Leading Councillor Questions Core Strategy


A report from The Derby Telegraph explains how the leader of Amber Valley Borough Council says he will look for ways to get land off Kedleston Road removed from a list of sites earmarked for housing.

If a site is not on the list, it is less likely that a planning application to build on it would get the go-ahead.

But a planning application for up to 400 homes on the land, on the edge of Allestree, has already been made.

And protesters fear that will be decided before any chance Councillor Alan Cox might get to make his move over the list, called the council's "core strategy".

Mr Cox, set to become the new leader next Wednesday’s full council meeting, said no date had yet been set for when the “core strategy” will next be discussed.

The strategy must be given the go-ahead by a planning inspector before it can be finalised.

Prior to the borough council changing hands from Labour to Conservative in last week’s elections, Mr Cox said Labour had put forward a core strategy to the inspector that included more houses than are needed.

He said: “If the Conservatives take power, we will speak to officers and find out what powers we have to take the Kedleston development out of the [core strategy] plan.”

Now Mr Cox has said it would not be possible to remove the site but that the council may be able to influence the inspector so he decides it’s not appropriate to include it.

Mr Cox said: “We can’t change what’s gone into the inspector. What we can do is try to influence his thinking when he holds a public hearing on the matter, which he will.”

He said English Heritage is likely to speak at the hearing. This would be because of concerns that developing the site would affect the rural setting of historic Kedleston Hall.

Mr Cox said: “English Heritage will be there talking against it and so will the residents but I’m looking at seeing whether we as a council can go and influence the decision.

“I’m asking officers to look into that.”

Developer Catesby Estates has applied to the borough council to build the up to 400 homes and has said there is a pressing need for housing in the area.

Its planning application says that the proposed development “will have no effect on the grade one listed Kedleston Hall or its setting, as the setting of the hall is defined by its grounds and the designed landscape within it, including the Derby Screen, which sits between the building and the site”.

But campaign group Kedleston Voice believes building on the land will cause flooding and traffic problems.

Group member Isobel Shorrock, of Quarndon, said Mr Cox’s plan was positive news.

But she said: “We don’t know when the planning application decision is going to be made. It might have to be considered before the public hearing.

“We are just about to instruct a barrister because we are preparing ourselves for whatever may happen.”

She said that the most recent date the council has given them for the planning application decision is the end of June.

No-one at the borough council was available to comment about what the target date is for the planning application decision.

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