Green light to homes at former site

Thumbs up to 53 homes on former South East Derbyshire College site, Ilkeston
Thumbs up to 53 homes on former South East Derbyshire College site, Ilkeston

A PLAN to turn a former college in Ilkeston into an estate of 53 homes has been given a unanimous thumbs-up by councillors.

All 13 members of the council’s planning committee welcomed the move on Wednesday night, which will see the boarded-up South East Derbyshire College campus in Cavendish Road demolished to make way for the homes.

Cllr Margaret Griffiths said: “I have no objections to housing on this site at all.

“It’s a reasonable use of the site.”

The show of support came despite Erewash Borough Council having refused applications for 42 homes on the site in 2009 and 2010 on the grounds that the number of houses could not adequately be accommodated using the designs that site owner Derby College had submitted on both occasions.

The authority received three letters of objection to the latest plan from neighbours, including Windmill Builders, which was concerned that residents in the new estate would complain about noise from the firm.

Their fears mirror similar concerns expressed by businesses neighbouring the Briar’s Chase development in Heanor Road which had no noise protection.

And Cllr John Frudd said: “I hope we don’t find ourselves in that situation again.”

But head of planning at the council Steve Birkinshaw said that, because Briar’s Chase was granted on appeal, the inspector did not state that a noise screen should be a condition on Taylor Wimpey’s plan between the homes and businesses in the Manners Industrial Estate.

“On this site,” he explained, “It’s come through the appropriate negotiation process so we can apply for an appropriate condition for noise attenuation.”

The site will be a mix of two, three and four-bedroom properties with access to the site from Cavendish Road.

The council asked that as a condition, 30 per cent of the homes should be affordable and the college should provide a public open space for the community.

Derby College corporate director Nigel Gell said after the meeting that he is hoping for a ‘quick sale’ of the site to a developer so that building work can begin.