Allestree Firs: Controversial plans to demolish a historic Derby house are set to be approved

Controversial plans to demolish a 19th-century house in Derby and build ten large houses in its place have been recommended for approval by council planners – despite objection from Derby’s conservation officer. Developers want to demolish the building – known as the Allestree Firs – which first appeared on maps, according to previous reports, as early as 1836. The building is located on Woodlands Road in Allestree – and also includes outbuildings and a swimming pool.

The plans have been met with controversy from residents with 14 objections sent to the council stating concerns about the plans, which are led by the applicant – known in documents as ‘J and C Byard’. Objections include the building’s status as a “heritage asset” and suggestions that the development would “permanently harm the surroundings of (nearby) Allistry Park” and “affect the character of the area”.

But planners at Derby City Council have recommended councilors approve the planning application ahead of a meeting on Thursday evening (November 16). They believe that the benefits of housing in the new city outweigh the concerns raised.

Despite the building’s history, Derby City Council officials say that “the buildings on the site are not locally or legally listed, and while the site is covered by a Historic Environmental Register, this does not make it a ‘designated heritage asset’.” However, the city council’s conservation officer objected to the development and proposed incorporating the historic buildings into the scheme.

But the applicant does not wish to pursue this option. The city council’s report on the application says: “The applicant was encouraged to consider reusing the existing buildings on the site but chose to proceed with the current proposals. The proposed scheme would result in a direct impact on an undesignated registered heritage asset, the Allestree Firs, and although Although it will have a significant impact, it will be on heritage assets of low/local importance.

The council says many of the existing buildings are “well hidden” and for this reason the character of the area will not be greatly affected by development. The report states: “While some of the brick barn buildings on the site are reasonably attractive, the majority of the existing buildings have clearly been substantially altered and are of only modest quality. They are also fairly well hidden and therefore make a limited contribution.” in the character and local distinctiveness of the area, which may strengthen the argument in favor of its retention.

The new homes will be large detached homes with attached or detached double garages. They will range between two and two-and-a-half storeys in height, and will be a mix of four, five and six-bedroom homes. The proposed development would form a private road off Woodlands Road.

Despite the objections raised, council officials say the development will provide the new homes the city needs. They say the plans will provide a “high quality” living environment.

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