PLANS to build holiday homes on a former mineral extraction site will benefit the county’s tourist economy, it has been claimed.
South Derbyshire District Council’s planning body has recommended the application to build 60 homes in Willington to be approved when it meets next week.
Construction of single, two and two and a half storey buildings would take place on a 12-hectare site in Willington Gravel Pits Nature Reserve, off Repton Road.
Willington Parish Council lodged strong objections on the grounds the development would negatively impact on wildlife and branded it a ‘potential disaster’ as the village is not a tourist destination.
But Gary Hughes, the developer’s agent, said anyone with concerns about the village succeeding as a tourist location only had to look as far as Mercia Marina, in Willington.
He said: “This has been done with economic benefits in mind.
“By providing this accommodation the local economy will benefit.”
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, which manages part of the site, has not objected to the plans as long as a footpath is re-routed, a watermarsh is created and firework use is restricted. Great Crested Newts are also reported to live on the site.
But Mr Hughes said the development would preserve the long-term future of the nature reserve.
He said: “This has been done in consultation with the wildlife trust to increase diversity and the site would be maintained to ensure it’s looked after in perpetuity.”
The parish council also fears the development would result in ‘unacceptable’ traffic problems on Repton Road.
But Mr Hughes said people on holiday were unlikely to travel to the village during rush hour.