Everything you need to know about the latest on the PEAK development near Chesterfield

PEAK is one of the country’s biggest developments taking place on the outskirts of Chesterfield.

Sunday, 2nd August 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th November 2020, 8:10 pm

The eagerly-awaited, multi-million pound scheme – on the 300-acre Birchall Estate near Unstone – promises to deliver a range of facilities.

Here’s a Q&A on what we know about the latest goings-on with this major Derbyshire development.

What is Health and Wellness at PEAK?

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We visited the 300-acre Birchall Estate in 2017 to see work taking place as part of PEAK.

Health and Wellness at PEAK is a key component of the PEAK scheme.

Developers say the £40million Health and Wellness at PEAK project – which promises to include a clinic and therapeutic gardens as well as a ‘world-class’ hotel and lodge accommodation – is expected to open in 2023 and will be the first such facility in the UK.

According to the PEAK Liaison website, Health and Wellness at PEAK will not deal with drug or alcohol rehabilitation and pointed to this example of what it would offer.

In September, Chesterfield Borough Council approved a planning application for Health and Wellness at PEAK to be moved to another section of the sprawling development site to allow it to benefit from an ‘improved landscaped location’.

This artist impression of PEAK, formerly known as Peak Resort, was released a few years ago.

What have people had to say about Health and Wellness at PEAK?

James Smith, chief executive of Peak Healthcare Parks Limited, which is developing Health and Wellness at PEAK, said: “We are delighted to be moving forward on this exciting project.

“Our mission is to bring world-class health and wellness facilities supported by beautiful and purposeful accommodation into the heart of the country alongside the original national park.

“We will be working with PEAK, the local authorities and a leading academic institution as well as our partner UKIHMA to realise this.”

Tricia Gilby, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, with Rupert Carr, the man behind PEAK. Mr Carr previously told the Derbyshire Times: "I've been working on this project for nearly 30 years now and it's great to get to this stage. This all-year tourism destination will offer world-class facilities - and I'm very excited."

Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said PEAK ‘offers an incredible opportunity for Chesterfield’.

She added: “It will further cement the area as a destination for tourists from both across the UK and the rest of the world, which in turn will create more good-quality jobs in our communities, provide opportunities for our businesses and will stimulate economic growth across the borough.

“The health and wellness centre will be a world-class facility, which will specialise in rehabilitation as well as individual health and wellness programmes. Facilities like this are available internationally but this will be a first for the UK. This unique offer will further help ensure that this development receives the status and attention it merits.”

Some residents have raised concerns about the development, however, saying they fear a rise in traffic congestion as well as air and noise pollution.

An artist's impression of how Health and Wellness at PEAK could look.

What is the Gateway at PEAK?

There are plans to create the Gateway at PEAK as part of the PEAK development, which is situated on the edge of the Peak District National Park.

Developer Milligan – alongside landowner Birchall Properties, Chesterfield Borough Council, the University of Derby and the Peak District National Park Authority – is working on the Gateway at PEAK, which is essentially a hub aimed at encouraging visitors to explore the area in a more environmentally-friendly way.

A spokesperson for Milligan said: “One of the main intentions of the gateway is to reduce the amount of vehicle traffic on the roads throughout the Peak District National Park.

“The Gateway at PEAK will have plenty of parking and services to book onward travel into the park and the opportunity to shift into electric cars, group transport and more sustainable ways of exploring the park’s natural beauty spots. Currently, 85 per cent of visitors arrive by car, so this will make a big difference.

“The building itself will be specified with construction material and methods which will minimise its carbon footprint and more will be announced about this.”

How the Summit at PEAK could look.

When is building work on the Gateway at PEAK expected to start?

The Milligan spokesperson said: “An exploration and idea gathering stage is now being entered into in order to define the role and uses for the gateway which best fit the needs of the local community, its stakeholders and the millions of tourists which visit the Peak District National Park each year.

“Once the exploration phase has been completed in September 2020, a detailed building specification will be finalised and it is intended that construction will start in 2021.”

What have people had to say about the Gateway at PEAK?

Melanie Taylor, head of retail and relations at Milligan, said: “Our vision is to create a sustainable hub for like-minded businesses and a basecamp for the exploration of the UK’s first national park. This will be a world-class example of a sustainable tourism project.

“A gateway could provide information for visitors to book single or multi-day itineraries, explore the area using more sustainable, less polluting modes of transport and buy or hire outdoor activity equipment to try out new activities.”

Huw Bowen, Chesterfield Borough Council chief executive, said: “PEAK forms a key part of our growth plan for Chesterfield and we are delighted to support Milligan as they develop their plans to create the Gateway at PEAK.

“It will be a tourist attraction of national significance, supported by the wider catchment and improved connectivity provided by the advent of HS2.

“It will provide sustainable transport links to attractions and activities within Chesterfield and the national park.

“We are also keen to ensure that local people benefit from the Gateway at PEAK through skills development and access to jobs, by working with Milligan and future operators helping them utilise local business supply chains wherever practicable.”

Sarah Fowler, chief executive of the Peak District National Park, added: “As we approach our 70th year as the UK’s first national park, supporting sustainable gateways and opportunities for visitors to experience what we have to offer in a responsible way is vital to our future.”

What is the Summit at PEAK?

The Summit at PEAK is an indoor activity centre which will be built as part of PEAK.

When is the Summit at PEAK expected to open?

According to the PEAK Liaison website, the Summit at PEAK will launch during the end of the second quarter of 2021.

What work has already been completed as part of PEAK?

Work previously finished at the location, thanks to a £2.8million Sheffield City Region grant, saw a new roundabout created with access directly connecting the site with the A61 Dronfield bypass.

New bridleways and footpaths have also been formed to link the resort to Chesterfield, the Peak District National Park and Sheffield.

How many jobs are expected to be created in total?

Altogether, PEAK – formerly known as Peak Resort – promises to create 1,300 new jobs.

Where can I find out more information?

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