500 houses at Dunston Road (Chesterfield) – wrong in so many ways

Avatar for Lewis Townsend
By Lewis Townsend
27th September 2021

We were very disappointed when, in spite of ours and others’ objections, a huge green field site off Dunston Road in Chesterfield was allocated for development in the borough’s Local Plan.

The site is open, attractive agricultural land cresting the ridge towards Barlow; it’s crisscrossed by hedgerows and contains areas of woodland, and it is served by a narrow, winding road already taking more traffic than it can really cope with.

Unfortunately the Planning Inspectorate did not see these as major barriers to development and the site is now subject to a planning application for 500 houses, a local shopping centre, a school and a cricket club.  You can view the application at https://publicaccess.chesterfield.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=QWJJIEEP00T00

We’ve objected very strongly to these proposals.  The site was included in the Local Plan with very strict provisions as to how it was to be developed, owing to its ‘landscape sensitivity’. In our view, this sensitivity should prevent development here on such a massive scale.  The landscaping plan included in the developer’s application in no way compensates for the loss of open countryside, tranquillity, biodiversity and rural character.  The proposals would encourage car dependency, lead to an increase in water run-off and do not put forward any meaningful measures to limit or reduce carbon emissions by good quality design and layout.  Our full response to the application can be viewed here HERE.

CPRE Derbyshire’s Chair John Ydlibi meeting residents and campaigners on site

We fully support the Dunston Grange Residents Action Group who contacted us about this highly damaging proposal. They showed us round the site and we shared their concerns about the potential damage to this lovely and valued part of our countryside.  On the planning portal link above you can also read responses from Chesterfield’s Climate Change officer, Derbyshire County Council landscape experts, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and Transition Town Chesterfield, all of whom raise serious concerns about the proposals.  We are encouraged to see so many objections from individual local residents, too.

All parts of our world are facing the huge challenge of mitigating the effects of climate change and preventing further biodiversity loss.  We should not be supporting proposals which are going to make these problems worse.  Chesterfield has a great deal of brownfield land suitable for development – that is where much needed housing, suitable for local needs, should be built.