Controversial Kimberley Brewery site plans approved

the Former Kimberley Brewery site. from left, Gordon Barksby, Andy Wickham, Shane Easom, Darren Warner and Steve Brunt.
the Former Kimberley Brewery site. from left, Gordon Barksby, Andy Wickham, Shane Easom, Darren Warner and Steve Brunt.

Controversial plans to build modern houses at the Kimberley Brewery site have been given the go-ahead.

Protestors have been campaigning for Victorian-style housing for years to keep the properties sympathetic to the area.

But Broxtowe Borough Council’s planning committee passed plans for the next round of development last week.

Darren Warner, a member of the Save Our Brewery (SOBS) campaign group, said: “I am extremely angry. The opportunity for something creative and imaginative has been lost. Instead we now have this contemptuous modern housing design. There was no consideration for the heritage of the area.

“Kimberley town and its people have been betrayed.”

Protestors have accused Broxtowe Borough Council of ‘staging’ a compromise by agreeing to remove the wooden cladding on the roofs of the properties.

Mr Warner said: “I knew this cladding would be used as a bargaining tool. It was dressed up as a compromise.

“It is just part of it. If you take it off you are still left with modern housing.”

Mr Warner, who is a member of Kimberley Residents Association, also accused the council of ‘going against conservation policy’.

“What’s the point in having a conservation area if you are not going to use that conservation area to maintain the history?

“The planners have basically decided that Kimberley will not be a heritage area.

“The site will be a mix of old and new houses and it will look ridiculous.”

The approved design is a modern continental style with asymmetric rooflines, and grey UPVC windows and doors – completely at odds with the surrounding historic buildings.

SOBS member Jo Cooke said: “We have been campaigning for 10 years now to see regeneration of this once iconic site but it appears that the council has settled for a standard European contemporary design when it so easily could become the architectural diamond of our borough.

“These homes will be next to the Grade II-listed maltings building and in the heart of the beautifully preserved conservation area.”

The first stage of development at the site, houses on Hardy Street, were managed by a council planning officer called Michael Bruce, who sadly died.

Mr Warner said his group worked well with him and they were pleased with the outcome and style of the properties.

But he said things changed when his replacement was appointed.

“A modern design was sought after from the start,” he said.

Mr Warner said SOBS will now have a meeting to discuss the way forward.

“The fight will continue. If there’s any way of stopping this we will stop it,” he said.

SOBs was formed in 2006 when Hardy and Hanson sold the brewery.

The group consists of Kimberley residents, local politicians, and experts on planning, conservation, geology, fire risks, environmental impacts and local brewing history.