PLANNERS have unanimously agreed to turn down an application to build 190 houses on fields in Ashbourne but approved a smaller application for a development of 40 homes.
Members of the Derbyshire Dales District Council Southern Area Planning Committee met on Tuesday to discuss the controversial applications which, between them, attracted opposition from hundreds of people in the town.
The first application, by Miller Homes, Radleigh Group and Simon James, for 125 houses and 65 ‘extra care units’ was deemed by planning officer Jon Bradbury to be ‘unsustainable’ and ‘encroaching’.
Committee members expressed their disappointment that the application had been submitted, after a public consultation found that the preference for development in the town by members of the public was to build on Ashbourne’s Airfield site.
The consultation was set up as part of the formulation of the town’s local plan, which sets out to identify land on which to build property’s to satisfy housing requirements in the coming years.
Although the site discussed at last Tuesday’s meeting, at Hillside Farm off Wyaston Road, would satisfy much of the town’s obligations for housing provision, committee members agreed it was unsuitable and turned it down in favour of pursuing the airfield option which has yet to be chosen by a would-be developer.
The second application, by Miller Homes, to build 40 houses off Lodge Farm Chase, was also contested by members of the public with nearly 300 letters sent in to the planning department, but, despite fears over the steep access to the site, the impact on badgers living nearby and concerns over water run-off, it had been recommended for approval by planning officer William Shaw.
Director of planning Paul Wilson pointed out that the site was favourable for development as it helped show the authority was able to identify land for development schemes and the members agreed, voting for its approval.