with 11 years left.

He said: “The Local Plan calls for 99 houses in the Hulland Ward area, including the Wheeldon Way development, we already have 101 houses – 33 at Cameron Homes, 23 at Les Ardennes and 39 at Wheeldon Way, making 95, plus six fill-ins. That is a significant amount of development for a small village and was committed to suffice until 2033 within the Local Plan.”

He said the current construction was already set to cause “real problems” and that the new scheme was not required and was on greenfield land, with no room for pavement. Louise Redfern, chair of the Biggin Parish Meeting, said there were strong objections due to the location in the countryside, saying the scheme would encroach on the village hall and historic church opposite.

She said there was already an “excessive” amount of traffic passing through Hulland Ward, with a recent survey counting 79,000 vehicles travelling from Ashbourne to Belper through the village and 74,000 vehicles making the opposite journey each day. Simon and Paula Groom, who live in one of the properties which would see their private drives become part of the access route, said they had concerns about road safety issues, dubbing the existing traffic through Hulland Ward “treacherous”.

Mrs Groom also said: “Travel by car will be required for most basic needs and yet the development is classed as sustainable.” John Imber, agent for the applicant, said: “It is clear that there is no harm attributable to the proposals that would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.”

He said trees and hedges on the site would be retained and that the scheme of “family homes” would be well-related to the existing housing and could be integrated “without unacceptable harm”. The scheme was to provide 50 parking spaces and 15 houses, ranging from three to five-bed properties – most of which would be detached. Four of the homes would have been classed as affordable housing.

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