Council says no to retail development

A MAJOR retail development on the former American Adventure site in Shipley would have a ‘harmful impact’ on nearby town centres, including Ilkeston, the county council has said.

The comment was made in response to Amber Valley Borough Council’s ‘draft development brief’ for Shipley Lakeside – the area of the former theme park earmarked for a major mixed development.

The report, by Derbyshire County Council’s strategic director Ian Stephenson, said: “Such development is likely to have the potential for significant harmful impacts on the vitality and viability of the nearby town centres of Heanor and Ilkeston and, depending on the scale, possibly further afield such as Ripley and Eastwood.”

Amber Valley’s council has already said it wants to see mixed leisure, business, educational, health and social uses on the site with no major industrial or storage uses, but the county council has said it is ‘desirable’ that there are also job opportunities available there.

The county council also revealed its opposition to housing at the site which is in green belt.

County councillor for the area Kevin Parkinson said it would ‘set a precedent’ and create ‘urban sprawl’ by merging Heanor and Ilkeston.

“Any housing development is inappropriate for Shipley Lakeside, given the need to protect Shipley’s green lung and the need to protect free and open access for the community to continue its leisure and recreational uses of the site,” he said.

The brief, together with the county council’s comments, are set to be discussed at an Amber Valley Borough Council planning board meeting on June 20.

Once approved this will provide a framework for plans that Derbyshire County Council’s ‘preferred developer’ for the site Waystone will be asked to abide by on the site.

A borough council spokesman said they expect the first planning applications for the development to be submitted soon after the brief is agreed.