Campaigners fighting to stop a development of more than 100 homes in Whaley Bridge have been dealt a blow after councillors agreed to the discharge of conditions.
After being deferred for a month at the last High Peak Borough Council Development Control Committee meeting, the issue of drainage for the greenfield site was once again being discussed on Monday and the removal of conditions which will allow the development on Linglongs Road to advance were approved.
The conditions, which were being discussed in public due to the contentious nature of the development, looked at the flood risk and how surface water and ground water will be managed and controlled.
Speaking on behalf of Whaley Bridge residents, ward councillor Kath Thomson said: “To ask Barratt to provide the flood risk report is a smack in the face for residents - how can it be unbiased when they have so much to gain from getting this passed?”
She called on committee members to do the ‘only moral and sensible thing’ and commission another impartial report.
Fran Read, speaking on behalf of Whaley Bridge Matters, which had an independent flood risk study carried out on the site as well as the report from Barratt Homes, said at the meeting: “Common sense dictates the applicant needs the site to be well drained so it can build houses without risk to them, but all that water to be drained from what is currently a wetland has to go somewhere. The impact downstream is obvious, it will increase the flood risk.”
Applicant Barratt Homes, which has taken over the development from Gladman Developments, was granted permission in 2015 to build 107 new homes which will be a mixture of two and three bed semi-detached and four and five-bed detached properties.
Simon Artis, from Barratt Homes, said: “We are not ignoring the views expressed by residents and we don’t want to appeal, but we do want to build homes.”
Councillor Emily Thrane said: “I think we have done our best to be sensitive to the community of Whaley Bridge in light of recent flooding, but still looked carefully at the challenge put in front of us.”
Speaking during the debate, Councillor Charlotte Farrell said: “There are two divergent views here and the outcome will have a dramatic effect on the community.
“There are issues of credibility with the reports produced by Barratt as they have a lot more to lose.”
Councillor Dave Lomax said: “There was no local plan when this came to the committee in 2014; later that year the local plan came into effect. We’ve tried to find ways of not getting the development to go through, first with highways and now looking to Derbyshire County Council as the lead flood authority but they are happy with the findings.”
Councillor Lance Dowson added he was concerned about climate change and how this would increase flood risks.
The committee voted eight in favour and four against to the discharge of conditions.
Because residents contacted the Secretary of State about the matter last month, the final verdict will now lie with the government department.