This is an archived press release
Wednesday 15 June 2011
Amended plans to redevelop Bakewell’s main business site have been refused by the Peak District National Park Authority.
Riverside Business Park Ltd applied for permission to build:
- New units, offices and craft or technology workshops to replace some existing business buildings on the site, reducing the employment space from 20,279 sq metres to 12,192 sq metres
- 76 town houses and apartments for sale on the open market to pay for the rest of the development and overcoming flood risks, removing contamination and building a new access road
- Ten affordable one-bedroom apartments to be managed by a housing association
Once the first 30 houses were sold it was also planned to build a road bridge connecting the A6 to the business park site, off Buxton Road.
The company said nearly half of the employment space at the Riverside Business Park was unoccupied because the existing units did not meet modern standards. Building new units would help attract businesses likely to generate significant numbers of jobs.
Thornbridge Brewery, which is based on the site, also told members that the new bridge proposed in the redevelopment was critical to its future success.
However, objections to the plans were received from Bakewell Town Council, Bakewell and District Civic Society, Bakewell Community Interest Group and 24 residents. Some of the things they were concerned about included:
- The amount of affordable homes and energy efficiency measures within the scheme
- A desire to see the bridge built before any new homes or business units
- Extra traffic being generated on Holme Lane
Members of the planning committee decided to refuse the application as it was against planning policy and they were concerned that the loss of employment land would not secure the long term sustainability and viability of the business park. They also considered the amount, type and location of affordable housing was not appropriate.
John Herbert, chair of the planning committee, said: “We all want businesses, and small businesses in particular, to thrive but we also have a duty to protect the interests of the residents and the landscape.
“Members felt that in this instance the balance of this application wasn’t right. A crucial part of the debate revolved around members’ worries about access improvements to the site and when these would be done.”
The proposal by Riverside Business Ltd was an amendment of an earlier planning application that was refused permission in 2010. An appeal against this decision will be heard by a planning inspector in July.