Gateway development should be rejected, says Ripley Town Council
PLANS for two major developments in Amber Valley have been opposed by Ripley Town Council.
The Ripley Gateway development and a proposed solar panel farm were both voted against at the planning meeting of Ripley Town Council last night.
The Gateway development in Nottingham Road would include a Morrisons supermarket and a major link road.
The project has been designed by property developer Clowes Westerman, working with Amber Valley Borough Council.
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The leader of the town council, Councillor Steve Freeborn, said: "Amber Valley are going completely against their own retail study conducted in 2011.
"They used this study to argue against the Tesco store in Belper but are ignoring it when it comes to Ripley."
The project would also involve 126 homes on land previously intended for industrial use. A new Greenwich Park, including a junior football pitch, a senior pitch, sports pavilion, play areas and a skate park, would also be created.
The plan was opposed by eight to one, with the vote in favour being that of Conservative Ron Ashton, who said the development "would take Ripley out of the 60s and into the 21st century".
The huge solar panel farm was voted down unanimously.
Councillor Morris Gent said: "I have never seen any proposal that has had absolutely no support. I have not met one person who thinks this is a good idea."
The farm would be built on four sites – Knob Farm, Morley Park Road, Belper; Iron Works Farm, Street Lane, Ripley; Home Farm, Street Lane, Denby; and Park Hall Stud Farm, Hall Road, Denby – would be the "largest in Europe", according to protesters and could supply energy for 1,200 to 1,500 houses.
Jacqueline McMahon a resident of Street Lane, Denby, told the meeting: "This is nothing more than a money-grabbing exercise.
"There are many ground nesting birds that are not being taken into account. It is greed personified."
A spokesman for Freetricity, the company behind the proposal, said: "Freetricity met with many of the local residents in November, when we were able to listen to, and respond to, their concerns.
"We have also received comments in support of the proposed solar farms.
"We are currently awaiting a meeting with the planning department to discuss the points of concern raised by the local residents."
The town council's opposition to both plans will be passed on to the borough council, which will make the final decision.