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chapter12

peak district landscape
 

Bakewell


 

Strategic context

12.1

Bakewell is the largest settlement within the National Park, and acts as a service centre for a wide rural area. It is important that the town retains this status. Policy GS2 in the Structure Plan explains the general strategy for development in Bakewell. The policy states that the National Park Authority will have particular regard to the town's importance as the major centre in the National Park and will make appropriate (and possibly exceptional) provision in the Local Plan to facilitate a new livestock market, a relief road and town centre redevelopment. The livestock market was relocated and its former town centre sites redeveloped during 1998/99.

12.2

Other policies in the Structure Plan are likely to be relevant when considering development in Bakewell, particularly policies for development in towns and villages, Conservation Areas and for listed and historic buildings (C3, C4, C8); housing, shops and community services (HC1 to HC3, SC1, SC2); economy (E1 to E4); recreation and tourism (RT1 to RT4); and new road schemes, traffic management and parking (T5 and T8).

 

Development Boundary

12.3

Bakewell is subject to greater development pressure than elsewhere in the National Park. The development of housing estates since 1950 significantly altered the appearance and size of the town. Policies in the 1982 Local Plan aimed to slow this growth, and have generally been successful. The rapid and widespread development of Bakewell is not appropriate to its location in a National Park, to the character of the town, or to the present level of services. The surrounding topography limits the availability of sites which can be developed without significantly affecting its character and setting. A Development Boundary has therefore been defined (see Proposals Map), which shows the limit which the National Park Authority wishes to place on development in and around Bakewell. The National Park Authority is not prepared to allow encroachment beyond this boundary, other than in exceptional circumstances.

12.4

The Development Boundary has been drawn to include:

 

(i)

most existing development including gardens;

 

(ii)

land with current planning permission;

 

(iii)

land which would be acceptable for infill development.

 

The Development Boundary is not intended to encompass all existing built development in and around Bakewell. Developments on the fringe of town which are essentially seen as individual buildings in the landscape, are not included within the Development Boundary.

12.5

Within the Development Boundary, the National Park Authority wishes to allow for development which meets the social and economic needs of the community in ways that positively contribute to environmental conservation objectives. Structure Plan Policy C3 requires development to respect, not adversely affect, and where possible enhance the valued characteristics of the area including important open spaces and the wider landscape setting. The scale, siting, landscaping and building materials must be appropriate and design must be to a high standard (see Policy LC4).

12.6

Outside the Development Boundary and in areas not allocated for other development in this Local Plan, Structure Plan Policy C2 applies. This restricts development to that necessary for agriculture, forestry, farm diversification, recreation and tourism or minerals, where it is compatible with all Development Plan policies.



Policy LB1: Bakewell's Development Boundary

The future development of Bakewell will be contained within the Development Boundary. Policy LC3 will not apply.



Conservation Area

12.7

The Bakewell Conservation Area was designated in 1980. Its boundary was drawn to include important tree groups and open skyline areas which provide a green backdrop in outward views from the centre. Conservation Area status gives the National Park Authority added control over the demolition of most buildings, walls and other structures, the felling of trees, discourages 'outline' applications and requires wider publicity for planning applications, and gives priority for public investment. Structure Plan Policy C4 restricts development in Conservation Areas to that which preserves and where possible enhances the valued characteristics of the area. Local Plan policy for Conservation Areas is set out in Policy LC5. As stated in the Bakewell Conservation Area Report (1979):

"The overall objective is...the maintenance and improvement of the character of the town".

The report includes a list of proposed improvements, some of which have been implemented. The National Park Authority wishes to see continuing improvement to the historic core of Bakewell. Of the remaining items on the list, some will only be possible if there is a significant reduction in the flow or speed of traffic through the town, which might best be achieved by construction of a relief road (see paragraph 12.10 and Policy LT4).

 

Important open spaces

12.8

Structure Plan Policy C3 protects important open spaces and the wider landscape setting. Bakewell owes much of its character to the encircling fields and wooded areas, some of which come close to the town centre, and separate the historic core from later development. The National Park Authority is concerned to maintain this relationship, which is attractive both in terms of views out from the centre into surrounding countryside, and the close proximity of open spaces. These open spaces within the Development Boundary will be protected from development. Their designation as Important Open Spaces does not mean that public access will automatically be permitted where it is not currently available. Under Policy LC5, open spaces identified in Conservation Area analyses will also be a factor taken into account in considering development applications.



Policy LB2: Important Open Spaces in Bakewell

Development will not be permitted within Important Open Spaces in Bakewell.



