Residents oppose 860 homes plan on greenbelt land in Dronfield

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Dozens of residents turned out in force to hear controversial plans to build 860 new homes on green belt land in Dronfield.

The proposals put forward by North East Derbyshire District Council aim to alter five green belt boundaries across the town and extend the Callywhite Lane Industrial Estate.

Residents are urging a re-think and say more emphasis should be put on using brownfield land, while council chiefs say it is important the development needs of the district are met in a sustainable way.

Oliver Hewitt, of the Dronfield Greenbelt Residents Group, said: “As a group we do not believe the draft local plan has adequately demonstrated the ‘exceptional circumstances’ required to erode the very little and much treasured remaining greenbelt land around the fringes of Dronfield.

“All we are asking of the district council is that they pay attention to the residents of Dronfield and not just pay lip service to the consultation. With Dronfield recently being voted the 9th most desirable postcode in England to live I would hope the district council would not do anything to jeopardise its success.”

The proposals set out 235 dwellings for land off Shakespeare Crescent and Sheffield Road, 230 at land at Hallowes Lane, 190 on land off Hilltop, 180 on land north of Eckington Road, Coal Aston, 25 on land at Stubley Drive, Stubley Hollow, Dronfield. A six-hectare extension of the Callywhite Lane site is also proposed.

The meeting was held last Thursday, at Coal Aston Village Hall, and such was the demand that some residents could not get inside the building.

On the local plan document, the district council’s cabinet member for the environment, Councillor Michael Gordon, said: “A lot of hard work has gone into producing this document which must be in line with Government requirements and at the same time meet the needs of local people.”

l A consultation event will take place on Tuesday, March 14 at Dronfield Civic Centre from 4pm to 7pm. Residents have until 5pm on April 7 to have their say. Go to: www.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk/index.php/resident/local-plan