Monday, April 15, 2024

Council wins long-running battle to prevent construction of almost 200 homes on greenfield site

Erewash Borough Council has won a long-running battle to prevent almost 200 homes being built on a greenfield haven opposite a historic row of cottages.

The plan would have seen an entire new estate in countryside near Ilkeston – and sparked an appeal by the would-be developer after the authority rejected it.

The Worcester firm argued that the scheme would help the borough meet housing targets. The fight went all the way to the government’s Planning Inspectorate – and threatened the council with a massive legal bill.

But a judgment handed down by the inspector has now backed the authority.

The 196 homes had been proposed off Sowbrook Lane on land facing the historic Twelve Houses – a terrace of isolated Grade II-listed cottages built in 1848.

Locals were enraged by the planning application, which was rejected in October 2022 and led to a public inquiry being hosted at Long Eaton Town Hall.

The government’s Planning Inspectorate said Erewash was right to scotch the plans, which had been slammed by campaign group Kirk Hallam Green Squeeze.

The protesters branded the appeal by Wulff Asset Management Ltd as “just a money-making attempt from the developers who want to challenge the local authority.”

Andrew McCormack, the government-appointed planning inspector, visited the proposed site and agreed with the council that issues included access and transport.

He said of the development: “It would be perceived negatively as a housing scheme that would appear as an isolated development in a countryside setting and unsustainable location.”

Erewash Council leader James Dawson said: “This is a victory for common sense. Despite the need for new homes in the borough this site was never a sensible location for such housing.

“The council is pleased that an independent Planning Inspector has endorsed the authority’s decision to refuse the original planning application.”

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