News release13 December 2013
Decision heralds boost for Peak tourism economy and industrial heritage
A new heritage centre, craft shop, café, tourist accommodation, car park, training and community facility are to be built on a former industrial site in the Peak District National Park.
Members of the Peak District National Park Authority have granted full planning permission to redevelop a rural business park and neighbouring site once used for mineral processing at Rockmill Business Park, The Dale, Stoney Middleton.
The redevelopment, adjacent to the A623 main road, is strongly supported by the local community who see it as improving an important gateway to the village.
Stoney Middleton Parish Council, Derbyshire County Council, Derbyshire Dales District Council, Patrick McLoughlin MP and Visit England supported the proposal. No objections were received.
Eight people spoke at the meeting in support of the plans including local councillors, residents and businesses. Joy Mason, whose family has lived in Stoney Middleton for five generations, said the development would "build a memory bank for future generations, provide local jobs and safeguard existing businesses".
Paul Ancell, deputy chair of the planning committee, said: "In making the decision, committee members had to balance the needs of the community with the protection and enhancement of the natural environment.
"We decided to make an exception to our normal policy in this case because the benefits of the redevelopment at Rockmill outweigh any landscape concerns on the site."
The scheme involves removing unsightly buildings and replacing them with high quality heritage style buildings. It will enhance this important village gateway site, provide up to 40 jobs for local people and create an attraction that focuses on the area's rich cultural heritage. It also provides facilities to encourage overnight visitors that will in turn benefit the local economy.
After the meeting, developer Colin Hall said: "This is democracy, this is localism. This application is born of the people for the people. Without the support and involvement of local people we could not have brought the scheme forward. Members of the Authority have understood that."
The Authority had previously approved outline planning consent for the £3.5 million redevelopment in May 2013. The decision today (Friday December 13) means that work can now go ahead.
A legal agreement and detailed planning conditions will secure benefits to the local community and ensure the impacts of car parking and external lighting will have a minimal effect on the location.