October 2019 Newsletter

Attached is the October newsletter which you’ll either have, or will be getting in paper copy very soon!

Lots of announcements regarding speed calming, metal detecting and events!

This month is the popular Halloween Disco at the Community Centre, Chester Green. This is a always a great night, and spooky fun for all the family!

The Lampost Poppy Appeal is still running, so if you’d like to donate towards the poppies soon to be installed around Little Chester, do get in touch!

There are details on the newly formed Chester Green Wildlife Group, hoping to help promote biodiversity in our riverside and open spaces.

And there’s also details on how to get involved in this year’s XMas Window Trail!

August Newsletter 2019

Attached is this month’s newsletter (which should be winging its way to you any day now!) . All the usual updates and news.

The Annual Picnic on the Green was a huge success, again, and planning for this free and fun event has already started for next year! Thank you Chester Green Entertainments Team!

The OCOR project are looking to spend around £120,000 refurbishing the cricket pavilion….hooray!

The council are beginning the demolishing of the former Tomlinson building (just the back, we think, but could be the whole thing!) and the units behind the Aida/Bliss factory in order to complete the flood defences.

New plans have gone in for the Waterside/Bridge Inn (although the council seem to be opposing this development on flood risk grounds again!)

There are still major concerns that the Council still aren’t taking into account the feelings of local residents regarding the redevelopment of the Aida/Bliss factory and still haven’t commented on the petition we submitted to the council.

More details and news attached below!

Little Chester/Chester Green Conservation Area Summary

The now rejected plans the Council drew up for the Aida/Prestige/Union Foundry (the set of four that all had residential on the ground floor) actually had a very nice summary of the area, which I’m reproducing here! These plans were rejected as they all had dwellings on the ground floor (and family houses didn’t have gardens either!), but it was actually a nicely put together document (the photos are mine, not taken from their document!)

“Little Chester was designated a Conservation Area in September 1991 in recognition of its historic character and townscape value. The area was incorporated into the Borough of Derby in the 1550’s but has an even older history.

The origins of Little Chester can be traced back to the period of the Roman occupation, when a settlement called Derventio was established as early as AD69-76. Considerable remains from this period have been found in the area. The remains of stone walls can be seen amongst the modern houses off Marcus Street; these mark the location of the commercial and administrative core, but the settlement itself extended well beyond this.

In the Middle Ages, Little Chester was held by the Collegiate Church of All Saints, with the seven farms in the area providing income for the Dean and six Canons. Two of these farms are still visible on Old Chester Road: Derwent House and Stone House Prebend (School Farmhouse). Both are listed, although they have been altered over the centuries.

By the late 18th century, industry began to establish itself along the river bank. This was on a small scale until the Union Foundry was established by William Peach in the late 1840’s on City Road. This was taken over and expanded by Alfred Haslam in 1865 who also built the Workers’ Recreation Rooms on St Paul’s Road. The Great Northern Railway Line was built across the area in 1876- 77 bisecting the Roman Camp area from the southern development. The river was crossed by a bridge built by the eminent local firm of Handyside and Company and such is its quality that this structure is now Grade II listed. The remainder of the housing, to the north of Chester Green Road and the east of Mansfield Road, was built between 1886 and 1900. This created a pleasing open space in the middle of Little Chester, which was laid out as a park by the Borough Council who acquired the site in 1886.”

In 1993, Derby City Council published a list of locally important buildings and assets in Derby. The Aida Bliss / Former Union Foundry was included in this list.

Haslam’s Works
1865 Factory with impressive red brick facade comprising a series of double storey multi-paned cast iron arch headed windows. Arches in blue brick with stone keyblocks and sills. Blue brick banding and plinth, dentil decoration to eaves. Formed part of the larger Union Works to the south. Formerly graced by a clock tower, which was demolished in the 1960’s for the current office block. Built for Sir Alfred Haslam, this was the site of the earliest refrigeration manufactory in Great Britain.”

However, the 1993 Local List was then replaced by a 2010 revision, and the Former Union Foundry was removed from the list. The revision explains why: “It does not include locally important buildings that are located within any of the 15 conservation areas in Derby, as these buildings are afforded greater protection through the planning control process.”

It is still clear that the building is of local historic importance, due to its industrial heritage, connection to the River Derwent and former Great Northern Railway, and its location within the Little Chester Conservation Area and Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Buffer Zone.


