Local voices still fighting to be heard

9th April 2021

Over recent days, we have been made aware of two communities battling against the odds where local political agendas seem to be working against them. We wanted to share these stories to highlight the ongoing importance of using your democratic voice and the power of social media networks.

Unwanted HS2 impacts at Sandiacre  

Local people fighting to save the much-loved Sandiacre Meadows beauty spot (sited in Greenbelt and shown in the story header image) are dismayed that some vocal politicians in the area appear to have been successful in characterising the local community as in support of the HS2 northern link via Toton,  whereas in fact there is a large body of community support for the NIC option.

The group Save our Sandiacre beauty spot approached Derbyshire CPRE earlier this week looking for our advice about how to give the alternative viewpoint more prominence, so we are consulting with a regional CPRE representative with specific expertise on the scheme as well as to clarify the latest policy position of CPRE nationally.

We always aim to provide informed support on such enquiries to empower people in their advocacy for precious green space assets in their neighbourhoods.   Often though the resources of our small group are stretched to cover all the developments happening across such a large and diverse county as Derbyshire. One example of this is another development brought to our attention just yesterday by one of our followers on Facebook.

Glapwell community’s fight for local wildlife and heritage

This is a proposal for 62 housing units in Glapwell, Bolsover on top of 65 previously approved.  On approving the initial 65 unit development at appeal, the Inspector said it succeeded primarily because the site (albeit now green space) was technically classed as previously developed land. But he emphasised his decision should not set a precedent.

For the subsequent 62 unit plan, the planning officer therefore recommended refusal on the grounds the site is open countryside and outside the settlement boundary, together with loss of local amenity. This was an application which at the time slipped under the radar of our local Derbyshire CPRE Bolsover area monitors (our volunteer “eyes and ears” on local planning).

The decision to refuse the scheme was however, overturned by the planning committee in March last year, much to the dismay of many locals, who do not believe due process has been followed.

According to the latest press coverage of the community’s prolonged battle, they say amenities in their village will be ‘stretched to breaking point’ if these plans go ahead and have launched a petition which we fully support, despite the fact we unfortunately missed the opportunity to object to the initial proposal.

This highlights the fact that CPRE Derbyshire’s resources and activities are entirely reliant on contributions of Derbyshire people through membership, donation and/or volunteering with CPRE.  Please consider adding your support. 

Sandiacre Meadows and canal in happier times. Sourced from the local advocacy group's Facebook page.