Community assets in the balance at Baslow

This is an archived press release

Friday 7 August 2015

The National Park Planning Committee has approved a proposal to change the use of a Peak District pub to a shop.

The Rutland Arms at Baslow which has been struggling to remain open as a pub for several years has been given planning permission to be converted into a convenience store.

The approved scheme, put forward by the New River Retail Property Unit Trust, will mean that this traditional stone building will be repaired and retained as an asset to the community.

Local residents are divided in their opinions about the change of use of the building. More than 200 letters of representation had been received and published on the national park authority’s website. At the planning meeting (Friday August 7) seven people gave their objections to the scheme and seven spoke in support.

Some local people were concerned about there not being enough business in the village to support two shops and the impact this may have upon the existing small village shop, however, the planning system, which applies nationally, does not take into consideration competition between businesses. Others were concerned about the safe use of the site by delivery vehicles and customer traffic as well as increased noise.

Residents in support of the scheme were concerned that without a profitable business use the building’s condition would deteriorate further. They also saw an opportunity to create new jobs within the village with a larger store providing residents with a choice of facility and, for some, a more accessible location.

After hearing all the representations and debating the issues, members approved the proposal.

Paul Ancell, chair of the Peak District National Park planning committee, said: “We recognise that within the community local people have strongly held views both for and against this development, but, we have to balance these opposing views and make our decision based on the individual merits of the planning application before us.

“We understand peoples’ concerns and listened carefully to their views. We also took into account the expert advice from the Highway Authority and others in making our decision. In this case we believe the scheme will protect a prominent building in the village and that the new shop will be a useful addition to the community bringing benefits to people who live nearby as well as visitors and passers-by.”

In granting the planning permission the planners insisted on specific conditions to address local people’s concerns which means that the developer must provide a deliveries and traffic management plan that will include limiting the size of delivery vehicles, extending existing double yellow lines to manage traffic and the use of additional safety railings to protect pedestrians.

This is an archived press release

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