DCSIMG

Critical meeting on Matlock town centre’s future

Future Development: The Bakewell Road development site in Matlock.

Future Development: The Bakewell Road development site in Matlock.

Major aspirations for Matlock’s town centre may no longer be delivered and a new masterplan could be drawn up, council chiefs have revealed.

A crucial meeting is set to take place on Monday to decide the future of Bakewell Road.

Councillors will consider two options for the site and both acknowledge the original plans can no longer be delivered in full.

Initial ambitions for a ‘riverside quarter’ and a ‘distinctive gateway to Matlock’ - both set out in the five-year-old supplementary planning document (SPD) - could be scrapped as the district council reveals the town is struggling to compete against neighbouring shopping destinations.

The Derbyshire Dales District Council report states: “There continues to be expenditure leakage from Matlock to other competing town centres. This is due primarily to the significant better retail offer in competing centres.”

The report continues: “At the present time the redevelopment of the Bakewell Road site cannot be delivered in strict accordance with the objectives of Matlock town centre SPD.

“Furthermore redevelopment of the site in the current economic climate will have a considerable impact on the council’s overall revenue

position.”

Over a year ago the council appointed development company Henry Davidson Developments to look at the potential for Bakewell Road.

A key finding was that while Sainsbury’s development in 2007 clawed back some trade, plans in the pipeline to regenerate competing town centres will have a further impact on Matlock in the future.

In light of current economic climate the council will look again at the scheme and vote on which option to pursue.

Option one will look at progressing a redevelopment scheme outside the SPD and option two would see a new town centre masterplan drawn up. Both options will require extensive public consultation.

Martin Burfoot, of the Bakewell Road group said he felt a riverside quarter would be beneficial for the town and hoped the council would look again at the plans.

He added: “We fear we could end up with a supermarket on the land and very little else. Public consultation has shown 75 per cent of people are opposed to a large supermarket.”

The original guiding principles outlined in the SPD included: a high quality riverside quarter with a major retail scheme and residential development, a distinctive gateway into Matlock, an attractive pedestrian route between Bakewell Road and Imperial Road and more car parking spaces.

A spokesman for the district council said the SPD was, “never intended to be a prescriptive ‘blueprint’ for development.

“Other requirements must be taken into consideration including development viability, creating footfall and safeguarding the town centre.”

The report states the project has so far managed to secure a supermarket - bigger than the existing Co-op - restaurant and food chains, retailers including clothing and coffee shops and retirement living space.

Mr Burfoot added: “This will be a significant meeting and an important part in the development of this project. Although there have been many periods of public consultation already, I hope there will be more discussions to come up with a masterplan which can unite the community.”

The DDDC meeting will take place at Derbyshire County Council’s Matlock headquarters at 6pm.

The public is welcome to ask questions or express views – but must give notice no later than noon on Sunday by emailing committee@derbyshiredales.gov.uk, phoning 01629 761133 or writing to Democratic Services, Derbyshire Dales District Council, Town Hall, Matlock, DE4 3NN.

To see the agenda for the meeting, visit www.derbyshiredales.gov.uk

 

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