Plan for Belper

Since the summer of 2015, Belper Civic Forum has been putting its efforts behind work on the Neighbourhood Plan for Belper (known as Plan for Belper). This is the community based plan under the Localism Act 2011 which will see residents of Belper civil parish (which includes Milford and other outlying settlements) having a say and a vote in a final referendum on local planning in the area.

Now is the time for you to add your initial ideas to the plan process.

Please see, and contact the Plan for Belper Steering Group at -
St John’s Chapel
The Butts
DE56 1HX


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Neighbourhood Plan meeting, 15 July

A quick reminder about Wednesday night’s public meeting on the Neighbourhood Plan for Belper, hosted by the Town Council, at St John’s Chapel, The Butts, Belper, DE56 1HX.  This starts at 6.30pm, and is an opportunity to help ensure that the right messages are getting across to the Council about the importance of this process.
Please find attached our Civic Forum note advocating the Neighbourhood Plan.

Neighbourhood Plan for Belper (landscape)

You may also be interested to see what Wirksworth have achieved (their Neighbourhood Plan was passed by referendum in May) -
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Belper Civic Forum meets to decide future

On Wednesday 24 June, when the Civic Forum will be having its grand AGM at No28 Market Place, Belper.

The meeting starts at 7pm, and we will have an update on two vital issues for the town -

1.  Network Rail and consultants Baxters are back, to give an update on latest news about the electrification of the railway

2.  We’ll also be discussing the future of the Civic Forum – this is your chance to have a say on our direction and aims.

As it’s a while since our last meeting, we’re inviting anyone who has an interest in the town’s future to come along – enjoy some light refreshments, and celebrate this year’s winner of our Civic Award (for a development which has contributed to the appearance or wellbeing of the town).

For further details please email us at

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Belper housing proposals

We are aware of some concern that Belper Civic Forum appears to have been silent on the current proposal to allocate land at Bullsmoor as a strategic housing site.  Our usual spokesperson on strategic planning matters is Stephen Heathcote, a member of the BCF executive committee who is an architect/planner based in the town.  In this instance, Stephen has clients who own part of the affected land (near Cherry House Farm).  He has declared an interest from the beginning and has not taken part in decisions on the BCF approach to this issue.

The Civic Forum relies on its volunteer members, and we are struggling to find an appropriately qualified alternative spokesperson on this issue.  We are currently circulating information about the housing proposals and a questionnaire seeking the views of the public on the housing allocation.  The responses will be submitted to AVBC.

Belper Civic Forum is a discussion forum who come to opinions through discussion and debate, and have been doing this for a number of years, but we don’t ‘whip’ our members. There has always been a range of views on specific issues within a wider understanding that the town should be developed in a planned way that places particular emphasis on high quality design, sympathetic development, regard for the natural and historic environment, and public engagement.

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Swadlincote study visit

Belper Civic Forum are arranging a study visit to Swadlincote on Saturday 27 September, led by Derbyshire County Council urban designer Adam Lathbury.  Adam was instrumental in drawing up improvements to the town centre, and will explain the process and the ideas behind it in a guided tour.

We hope to also take in a visit on the same day to Broughton Astley in Leicestershire, the first community to have a Neighbourhood Plan approved in the East Midlands.

Our plan is to take a minibus, so if you are interested in going, please let us know as soon as possible and put the date in your diary.

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Belper Housing Allocations – have your say

F08 Housing questionnaire Aug14 v4

Belper Civic Forum are trying to get as many people as possible to complete the attached short questionnaire on the new housing proposals for the town – deadline for return to us by email or post (to Strutts, Derby Road), Fri 29 August.

Amber Valley is holding a consultation event on  Tuesday 19 August 2014
3pm-7pm    No.28 Market Place (Former Salvation Army Hall), Belper

The proposed new allocation sites in Belper are described on

and they are:

• Derwent Street, Belper – 120 dwellings
• Bullsmoor/Cherry House Farm, Belper – 250 dwellings
• Pottery Farm, Belper – 200 dwellings

Amber Valley website has the following notice, edited to show just
include the Belper bits:

Consultation on the Proposed Changes
Following the Council’s approval of the Proposed Changes to the submitted
Core Strategy on 23 July 2014, there is now an opportunity to make
representations to the Proposed Changes, within a 6 week period from Monday
28 July 2014 to Monday 8 September 2014.

Copies of the Proposed Changes and the accompanying Sustainability Appraisal
will be made available for inspection at the following venues from 4.30pm on
Monday 28 July 2014, during normal opening hours:

Belper Library, Bridge Street, Belper

The Proposed Changes and the accompanying Sustainability Appraisal are also
available to view by following these links:-

Proposed Changes to the Local Plan Part 1 Core Strategy
Sustainability Appraisal of the Proposed Changes

Sustainability Appraisal Technical Appendix
Former Sustainability Appraisal of the Local Plan Part 1 Core Strategy

Representation on the Proposed Changes should be submitted on-line via the Amber Valley website.

Forms will also be available for completion at the above locations and can
be delivered either by hand or by post to:

The Community Planning Team
Amber Valley Borough Council
Town Hall

Please note that all representations must arrive by no later than 4.30pm on
Monday 8 September 2014.

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Belper and its railway

K02 Belper & Railway poster 08July14

This weekend sees two important events putting Belper’s historic railway centre stage.  For the latest on planning for electrification and what it means for the town, come along to the meeting on Friday night.  Saturday and Sunday sees the special exhibition on the railway – past, present and future, at No28.  For details, see flyer inset.

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Planning application for Meadows Edge – act now!

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 -

F08 BCF response Tesco MEdge May14 v2b

The Council requires all comments to be submitted by 6 July 2014, to

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.

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Belper Meadows Planning applications

There are two new developments for the Meadows and Meadows Edge.

1. Belper Meadows Sports Club have put in an application for a new sports pavilion to replace the existing structure and the tennis pavailion, and will be sited where the current grass courts are.  It is planning application AVA/2014/0209 and is due to be decided by officers under reserve powers on 22 May – see

2. We are expecting the outline application for 107 houses on the northern part of the Belper Meadows Edge (Tesco) site, probably tomorrow (Monday).  The Civic Forum has written a considered response in advance of this, which should be available for viewing shortly.  There is also a public meeting to discuss the site, to be chaired by Pauline Latham MP, this Thursday 22nd May, 6pm, Belper High School.  This is the slide from the developers’ recent presentation at the Lion Hotel – Tesco Belper Exhibition Stand -1

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