Planning briefs

12.8

It is essential to ensure that new developments produce the best public benefit, do not spoil their settings, and avoid adverse effects upon the environment or upon neighbouring uses. In order to guide prospective developers, planning briefs have been, or will be prepared and adopted by the National Park Authority for each site in Bakewell for which a proposal is made in the Local Plan. These planning briefs have the status of Supplementary Planning Guidance and may include advice on land uses, layout, design, heritage considerations, landscaping, lighting, access and car parking.

 

Relief road

12.9

Traffic is one of the most fundamental issues in Bakewell, since the problems and possible solutions have implications for almost all other development, conservation and enhancement. Since the 1930s there have been proposals to remove through traffic from the town centre. Although some traffic and other improvements could be made without a relief road, the National Park Authority still considers a new relief road to be necessary before problems of parking and pedestrian movement can be properly addressed and to enable a full enhancement programme.

12.10

Structure Plan Policy T5 safeguards land for an A6-A619-A6 Bakewell relief road. As described in the Transport chapter of the Local Plan (paragraph 11.29), it is neither realistic nor appropriate to propose a relief road to trunk or principal road standard. However, the relocation of the livestock market includes construction of a new unadopted access road from the A6 (Haddon Road). This could offer the opportunity to form a low speed relief road if it were upgraded and extended to link with the A619 near Bakewell Bridge. Land will be safeguarded by the National Park Authority (see paragraph 11.31 and Policy LT4). Further relief from traffic pressure in the town could be achieved if traffic could be signed or regulated to use the route from A6 South to A6 North via the new road, Hassop roundabout and Ashford by-pass.

 

Traffic management

12.11

A safer, more pleasant town centre for people on foot and with a mobility difficulty is desirable. To achieve this may involve pedestrianisation, pedestrian domination, and footway widening, whilst still allowing for access by service vehicles and orange badge holders. Redevelopment of the existing livestock market sites offers further opportunities for enhancing the pedestrian environment. The provision of better pedestrian access across the river from Baslow Road/Castle Hill will be investigated. If the relief road from A6 to A619 was constructed and traffic was diverted out of the town centre, more improvements for pedestrians could be made. In conjunction with the highway authorities and the District Council, the National Park Authority will examine those areas not affected by the town centre redevelopment and seek further ways in which the traffic issues of the town can be addressed and the Conservation Area enhanced.



Policy LB3: Traffic management in Bakewell

The National Park Authority will support and encourage the development of a traffic management scheme in Bakewell, to include:

(a)

Proposals in conjunction with the relocation of the livestock market and redevelopment, and following the completion of the relief road;

(b)

Improvements to the environment for pedestrians in Water Lane and Water Street by resurfacing and traffic orders;

(c)

Measures to achieve an overall enhancement of the town and particularly the Conservation Area.



Car, coach and lorry parking

12.12

Bakewell has a problem with demand for car parking at busy times. If no upper limit is prescribed, then it is likely that visitor numbers will eventually prove to be far greater than the town can comfortably accommodate. This approach is encouraged by Planning Policy Guidance Note 13. Based upon surveys and local judgement, it is considered that an upper limit in the order of 2000 spaces is appropriate to meet future needs without causing undue overcrowding problems. The total number is divided between short-stay town centre spaces and long-stay provision east of the river. Redevelopment of the former livestock market sites in the town centre has enabled on- and off-street short-stay parking to be rationalised.

12.13

The parking of touring coaches in the town centre causes congestion and obstructs scheduled bus services. In the short term, provision will be made for coaches to park east of the river as part of the livestock market proposals, although the long-term intention is for coaches to be accommodated closer to the town centre.

12.14

Residents' car parking is a problem in parts of Bakewell, particularly in the historic core of the town, where narrow streets and small gardens lead to competition for on-street parking spaces. The National Park Authority will encourage the Highway Authority to implement residents' parking schemes where appropriate to help solve these problems (see Structure Plan Policy T8).



Policy LB4: Car, coach and lorry parking in Bakewell

(a)

Car parking will be permitted to an upper limit of 2000 spaces in Bakewell as a whole.

(b)

Coach or overnight lorry parking will be permitted on the Bridge car park (subject to safeguarding the route of the relief road and residential amenity).

(c)

Coach parking will be permitted at the livestock market (subject to priority for market uses).

(d)

Improvements to surfacing, landscaping, lighting and access for those with disabilities will be made where necessary.

(e)

Development which would prejudice the use of existing parking sites will not be permitted.



Public transport

12.15

Structure Plan Policy T6 safeguards the route of the Matlock-Buxton railway line which passes through Bakewell, and supports its reinstatement. The re-opening of the railway with a station at Bakewell is acceptable in principle (see Policy LT3).

