Inspector Grants Permission for Kedleston Development
Allestree and Quarndon Residents React with Anger and Disbelief to the Outcome of the Kedleston Road Planning Inquiry
The outcome of the Public Inquiry, set up to review the appeals on the planning applications to build 400 dwellings and 195 dwellings respectively on the heritage land adjacent to Kedleston Road in Allestree, was published yesterday (22 August 2016). The judgement, provided by Planning Inspector John Gray, has allowed both appeals.
The appeals have been granted despite the land in question being protected by Amber Valley Borough Council on heritage grounds and the wish of the council to retain this protection. The council had rejected the first application for 400 houses and had retrospectively indicated that they would have rejected the second one, had they been given time to do so by the developer.
The appeals have also been granted despite objections by approaching 2,000 residents in the Allestree and Quarndon area to the proposed development as well as the opinions of some of the most respected heritage and landscape experts in the country. The residents raised nearly £40,000 to allow their voice to be heard directly at the inquiry, as a Rule 6 party. Their experts had argued strongly that the heritage setting was a continuum linking the outskirts of Derby to Kedleston Hall and had to be protected for generations to come.
Residents of Allestree and Quarndon, who have come together under the banner of Kedleston Voice and have been campaigning for two years to stop the proposed harm to this important landscape setting, have reacted with incredulity to the decision. They find it difficult to understand how the Inspector could have come to such decisions given the weight of evidence in favour of refusal.
David Anderson, Chair of Kedleston Voice and an Allestree resident, said: “I remain completely bemused by this decision and I am sure that my feelings will be echoed by many local residents who have fought so hard to protect this heritage land. We cannot understand how the Inspector has failed to heed the wishes of the local authority, a very large resident body, and the assessment two of the country’s leading experts in this field
If this decision is allowed to stand, it will result in the loss of a heritage landscape that has been in place for approaching 250 years. It will also lead to significant further congestion, increased flood risk and many overwhelmed services.”
Isobel Shorrock, a resident of Quarndon and Kedleston Voice supporter, said “This is a very dark day for the residents of north Derby. It shows that no area of the north of the city is safe from development despite the overriding need for housing to be located in its south and centre.
It is also clear that resident’s views count for very little in this new world of house building at any cost. Kedleston Voice has been concerned that the planning system is now broken for some time. This decision demonstrates that it is now almost certainly broken beyond repair. Residents are truly angry and confused about how the Inspector could have come to his decisions.”
Kedleston Voice will now review the process followed in the Inquiry and the judgement made in more detail before consulting its legal experts to review what options it has available to try to get this appeal decision overturned. Residents will be updated on progress in due course.