1822 – Union Iron Foundry established by Peach and Falconer
1844 – William Peach took over the Union Foundry
1858 – Fox brothers bought the site, for the manufacture of lace machinery
1865 – Site bought and expanded by Alfred Haslam for the manufacture of refrigeration equipment
1873 – Fire destroyed the foundry
1876 – Great Northern Railway Line built north of site
1877 – Iron Foundry built by Haslam on site of previous foundry, Haslam Foundry and Engineering Company ltd
1891 – Extension of foundry to north
1906 – Tin can manufacture
1939 – E.W.Bliss bought factory, hydraulic press manufacture
1996 – Site bought by Aida Bliss (Europe) Ltd for the manufacture of stamping machines for car body parts
2004 – Site closed, derelict
2004 – Miller homes applied for planning for 147 flats, 15 homes in factory, appeal
2005 – Aida Bliss became Aida Engineering Ltd
2008 – Aida Engineering applied for planning for 156 houses and flats, flood defence issues

The council’s own conservation area documents be can be found at: https://www.derby.gov.uk/media/derbycitycouncil/contentassets/documents/conservationareas/DerbyCityCouncil-LittleChesterConservationArea.pdf

The council’s design guide for the Little Chester Conservation Area (and Strutts Park) can be found at: https://www.derby.gov.uk/media/derbycitycouncil/contentassets/documents/leisure/DerbyCityCouncil-LCSP-Conservation-guide-February-2014.pdf

Other interesting links:





Latest Letter Regarding Aida Factory Redevelopment

Here’s a copy of our latest letter to the Council regarding flood defences and the Aida factory…..

Sent to Carole Mills (Council Chief Executive)
Cc’ed to Chris Poulter (Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategy and Policy)
Matthew Holmes (Deputy Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategy and Policy)
Paul Clarke (Head of Planning and Chief Planning Officer)
Jonathan Smale (Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Streetpride)
Martin Repton (Local Cllr) 
Lisa Eldret (Local Cllr)
Jack Stanton (Local Cllr)

“Dear Carole

As Chair of the Little Chester Residents Association I have just become aware from OCOR, that the package 1 flood defences designed to protect Derby City are being built to a 1 in a 100 + 5% climate change allowance specification, and not to the 1 in 100 + 30% c.c.a. specification that the Environment Agency (EA) currently recommend.
Defences built to the 1 in 100 + 5% spec. were over topped causing flooding in other parts of the country in 2015 eg Keswick,York.
Hence the reason the EA amended the recommended specification.
Please could you confirm why the decision was taken by DCC to continue to build the package 1 flood defenses to a spec that was breached in 2015?

This brings further into question,the current DCC Housing Regeneration strategy to build housing on the former Aida site on City Rd, Chester Green, which is located next to the river on low ground to the east side of the Derwent.
The EA previously objected on flood risk grounds to a Miller Homes’ application to build housing on the former Aida site and it was withdrawn.
The EA only withdrew their initial objections to Prime Construction’s application in 2018 to build offices on City Rd, on the east side of, and next to the Derwent, because it was for a less vulnerable non residential proposal.
The EA have recently objected on flood risk grounds to an application to build housing on the nearby Waterside Inn site, also on the east side of and next to the Derwent.
The EA commented in their objection to the Waterside Inn application:

“Areas behind flood defences are at particular risk from rapid onset of fast-flowing and deep water flooding, with little or no warning if defences are breached”.

“the new OCOR hydraulic modeling shows that in a 1 in 100 year event including a 30% climate change allowance, the defenses would over top and this could result in flooding of depths of up to 0.73m”.

Derby City Council objected commenting:

“As an authority, we are continually investing in schemes that remove people from flood risk. This development would do the opposite and introduce additional people to risk”.

Despite all these objections by the EA to residential development on the low ground on the east side of, and close to the river Derwent, DCC Housing Regeneration officers still maintain they can design a scheme which the EA will approve as safe for residents and emergency services.They cite EA approval to applications for sites on higher ground on the west side of the Derwent as evidence, but those sites have safe egress/access routes to higher ground which is not the case for the Aida site.

Housing Regeneration officers say they will only be able to obtain a judgement from the EA on flood risk once they have designed and submitted a detailed planning application.The initial proposals officers instructed architects to design for the Aida site did not address either safe egress/access or prohibition of ground floor habitation so were a waste of time and money.By the time detailed proposals are finalised by DCC, Great Northern Classics who have submitted an alternative proposal for a less vulnerable non residential Heritage Vehicle Training Centre, will have reluctantly been forced to take their scheme to an alternative site outside of Derbyshire.(though if a prompt decision were to be made their proposal may not be lost)

If as looks highly likely, the EA were to maintain an objection to housing development on the Aida site which is in Flood Risk Zone 3a, DCC would have to appeal to the Secretary of State.

