A key part of My Plan to stand up for Derby North is to tackle unwanted development.
I know how important it is that we build more houses, but they need to be in the right location, and it’s not appropriate where there is massive local opposition to them due to pressures on schools, local facilities, and our already stretched road network.
Over the last few months I’ve been working with campaigners in places like Mickleover, Chaddesden and Darley to fight against unwanted development and I’ll continue this fight for as long as it’s needed.
I have always believed that we should build houses where there is local demand, and it is appropriate and necessary. However, I haven’t heard from a single member of any community on the edge of Derby crying out for this kind of bolt-on development.
As well as opposing development where it has the potential to harm communities, we must be able to offer real solutions. It’s so important that local politicians don’t just make noise from the sidelines, and I will always be an MP who puts people before politics to deliver real results for Derby.
The government recently announced £4.4m worth of funding to unlock brownfield sites across the UK for housing development. I’ve been working with local councillors and campaigners to identify existing sites within the city that currently serve no use, but that could easily be developed to meet our local housing demand.
There are sites across the city that could, I’m sure, be unlocked for housing development and take the strain off the outskirts of Derby to prevent this unwanted, bolt-on, development.
Identifying brownfield sites across Derby is important for the long-term future of our city, and I will continue to look at regenerating Celanese and other brownfield sites across Derby. The old Celanese factory site might have been perfect for this kind of regeneration, but I’m disappointed that the Council have now revealed just how much work it would take to unlock the site. I’ve set up a meeting with the Housing Minister over the next couple of weeks, and I will raise Celanese with him to see whether it might be feasible to use some of this Government investment to unlock the area for development, restore it to its former glory, and relieve the pressure on areas like Mickleover, Darley and Chaddesden.