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PROTESTERS who successfully battled against plans for 400 homes on the edge of Allestree say they are raising thousands of pounds in case they need to fight on.

Developer Catesby Estates had its plans for houses off Kedleston Road rejected last month by Amber Valley Borough Council.

The site was then removed from the council's proposed "core strategy", which earmarks sites in the borough that could be used for homes by 2028.

But that strategy has still not been finalised and campaign group Kedleston Voice has already raised £14,000 in case Catesby appeals against the council's decision.

Its members say they would need to appoint a lawyer to help them counter such a move and they are asking for more donations to help them raise the £30,000 they have been advised they would need to pay for legal advice.

Meanwhile, Catesby said its next steps with the site were "still under consideration". As well as appeal, the developer could also choose to put in a new application for the site although its chances of gaining approval would be reduced by the fact that the land is no longer in the proposed core strategy.

Isobel Shorrock, of Kedleston Voice, said: "If there's an appeal we'd need to have a barrister to advise us. We've got one and we've spoken to him about our position but, in some ways, circumstances have overtaken that."

She said Kedleston Voice had raised the £14,000 through appealing on social media and using its database of those opposed to building on the site.

Mrs Shorrock, 55, of Quarndon, said: "People have wanted to give. There's masses of support and people are really pleased with how the campaign has gone so far.

"But there's a danger people are going to think it's all ok now and it's not necessarily."

She said that, if the money were not needed, it would be returned to donors but added that Kedleston Voice was also thinking of trying to win permanent protection for the land.

Catesby's plans were rejected by councillors on the grounds that the work would damage the setting of the grade one-listed Kedleston Hall.

Planning officers said in a report that the development would cause "less-than-substantial harm" to the setting of historic building.

But they added that what harm there was would be "irreversible and irreplaceable".

The report said that the development was being proposed for an area with a "higher-than-average score in relation to relative tranquility and within the setting of heritage assets".

Catesby had previously said: "The need for housing in the borough remains desperate and, given the indisputable requirement to meet some of the unmet needs of Derby city, this site is best placed to do this."

People can find more details about donating to Kedleston Voice by visiting www.kedlestonvoice.com.

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