Spenhill Developments, acting in conjunction with Tescos, have now submitted their planning application for 107 houses on the Meadows Edge site in Belper town centre. Documents can be viewed at Amber Valley’s planning application pages, and the reference is AVA/2014/0470.
At the recent meeting at Belper High School, Pauline Latham, MP for Mid Derbyshire, said she would be asking the Secretary of State to ‘call in’ this application for public enquiry, largely on the grounds that it is a sensitive site in the World Heritage Site. It is essential that people still to write to the Council expressing their views, and the Civic Forum will be doing this – our main grounds for objection will be that -
1. The proposals do not present a true ‘mixed-use’ of the larger ER1C site, and they in fact pre-determine what may happen on other parts of it. They could particularly disadvantage access routes to other adjacent sites, such as Belper Meadows Sports Club or Riversdale Surgery, and at the very least are silent about what could be a very useful aspect of development.
2. There is a detrimental impact on existing employment activities on Derwent Street (because there is no ‘buffer’ with the housing proposed), and no new employment uses proposed.
3. Although an ‘outline application’ (and so really just establishng the principle of mass housing on this part of the site), the propsoed design does not make best advantage of the site, with no frontage to the river, or variety of height and form (which ironically could provide more housing units), and this does not fit well with views to the rear of the existing townscape along the A6.
4. There is no real regard to the historicaly important former Castle (Thorntons) factory building on the south side of Derwent Street.
The full response from the Civic Forum is attached below, but respondents are asked to adapt parts and personalise these details where possible -
The Council requires all comments to be submitted by 6 July 2014, to email@example.com.
Please note also that coincidentally, over the weekend of 12 and 13 July, students from Kingston University’s architecture school will present their own ‘Meadows Edge Studio’ proposals for the site at 28 Market Place.