Yes to college plan and parking ‘chaos’

Derby College Ilkeston site. Planned development on New Lawn Road.
Derby College Ilkeston site. Planned development on New Lawn Road.

Councillors gave the go-ahead last night to demolish Ilkeston’s former courthouse to make way for a new college campus.

The decision was made despite complaints that 18 parking spaces were not sufficient for an estimated 1,000 students and 100 staff and the building will overlook neighbours.

It has now paved the way for councillors to vote on a plan to demolish Derby College’s Field Road campus and build a large supermarket and housing estate in its place.

Douglas Boyd, who has lived next to the former magistrates court in New Lawn Road for 49 years, was one of 31 people who objected to the plan.

He said: “It’s a very modern building, quite out of kilter with the area.

“My property will be overlooked by who knows how many people.”

Erewash Borough Council’s planning committee voted seven to six in favour of the plan with mostly Ilkeston councillors, including Ilkeston central’s Glennice Birkin, on the committee voting against it.

She said: “The impression we get from some people is anything will do for Ilkeston – well it won’t. We are very proud of our town.

“How many teachers alone are there going to be in there? More than 18, I would imagine.

“Most of the students will be parking on the streets – it’s going to cause chaos.”

Abbotsford’s Cllr Val Custance agreed and Ilkeston’s Cllr Frank Phillips said the designs were ‘cheap and tawdry’.

Kirk Hallam’s Cllr JohnFrudd pointed out that the committee had turned down two previous applications nearby because they were too high, despite both being lower than the planned three-storey college.

But Long Eaton Cllr Howard Griffiths argued there was plenty of public transport in the area for students and staff to use.

“The idea of bringing students right into the heart of town is a shot in arm in an area that needs one,” he said.

Derby College’s corporate director Nigel Gell said he was happy to set up a liaison committee with neighbours to discuss their issues.

He added that the magistrates court development was ‘only half the story’ and said it would not happen unless permission is granted to build 39 homes and a 65,000 sq ft supermarket in Field Road, Ilkeston.

He said he hopes that plan will come before the committee ‘as soon as possible’ with a view to opening the new campus to students in September 2013.