Town college campus in doubt as store plan could be refused
PLANS to build a Morrison's supermarket in Ilkeston are being recommended for refusal, leaving the creation of a new college campus in jeopardy.
Derby College was given the planning go-ahead in August to build a £10 million campus on the former magistrates' court site in Pimlico.
But Erewash Borough Council planners want councillors to refuse permission for a Morrison's superstore to be built on the town's former South East Derbyshire College site in Field Road.
Selling the site and obtaining planning permission for the superstore and 39 homes is an integral part of Derby College's plan for a town centre campus.
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Planning officers say the application should be refused because the superstore would have a "significant adverse effect on the vitality and viability of Ilkeston town centre".
They also claim it would affect proposals to improve the town through redevelopment of the Albion shopping centre and bringing vacant shops back into use.
The council has received 56 letters of objection to the plan and three letters of support.
Nigel Gell, corporate director of the college, said that was contrary to the feedback received during an open day on Saturday.
He said: "The college and developers of the Field Road site are extremely disappointed with the officers' recommendation for refusal.
"It is more disappointing as the news came on the day of a public exhibition regarding the Field Road proposals where there was overwhelming support for the scheme."
The Morrison's development, which also includes a petrol station and car parking, is predicted to create up to 350 new jobs in Ilkeston. It will also secure 200 existing college jobs and provide education for 800 students.
Mr Gell said: "If the committee endorse the officers' recommendation, not only would there be a loss of 350 potential jobs at the Morrison's store but also the college fears for the future of further education in Ilkeston."
Derbyshire County Council has also objected to the scheme because it will "undermine the existing town centre".
Ilkeston Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Ilkeston town team and Erewash Partnership also claim the public will stop going into the town centre.
Councillors will make the decision on Wednesday, October 17, from 5.30pm at Long Eaton Town Hall.
On the same agenda, Derby College has applied to extend the opening hours of its new campus in Pimlico to 10pm to allow for adult evening classes. Councillors are being recommended to approve the request.