Today was the opportunity for local residents to express their views directly to the Inspector Mr Gray and the response was impressive. Ten residents put forward a variety of reasons why neither appeal should succeed. The range of topics discussed was diverse but the presentations were uniformly of the highest quality.
It would be invidious to name all the individuals who spoke but a special mention should be made for Councillor Roy Webb who has been a consistent supporter of KV since the saga began two years ago. His concern was primarily about education although he did also mention the overloading of existing services in Allestree.
He has been successful in obtaining a letter from the Chair of Governors at The Ecclesbourne School. The Governors have been approached by Derbyshire County Council about taking pupils from the proposed developments. The Governors have agreed that, whilst they do not support either planning application, if outline planning permission is granted they will have no option but to include the sites in the Ecclesbourne normal area when admission arrangements are published for consultation later this year, subject to the terms of the funding agreement being acceptable to the school.
Other topics covered in the two hours included the Quarn Drive access which the Inspector promised he would visit, the landscape, the apparent inability of AVBC to police conditions properly, flooding, the development of Kedleston Hall, increased traffic up Askerfield Avenue, traffic along Kedleston Road being greater than shown by Catesby’s consultants, an increase in hgvs along the road particularly from the FP McCann concrete works, the landscape when viewed from Cannon Hill in Quarndon, the effect of doubling the houses in that village, the strength of public opinion against the proposals, loss of good quality agricultural land and the result of a recent residential appeal in Darley Abbey which had been dismissed.
It was then the turn of Keith Fenwick, Catesby’s planner, to go on the witness stand. Rupert Warren QC took him through five main points in his evidence and then, after lunch, he was cross examined for approximately two and a half hours firstly by Jonathan Mitchell for AVBC and then by Nina Pindham for KV.
There are to be no sessions in Alfreton tomorrow( Wednesday) because the Inspector will be carrying out further site inspections initially accompanied by representatives of the three parties and then on his own. The site visits will start in the car park at Kedleston Hall at 10.00.
Thursday is likely to be the last day of the Inquiry. Starting at 9.30 in Alfreton there will be an initial session discussing conditions and the legal agreements necessary if the Inspector decides to allow one or both appeals. Then the three barristers will give their closing speeches and the Inquiry will end.