Residents on brink of victory in bid to halt apartment plan

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A WIDESPREAD campaign to halt plans for two blocks of apartments in Dore looks like ending in success next week.

Protesters have won the backing of council officers who say the proposed development off Dore Road is too big and out of character.

Councillors will be advised on Monday to formally reject the scheme, even though it has been amended three times in attempt to gain their support.

However, officers also recommend that there are no grounds for failing to renew permission for an alternative scheme – also controversial – for eight detached homes on the site.

And developers still have the option of pressing ahead with the construction of six bigger houses.

Metropolitan Homes’ application for two three-storey blocks totalling 18 apartments has prompted nearly 2,000 objections. Dore Village Society has lodged protests and Hallam MP and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has taken up issues raised by constituents.

Complaints include the development being overbearing and causing problems for neighbours, traffic and wildlife.

But the only key issue as far as council officers are concerned is the size of the development. Their report says: “The scale and massing of the blocks independently, but more so in combination, is considered to be overly dominant.

“The footprint size and height of the blocks is considered to be excessive, overbearing and entirely out of character within the locality.”

Amid the controversy over the housing scheme, campaigners are lodging a complaint with the Local Government Ombudsman over the way they say the council has failed to provide them with information about the three applications. The authority denies any wrongdoing.