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Amber Valley Tory Council in Tatters

ALL IS NOT WELL AT AMBER VALLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

 



LOCAL PLAN IN ABSOLUTE TATTERS 

 



CALLS FOR TORY LEADER CLLR BUTTERY TO RESIGN

 

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Amber Valley Borough Council has been criticised by a government housing inspector as making an ‘unreasonable’ decision - and he has awarded costs against the council in favour of a local campaign group. The Council refused to back their own planning board and did not defend an appeal against the decision to not allow 200 homes on contaminated land at Somercotes.

The inspector said “It is not clear as to why the Council decided not to defend its decision. Having regard to this lack of explanation I find that the Council’s decision not to contest the appeal was unreasonable…….. I find that unreasonable behaviour resulting in unnecessary or wasted expense, as described in the Planning Practice Guidance has been demonstrated. I conclude that a partial award of costs against Amber Valley Borough Council is justified.”

The 200 homes formed a significant element of the number of houses required by the Local Plan, and together with the judgement preventing homes being built at Kedleston Rd, there now appears to be an unsustainable shortfall. Other sites earmarked in the Local Plan include the World Heritage Buffer site at Belper Lane, but bizarrely not the former ABRU site in Belper which has just had planning agreed.

The public consultation is set to be examined by the councils Scrutiny committee after Labour Councillors complained that the results were withheld from councillors until after the decision on the draft local plan was made. 

Belper North’s Labour Councillor Ben Bellamy has called on the council leader to resign, saying:

“Amber Valley is in crisis. The decision not to defend the democratic conclusion of the planning board was unacceptable. The decision to earmark contaminated land that could be of danger to residents into the Draft Local plan for housing was unacceptable. Elsewhere putting World Heritage Buffer Zone land into the plan, Green belt land into the plan and yet ignoring and refusing to put viable sites, like the Abru factory, call into question the competence of the current council. Any chance of having a Local Plan decided by local people is disintegrating – over a million spent – and for what? Amongst this crisis the August meeting of the council was cancelled. Leader Councillor Buttery should consider his position and resign– it looks not like leadership , but more like crisis management.” 

Meanwhile sites such as the field lane car park extension – that the council spent £1.6 million on for a leisure centre that was never built lies empty, and the abandoned river gardens tea rooms deteriorates and looks in danger of collapse. Cllr Bellamy said:

“Council tax payers are paying the cost of a borough council that has closed our local offices; turned off the majority of the CCTV cameras that kept us safe; wasted millions on the Local Plan and failed projects; run out of ideas and is running out of money.” 

“Meanwhile in Belper we have a World Heritage Status that they have put under threat by encouraging inappropriate housing developments; our jewel in the crown River Gardens Tearoom project still not funded; playgrounds rusting; and thanks to the Conservative government our hospital is set to close and Belpers schools are facing horrendous budget cuts taht will affect our childrens education.”

Belper North’s Labour Councillor Ben Bellamy has called on the council leader to resign, saying:

“Amber Valley is in crisis. The decision not to defend the democratic conclusion of the planning board was unacceptable. The decision to earmark contaminated land that could be of danger to residents into the Draft Local plan for housing was unacceptable. Elsewhere putting World Heritage Buffer Zone land into the plan, Green belt land into the plan and yet ignoring and refusing to put viable sites, like the Abru factory, call into question the competence of the current council. Any chance of having a Local Plan decided by local people is disintegrating – over a million spent – and for what? Amongst this crisis the August meeting of the council was cancelled. Leader Councillor Buttery should consider his position and resign– it looks not like leadership , but more like crisis management.” 

Meanwhile sites such as the field lane car park extension – that the council spent £1.6 million on for a leisure centre that was never built lies empty, and the abandoned river gardens tea rooms deteriorates and looks in danger of collapse. Cllr Bellamy said:

“Council tax payers are paying the cost of a borough council that has closed our local offices; turned off the majority of the CCTV cameras that kept us safe; wasted millions on the Local Plan and failed projects; run out of ideas and is running out of money.” 

“Meanwhile in Belper we have a World Heritage Status that they have put under threat by encouraging inappropriate housing developments; our jewel in the crown River Gardens Tearoom project still not funded; playgrounds rusting; and thanks to the Conservative government our hospital is set to close and Belpers schools are facing horrendous budget cuts taht will affect our childrens education.”

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