Dismay after plans for 500 homes are approved
A PROTEST group says it is "saddened and dismayed" after plans to build 500 homes on a greenfield site were given the green light.
Amber Valley Borough Council's planning board has given permission to Wheeldon Brothers to build homes, shops and access roads at the 43-acre site in Outseats Farm, Alfreton, which has been described as the "last green field site in the north of the town".
The firm said 25% of the site would be used for green, open space and public parks but residents raised concerns about the loss of greenfield land and whether the town's infrastructure could cope with the extra homes.
Members of Amber Valley SOS (Support Our Struggle) protest group also applied for village green status for the site to try to stop the development. A decision has not yet been made.
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John Rayson, of Alfreton SOS, said he felt the residents' concerns had been ignored during the planning meeting.
He said: "Well, we saw democracy in action at the council meeting. Residents completely ignored, traffic concerns ignored, in fact all objections ignored.
"The Labour group listened and supported us, the Tory group wouldn't listen and didn't want to know.
"The fight isn't over. We must rally and fight on."
The planning application was approved before Amber Valley Borough Council had finalised its plan for where housing should be built in the borough during the next five years.
But Derek Stafford, the council's assistant director of planning and regeneration, said the site had been previously identified as a good one to provide cheap housing.
He said: "Thirty per cent of the housing will be affordable and the area has been identified as suitable for housing growth.
"This application was submitted last January and we were duty-bound to consider it when we were ready to do so."
Mr Stafford said the amount of public parks and open spaces that would be created in the site was "over and above" the council's normal requirements.
He said: "The land has previously not had a right of access to the public."