This is an archived press release
Monday 19 June 2006
19 June 2006
Regeneration on way for historic Peak business site?
Developers and planning officers are to work together on a regeneration package for one of the largest industrial estates in the Peak District National Park.
National Park officers and Litton Properties, the owners of the Riverside Business Park in Bakewell, hope to formulate a scheme that will both celebrate the site’s landmark role in the Industrial Revolution, and enable it to flourish in the future.
The aim of the National Park Authority is to help sustain the site’s 220 jobs, enable it to offer additional job opportunities, conserve historic buildings and their settings, create flood-protected housing for social needs as well as the open-market, and make it economically viable.
The National Park’s planning committee urged closer collaboration after it deferred a decision on Litton Properties’ outline plans for a second time.
The plans for the five-hectare site off the A6 Buxton Road, proposed 32 business units to replace rundown buildings, and 11 offices. This would require a new road access, and in order to finance that, plus flood prevention and anti-contamination works, the company proposed 93 open-market apartments, 14 open-market houses and retail units to serve them.
But the planning committee, in the context of its policy of promoting affordable housing, could not accept the idea of 107 open-market homes, some of which would be in a flood-plain.
The committee regarded this as a golden opportunity to regenerate an important but rundown industrial site on a prominent location, and felt that officers could help the company explore more fully the avenues for public funding, especially in light of Riverside’s unique heritage.
Industrial pioneer Sir Richard Arkwright first harnessed the River Wye to power a cotton mill here in the 18th century. Lumford Mill is a listed building, and Arkwright’s original water system is a scheduled ancient monument.
Planning committee chair Narendra Bajaria said: The company has said it would be happy to explore more fully with the Authority the possibilities for public funding. While we understand that a certain amount of open-market housing may be necessary, we are not comfortable with the scale proposed. Other funding may reduce the dependence on housing to help finance the package.
What we want here is a vision that celebrates and promotes understanding of the site’s unique industrial heritage, while addressing the issues of conservation, employment and redevelopment in one cohesive and sustainable regeneration package that the area can be proud of.”