Worcestershire-based developer Maximus has been given the go-ahead to extract coal from a derelict site to make way for 950 homes and almost 30,000 sq ft of employment space.
Derbyshire County Council has given planning permission for the developer to extract some surface coal as part of the expensive clean-up operation at Silkston, the 230-acre former Biwater Works site in Clay Cross, Derbyshire.
The former industrial site, which has previously had coal extracted, must be remediated to remove contamination and provide a stable development platform to aid redevelopment plans. The operation opens the way for the full development proposals which also include a hotel and public open spaces.
Bryn Hopkinson, commercial director for the firm, said: “This decision is a major step forward in helping to realise our long-term regeneration vision for Silkston which will create significant new jobs and homes for Clay Cross.
“The state of the economy has meant that activity has completely stopped on many development sites throughout the UK but we remain committed to this project and will be using income generated from the sale of the coal to fund the expensive clean up of the site to ensure that our plans can remain on schedule.
“We will also be setting up a local liaison committee to meet at regular intervals with local representatives and local people. This will ensure that over the course of the programme any issues that arise can be dealt with rapidly.”
In late 2008, Maximus submitted a planning application to North East Derbyshire District Council (NEDDC) that will provide about 950 new homes, up to 29,500 sq m of employment space, a new hotel, a new link ‘relief’ road to the north of Clay Cross high street and extensive public open space and amenities.
The proposed redevelopment has received positive feedback from people in Clay Cross, as part of the firm’s commitment to community consultation. At a two-day public exhibition in August 2008, 76 per cent of respondents were either fully or broadly supportive of the redevelopment proposals.
A decision by North East Derbyshire District Council on the full planning application is expected this spring.
Since acquiring the site in March 2005, Maximus has invested heavily in developing infrastructure for the site, including the former Egstow Quarry, to create football, cricket and ‘crown green’ bowling facilities.