Due to the serious nature of the concerns please could you confirm:
Why the decision was taken by DCC to continue to build the package 1 flood defences to a specification that was breached in 2015?.
Whether and why you support housing development on the former Aida site, when this will introduce additional residents and emergency services to flood risk and danger?.
Whether you share our concerns that if housing development on the former Aida site were to be prohibited and DCC having rejected GNC proposals for a less vulnerable non residential Heritage Vehicle Training scheme, that this site with its many constraints, is unlikely to be developed and likely to remain derelict in the future at great cost to DCC?.
In light of the recent A52/Wyvern scheme issues, where incorrect council officer advice has proven to be extremely costly and the Grenfell Tower case, where a local authority’s planning approval of unsafe development resulted in fatalities and put emergency services at risk,I would ask that you urgently review both of DCC’s decisions to reject GNC’s non residential proposal and to continue to progress an unsafe housing scheme on the former Aida site.

Due to the urgency and serious nature of the concerns I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Meehan
Little Chester Residents Association”

Open Letter from a Resident about Shutters!

Today, we received an open letter from a resident of Chester Green. They asked if we could share it, so here it is! These views do not, necessarily, match those of the residents association (we’re not sure why the Council is targeting the best looking shop frontage in Chester Green!), but if we all agreed on everything, the world would be a less interesting place. It’s difficult to disagree with the points raised, though…..

“There has been a lot of comment about the shutters on Robert Ashley Barbers, and whether they should be allowed to be retained.

I appreciate that this is a very difficult and emotive issue, and I would like to state immediately that I think that visually the shutters look perfectly acceptable.

However, the matter is a lot more complicated and important than the appearance of one shop.

Chester Green is a conservation area. The vast majority of the community of Chester Green support this, and are pleased to live in this pleasant area full of character. A conservation area requires all of us to ensure that any alterations to our property conform to rules regarding materials and design, and any changes to the property fronting the road have to be approved by the planning department of Derby City Council and the Conservation Area Advisory Committee. In 2009 the Little Chester Residents Association helped the Council to publish guidelines for residents and businesses within conservation areas, and these are freely available on the Council website.

The shutters on Robert Ashley’s were installed without planning permission,  and were installed after they were warned that they would be in breach of planning regulations.  A number of other businesses have installed shutters without permission, some of which are significantly less attractive. If Robert Ashley is allowed to keep his, how will the Council then be able to enforce  removal of the other offenders? It cannot. If the Council cannot enforce compliance of the planning rules in this case, how can it ensure that the character of the area is retained at all? 

As I said at the beginning , this is a very difficult matter, but I believe that the core issue is whether we want to retain the character of Chester Green or whether the concept of a conservation area should be completely abandoned. 

Mark Davis”

LCRA April Newsletter 2019

Apologies for the delay, but if you’ve been following our facebook page, you’ll have seen plenty of updates regarding the Heritage Car proposal for the Aida factory site. The council have turned down the proposal, with no details officially given as yet. We’re still in contact with local councillors, the car heritage company, and councillors and we haven’t given up yet! More as we get it….

Lots more in the newsletter, too, including a family quiz night at the Community Centre (26th April), a free coffee morning at the community centre (10th and 24th April), more on the Fashion Show in May, and lots of other information!

March Newsletter and Aida Development News

Below is this month’s Newsletter, which will be winging it’s way to you very soon. All the usual news and information, but there is also a new, potential option for the redevelopment of the Aida factory on City Road. We’ve now got permission to share the promo video, so do please have a look. Comments welcome!

The community centre will have a family Quiz night on Friday 5th April, which is always a good night. The last quiz was very popular, so do come along. Children welcome, and rounds for all ages!

Also, do save the date for Chester Green Event Teams 2nd annual fashion show (all proceeds going to this year’s Picnic on the Green event)! It was a great event last year, and will be on Friday 3rd May, 2019

LCRA February Newsletter

Below is the February newsletter from the Residents Association. Lots of useful information, as always, and note there’s a quiz night and a family disco at the Community Centre in February. Do note the car parking charge letters that have been sent out in error, by the council (parking permits are STILL FREE in Chester Green!).

Anyone got any good pictures of Chester Green in the snow? Feel free to post them in the comments – let’s see Chester Green looking gorgeous!

St Paul’s Road, Chester Green (2019)
Chester Green Road (2018)