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    North Derbyshire Radio

Local News

Housing plans approved for Derbyshire green belt left to look like a ‘scrap yard’

todaySeptember 27, 2022 9

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A landowner who made an area of Derbyshire green belt look like a ‘scrap yard’ has been granted planning permission for a housing development for the third time in a row, in the hope it will lead to the land being cleared.

Chesterfield Borough Council granted applicants Mr and Mrs B Steele permission to demolish some commercial buildings at Handleywood Farm, in Whittington Road, Barrow Hill, and erect seven dwellings, as well as convert outbuildings into home-working studios.

Back in 2004, the authority attempted to stop the landowner from keeping vehicle parts on the land, which were contrary to the strict conservation rules.

However after serving enforcement notices and going through a public inquiry, the Planning Inspectorate allowed them to operate an engine salvage business on the site.

Explaining the situation to the council’s planning committee on Monday, September 26, Group Leader in Development Management Paul Staniforth said the land was currently ‘littered with engine and vehicle parts’ and had the ‘appearance of a scrapyard’.

He added that while there was usually a strict ‘no housing’ rule in the green belt, the council was willing to make an exception in this case because it would mean the vehicles would be removed from the site and the land decontaminated.

Mr Staniforth explained permission had been granted for similar plans on two previous occasions in 2016 and 2019 but had never been enacted and expired, however the applicant had indicated plans to sell the land with the planning permission on it for their retirement.

Councillor Mick Brady commented that he had ‘grave concerns’ over the application, saying: “Is it an engine recycling site or has he turned it into a scrapyard?”

“Are we going to turn around and reward someone who has made a most God awful blot on the landscape by allowing him to sell that land to get it clean, as a reward for what he’s done up there on this council’s green belt?”

The development features seven homes arranged in a horseshoe shape around a central tree with associated landscaping and parking.

While addressing this most recent application, council officers visiting the site noticed unauthorised vehicles parked in an adjacent field that was also owned by the applicant.

Members raised concerns about this, however Mr Staniforth pointed out that it was a separate issue and would be dealt with accordingly by the council.

All members voted in favour of the application barring Coun Brady, who abstained from the vote.

Vehicles that have been parked in an adjacent field. Picture taken from Chesterfield Borough Council planning document. 
Picture taken from Chesterfield Borough Council planning document. 

Written by: NDR NEWS

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