12.16

Bakewell is well served by bus routes, but the effectiveness of these services is jeopardised on market days and other peak visitor days, by the pressure of car traffic. Traffic management proposals arising from the possible construction of a new relief road may allow for priority to be given to public transport. Buses will continue to be allowed into the town centre. The bus passenger should not be placed at a disadvantage in access terms, relative to the private car user. Improved waiting facilities for passengers are desirable at the central area bus stops. (See also paragraphs 11.33 to 11.36). Coach parking is dealt with in paragraph 12.13 and Policy LB4.



Policy LB5: Public transport in Bakewell

The following measures are proposed to enhance public transport:

(i)

retention or introduction of conveniently sited central area bus stops;

and

(ii)

improved passenger waiting facilities;

and

(iii)

re-opening of a railway station.



Sites for housing development

12.17

The provision of housing which local people on low or moderate incomes can afford is a prominent issue in Bakewell. The Structure Plan addresses this issue and aims to ensure the provision of an appropriate amount of low-cost housing of a suitable type to meet this local need and other special needs. (See Chapter 4 of this Local Plan for detailed housing policies). The Local Plan does not identify specific sites for these types of housing.

12.18

Structure Plan Policy GS2 allows for limited exceptions to be made to normal Structure Plan policies in Bakewell, in order to facilitate a new livestock market, a relief road and town centre redevelopment. Under this policy, some general needs housing has been given planning permission as part of the livestock market relocation site and the town centre redevelopment. This is an exception to Structure Plan Policies HC1, HC2 and HC3, allowed by Structure Plan Policy GS2. There is no provision for any further new build general needs housing in Bakewell.

12.19

For the avoidance of doubt, the District Council and the National Park Authority are satisfied that adequate local needs housing provision is being made under Structure Plan Policies HC1-HC3 including at least two sites in Bakewell.

12.20

In addition there is town centre property with vacant or underused upper floors which could be returned to housing. This could relieve pressure on other sites and help maintain existing buildings. Continued support will be given to the District Council, Housing Associations and other agencies to provide housing for sale or rent by securing full use of upper floors and other property in the town (see Policy LS2).

 

Sites for employment development

12.21

Structure Plan Policy E1 allows development which provides for employment in towns and villages in the National Park, provided that it is of a scale and type which is clearly intended to meet local needs. Structure Plan Policy E2 states that the Local Plan will make "strictly limited provision" for small scale industrial development in Bakewell and the Hope Valley. Processes falling within Use Classes B1 (Business) and B2 (General Industry) are appropriate. Other processes are more difficult to accommodate in a sensitive rural environment such as Bakewell, because of both the design and layout of sites/buildings and the impact on neighbouring uses. Developments in recent years have increased and upgraded business/office provision in upper floors in the town centre and by conversion of the Rutland Works.

12.22

Some 1.6 hectares of land south of the A6 (Ashford Road) was used as a tip for many years. Because of land instability and the need for access off the Trunk road, development will be expensive. However, the National Park Authority believes that it is desirable to press for economic development which will also improve the appearance of the site which is on one of the main roads into Bakewell. The rear of the site may be appropriate for relocation of uses from the town centre under Policy LB8.

12.23

Some 0.75 hectares of land adjacent to the River Wye north of the A6 is suitable for industrial development. Because of its low level, it could most readily be used as an extension to Cintride's existing factory, but there is no insuperable problem to prevent separate development.

12.24

Interest has been shown in the past in the development of sites for high-technology industries within Bakewell. Under the Use Classes Order, Class B1 covers office uses, research and development, and industrial processes which can be carried out in any residential area. These are generally clean, modern, electronic or computer-based industries, which are by nature 'footloose' and do not depend on local resources. They often seek attractive 'prestige' locations. The National Park Authority wishes to encourage high quality employment consistent with a National Park setting and to help retain young people. At least part of each of the two sites allocated in Policy LB6 is of sufficient quality to be suitable for such uses, and planning briefs or planning applications should indicate how parts of the sites might be segregated for B1 and high-technology uses.



Policy LB6: Sites for general industry or business development in Bakewell

(a)

General industry or business development (Use Classes B1 and B2) will be permitted on the following sites:

(i)

Ashford Road (former tip site) (1.6 hectares);

(ii)

Land adjoining the Cintride factory (0.75 hectares).

(b)

Development which would prejudice the development of these sites for general industry or business development will not be permitted.


