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Objection to development in Matlock

Peter Fox
By Peter Fox
28th June 2023

CPRE Derbyshire objects to a hybrid planning application due to landscape impact, environmental sustainability and climate impact.

Approval is being sought to build 78 new residential units, as well as the facilitation of site access for varied commercial uses and for up to 345 residential units on land between Sandy Lane, Bent Lane and Gritstone Road in Matlock.

CPRE objected to the inclusion of this site for development in 2016 because of the landscape sensitivity of the site and its position outside the historic Matlock settlement boundary.  We also submitted an objection to this application on in 2019, on the grounds, again, of landscape impact and of environmental sustainability and climate impact.

Our understanding is that new information has now been submitted by the applicant in response to the existence of a new water course on the site, with a proposal to culvert the water course and increase the size of the proposed attenuation ponds. These new proposals only serve to reinforce our objection to this proposed development.

The discovery of a new water course only reinforces the fact that development and hard-landscaping of this site will exacerbate flooding problems both onsite and further down into Bentley Brook and the River Derwent. It is now accepted that the culverting of water courses serves to worsen flood risk, not alleviate it. The proposed increase in size of the attenuation ponds is itself a concern and it seems unwise to attempt to hold such quantities of water in and above residential areas already at risk of flooding.

As time passes it is becoming ever more obvious that this site should never have been proposed for development in the Local Plan, against local opposition and against the advice of the then Local Plan Advisory committee. Issues have emerged in relation to water flows on the site, in relation to wildlife, and in relation to the impact of other housing developments built recently on that side of Matlock, which, in our view, necessitate a thorough review of the appropriateness of any development at all in this highly sensitive landscape setting.