‘THAT site is not suitable – it is a joke’ claim residents angry at proposals to build more than 400 homes on farmland.
More than 30 members of the public attended the latest meeting of Swadlincote Area Forum to air concerns over plans to build homes on Broomy Farm with a bypass linking the A514 Woodville Road, Hartshorne to where the A511 joins Lincoln Way, Midway.
Many residents agreed that the development, which has not yet been submitted as an application, would put increasing pressure on Tollgate Island – described in the meeting as ‘the worst roundabout in the East Midlands’.
The Broomy Farm site is one of the preferred options for housing in South Derbyshire District Council’s Local Plan – a plan Labour members have opposed, they told the meeting.
There was concern over traffic speeds and flows, while Paul Dunn, who represents Swadlincote, Midway and Woodville on Derbyshire County Council, confirmed the authority had not done a traffic impact survey because they had not had a reason to.
A statement read out from the prospective applicants said they believed a ‘strategic link road is a beneficial piece of road providing flexibility in the network’ and noted there was local concern about the safe traffic flow, adding they were open to suggestions as to how they could create improvements to safety.
One resident said: “Broomy Farm is a viable site which is in the council’s proposed plan which means it will go ahead. If they refuse it, it will go to appeal and be overturned and the council will find themselves paying hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation.
“We have to make best of the situation we are in. They could have had 1,200 homes on there.”
However, Steve Taylor, who represents Woodville on the district council, said: “I do not support this application as I can see the impact on the roundabout.
“We should put the houses where they are suitable. That site is not suitable and it never will be suitable. It is a joke.”
Residents were also angry that brownfield sites were not being used. Bob Ledger, the district council’s housing manager, said that many brownfield sites were not owned by the council and some were not suitable due to contamination.