Stanton development talks reach stalemate

Stanton plan St Gobain
Stanton plan St Gobain

round table discussions about the Stanton development reached stalemate at a design day organised by Erewash Borough Council.

Talks came to a head with St Gobain saying they will get a planning application in as soon as possible, while Erewash Borough Council say they consider it highly unlikely that a plan will be put in and approved with enough homes built by the 2028 deadline.

The meeting put to bed talk that the land was contaminated and Murray Lloyd, from St Gobain, confirmed that the firm want to secure planning permission for 1,950 homes on the old ironworks site – a different figure to that published in an Erewash Borough Council document which said 1,500 houses.

A letter sent by Alliance Planning on behalf of St Gobain to Erewash Borough Council in October confirmed the firm’s plans to submit an application next year.

It reads: “The programme, currently developed, assumes that a planning application will be made in 2012, an implementable planning permission will be in place by 2014, and completion of the first dwellings will be in 2015.

“It shows an initial completion rate of 50 dwellings for year one, 100 dwellings for year two and 150 dwellings per year thereafter. This allows completion of all dwellings by 2028.”

But head of planning at Erewash Borough Council, Steve Birkinshaw, said: “I would be absolutely delighted if I would be assured that Stanton could start tomorrow and we could deliver all of our housing needs on the site and it would take great deal of difficulty away from our table.

“At this stage where we differ is what we think the start date for Stanton regeneration site is likely to be.

“We have had assurances from St Gobain that there will be a planning application in six months, but this is not the first time we have had these assurances. The last three years St Gobain have been telling us this and, we are in exactly the same position we were in three years ago.”

The talks covered issues including highways, infrastructure, schools, contamination, wildlife, flood risk, environmental health and economic growth.

Representatives at the table included Cllr Claire Gallagher and Cllr Heather Brown and Green Squeeze chairman Paul Harvey and member John Platts.

All parties agreed that the biggest issue with the site is traffic.

Jim Seymour, transport strategy manager for Derbyshire County Council admitted that the authority have ‘relatively little information’ about the way people in Ilkeston use the town’s roads but added they have a good idea of how public transport is used.

He told the meeting that it would be impossible to predict the impact of the development on traffic but that information can be taken from similar sites elsewhere.

But Stanton-by-Dale parish councillors and Green Squeeze campaigners said they still want answers to their questions about access to and from the site.

Cllr Gallagher said: “There are issues that still need resolving.

“The key issue for all three sites is traffic. The roads are already overcrowded and all of these developments will impact upon local roads.

“Once again I think Stanton-by-Dale has been overlooked as a parish. We have more of a handle on the levels of traffic in our village than the county council.”

Before any work can start, ten million tonnes of waste need to be cleared from the old ironworks, a process Erewash Borough Council say could take up to seven years.