DOZENS of unanswered questions remain for those living in Winshill and Newton Solney following a meeting about a proposed 100-home development on fields between the two parishes.
Representatives from David Wilson Homes addressed hundreds of people at Newton Solney Village Hall, and told them they wanted feedback from the community so they could work together in delivering the plans, which many fear could be the thin end of the wedge.
However, land director Carrick Casson-Crook was unable to provide any concrete details for the crowd to comment on, telling those gathered that his company was taking advantage of ‘a window of opportunity’ to come forward with the plans, though nothing had yet been set in stone.
He told the packed meeting: “While I accept we may all disagree on the principle, at least all interested parties have the chance to have a say.”
The proposed development, which is not yet subject to a planning application, is on land off Newton Road on the border of East Staffordshire and South Derbyshire, and will back on to the Dalebrook estate. The area has not been put forward as a preferred area for development by South Derbyshire District Council in its yet-to-be confirmed local plan, but Mr Casson-Crook said until that was up and running there was a national move in favour of sustainable sites, which could make this a favourable site for homes.
He added the authority was also falling significantly short of its five-year housing supply – a target set by the Government – and said this development would ease the pressure.
But residents who have lived with a view over open fields for many years are set against the plans, regardless of any justification.
One man, who lives with his wife at the top of the Dalebrook estate, said: “We are right at the top, looking over the fields. That’s why we moved here.”
However, people at the meeting were told starkly that ‘nobody has the right to a view.’
Other concerns raised were the impact on local amenities, traffic and the fact that the proposed site, which has not yet been purchased by David Wilson Homes, was active farmland used to grow crops.
Mr Casson-Crook sought to allay fears that the mooted development would pave the way for more homes.
He said: “We’re not talking about 100 homes and then creeping up the hill.”