12.25

Approximately half of the site and premises at Lumford Mill is currently vacant, and other buildings are in need of replacement. Planning permission has been granted for a new bridge and access further west adjoining Cintride. Subject to this provision and satisfactory consideration of design, layout and neighbourliness, a site of some 5 hectares is suitable for comprehensive redevelopment, predominantly industry/business (Use Classes B1 and B2). There is potential for conversion of the existing listed mill building to general market housing or tourist accommodation, and limited affordable housing to meet a local need, close to the existing houses. The site includes a Listed Building adjoining the existing access to Buxton Road, and adjoins the mill stream and former mill pond which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Both of these must be adequately safeguarded in any redevelopment. Replacement floorspace would be acceptable under Structure Plan Policy E4.



Policy LB7: Redevelopment at Lumford Mill

(a)

Comprehensive redevelopment, predominantly for industrial/business use (Use Classes B1 and B2) will be permitted on some 5 hectares at Lumford Mill, provided that:

(i)

the Listed Building and Scheduled Ancient Monument and their settings are adequately safeguarded in the long term;

and

(ii)

design, layout, landscaping and neighbourliness with adjacent uses are satisfactory;

and

(iii)

if development results in an increase in existing floorspace on the site, a new access bridge is built across the River Wye, and the old bridge is closed to vehicles.

(b)

Acceptable uses on minor parts of the site may include affordable housing to meet a local need (close to existing houses), and general market housing or tourist accommodation by conversion of the existing listed mill building.



Existing employment sites

12.26

In view of the limited number of sites suitable for employment uses, it is important to ensure that existing sites remain in such a use where the activity causes no problems. Structure Plan Policy E4 safeguards existing suitable industrial land and buildings or business premises. However, within the built-up area of Bakewell there are several small businesses operating which are not entirely appropriate to their surroundings, because of their visual intrusion or the noise or traffic they generate. These 'non-conforming' uses may provide important services to the local community, which the National Park Authority wishes to see retained within Bakewell. The National Park Authority will attempt where possible to encourage such businesses to relocate to more suitable sites within Bakewell, and to find more appropriate uses for their present sites.



Policy LB8: Non-conforming uses in Bakewell

Where appropriate, the National Park Authority will support and encourage the relocation of non-conforming uses to more suitable sites, identifying suitable alternative uses for the existing sites.



Shopping and commercial development

12.27

Structure Plan Policy SC1 aims to safeguard and improve shopping facilities in towns and villages, and retail development will not normally be permitted outside them. In a settlement the size of Bakewell, the development of shopping facilities away from the central area may jeopardise the continued success of existing shops and other central area businesses. Therefore, it is considered that a boundary should be drawn within which shopping uses will be concentrated, in order to consolidate and strengthen the town centre. Exceptions should only be made for small 'corner shops' serving residential areas, or for limited retail use in industrial/business areas (see policy LE5).



Policy LB9: Shopping in Bakewell

Within the Central Shopping Area, development in Use Classes A1, A2 and A3 will be permitted. Retail development will not be permitted outside the Central Shopping Area, except for individual shop units of a scale appropriate to serve the needs of nearby residents, or in accordance with Policy LE5.



Stall market

12.28

The stall market supports and is supported by the livestock market. It is an essential element of the function and character of Bakewell as a market town. It is also a great attraction for visitors and hence supports local shops and services. Consequent upon the relocation of the livestock market, the stall market has been consolidated on the extended market square and off Granby Road. This provides the same total amount of space as before, but allows a better arrangement of stalls. Where traffic management, parking provision and the convenience of town centre users allows, stalls may be acceptable in other suitable spaces in the central shopping area.



Policy LB10: Bakewell stall market

The stall market will be consolidated on the extended market square. Where traffic management, parking provision and the convenience of town centre users allows, stalls may be acceptable in other parts of the Central Shopping Area.



Community, sports and arts facilities

12.29

Structure Plan Policy C2 is sympathetic to proposals to develop and improve community services. The National Park Authority is keen to see a range of attractive and high quality facilities in Bakewell. In order to maximise their accessibility, these should be located close to the town centre, although there may be a case for consolidation of existing facilities at Lady Manners School to enable multiple use by schoolchildren, the community, and visitors. Public art and provision for performing arts will be encouraged in the central shopping area.

12.30

The network of local footpaths plays an important part in the social life and leisure activities of the town, particularly those towards or alongside the river. Policy LT20 deals with the relationship between development proposals and public rights of way. In conjunction with Policy LT21, walking routes will be investigated to provide a continuous route along the river valley avoiding stretches of the A6 road.



Policy LB11: Community, sports and arts facilities in Bakewell

Proposals for the development of community, sports and arts facilities to meet agreed local needs will be permitted, preferably in or close to the town centre.


 

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