Planners say ‘no’ to supermarket plan

Derby College Field Road campus Supermarket plan
Derby College Field Road campus Supermarket plan

The council’s planning team has recommended that councillors should refuse permission for a new supermarket in Ilkeston.

The plan to build a large Morrison’s store and 39 homes on the current Derby College campus in Field Road is part of a controversial scheme by the college to move its Ilkeston campus into the town centre.

But Erewash’s planners have said such a large store ‘is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the vitality and viability of Ilkeston town centre and on proposals to enhance the town centre’.

College corporate director Nigel Gell said he was extremely disappointed: “If the committee endorse the officers’ recommendation, a fantastic opportunity for Ilkeston is lost.”

Last week Mr Gell said that building the new campus for an estimated 800 students on the site of the former Ilkeston Magistrates Court would not happen without the £10m it would receive from the supermarket and homes plan.

He said numbers were already declining at the college and this move to a state-of-the-art campus would be a much-needed boost to futher education in Ilkeston.

Mr Gell said he was ‘blown away’ by the popularity of the supermarket plan at a public exhibition in Ilkeston on Saturday. The store, he said, is set to create up to 350 jobs.

Schroder Real Estate Investment Trust, which owns the Albion Centre, said that any new supermarket should be in the centre.

“A supermarket, of the same or larger in size...could be quickly and effectively housed in the Albion Centre,” said a spokesman.

The move would bring shoppers back to the town centre, he claimed.

Councillors narrowly voted in favour of the new campus last month and are set to vote on the supermarket and homes next Wednesday.