Mixed reaction for college site plans

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THE FIRST glimpse at how Derby College’s old and new campuses will look was on show over the weekend at a public consultation about the plans.

People visited Ilkeston’s old magistrates court to see how it will look if the college’s proposlas to sell off its current Field Road home for a supermarket and housing development are approved.

Nigel Gell from the college said: “If we don’t get planning permission for the supermarket and housing then we can’t go ahead with the new campus.

“If the development at the current site goes ahead the money generated from the sale will all be used to fund this new state-of-the-art building.

“So far we seem to have had positive feedback.

“The bottom line is that 1,000 students and staff in this town centre would be a great boost to the local area and we would be providing first class education in first class facilities.”

But some visitors to the consultation had concerns about the number of students that the new college base would bring.

Douglas Boyd, lives opposite the proposed site.

He said: “Traffic is going to be a problem if there are going to be 1,000 students coming here.

“We’re situated between two crossroads and there is another school about 150 yards away, the place will be packed at the start and end of the day.

“I did wonder what would happen to this place, it was a lovely court and I would have liked it to stay open.

“From what I can see it just looks like it’s going to be a giant beauty parlour.

“Although I wasn’t best pleased when the court was coming and I never had any problems with that so we’ll see.

“It will be very disruptive while the work is going on and I think my property’s value has just plummetted.”

People who live near to the proposed supermarket site also had concerns.

Russell Coe, lives on Park Drive. He said: “Nottingham Road is already jam packed.

“It gets to 5pm and cars are nose to bumper all the way down and drivers are already using residential streets rather than main routes to cut their journey time down.

“Put a great big supermarket in the middle of that and I can only imagine the chaos.

“As well as all that we don’t need any more supermarkets.”

But some people seemed positive about the proposed changes.

Colin Mclaren’s Whitworth Road home backs on to where the propsed supermarket’s car park will be.

He said: “I’m hoping it will be an improvement.

“I’ve spoken to the architect and he’s told me what I should be able to see from my property when it’s all finished and that there will be trees and shrubs as a buffer zone between the boundary and my garden.

“At the moment we look out on to playing fields but there will be a green space as part of the plans.”

And John Hatter, of Drummond Road, said: “I’m a neutral really. I can understand why people have concerns at both sites but at the end of the day it’s better that the old court is used for something rather than stand here empty. It’s a waste of space at the moment.

“1,000 students in the town centre would be good but they will bring a lot of traffic with them.”