Neighbours have questioned a £60,000 council windfall coming from moves to build homes and shops in the heart of Ilkeston.
The money is earmarked “for the regeneration of Ilkeston town centre” and formed part of approval granted by Erewash Planning Committee.
The cash will go to Erewash Borough Council, which also insisted that eight of the homes must be for the hard-up, one for a disabled person and that a management company must maintain public land for eternity.
The cash gift is covered by planning laws but resident Matt Gregory, who raised concerns over the scheme, said: “It seems ridiculous. The council is receiving the money and the council is deciding the application.”
He told councillors the new residents would be able to overlook some of his rooms and rear garden on Lord Haddon Road.
And he felt the development would jar with Victorian buildings around it, as well as destroying a wildlife haven hidden just behind Bath Street. It is home for foxes and bats.
“We live on a busy road and the only quiet we have is at the rear of our property. It is quiet there, secluded and pleasant.
“If you basically have housing for more than 60 people, there will be considerable foot and vehicular traffic,” he told the meeting.
Members unanimously approved the project, which will provide 27 homes and three shops.
The scheme will improve some of the town’s most dilapidated buildings but will also lead to the demolition of the Poplar Inn. The project covers land between Bath Street and Lord Haddon Road, where cattle were brought for slaughter a century ago.
Developers’ agent Paul Gaughan said: “The improvement and regeneration of Bath Street is a win win situation with a significant financial contribution. Also local businesses will be benefiting from people living in the town centre.”
The land is in a conservation area but he said experts did not want “a pastiche of what is there on Bath Street.” He told members: “They want buildings which will be slightly different and have character in a group.”
Although the pub would be lost, one of its fireplaces would be donated to Erewash Museum and other fine architectural items would be saved. Cllr Glennice Birkin told the meeting: “I totally support this project. Bath Street from Station Road down looks totally like a bomb site. I think this will benefit the town.”