First businesses set to move back to derelict Derbyshire industrial site

A tattoo parlour and a bathroom showroom could be the first businesses to move back on to a derelict former Derbyshire industrial site for more than a decade.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 8:49 am

The former Butterley Ironworks site, north of Ripley, has been vacant since 2009 and lies in a state of disrepair and has been hit by vandalism and arson.

Now after more than 10 years, businesses are set to return to the site, as part of plans approved in September 2020 for its entire regeneration.

Plans from local entrepreneur Tim Godkin and London firm Aquarius Estates Ltd have been submitted to Amber Valley for the occupation of two of the site’s remaining buildings.

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The former Butterley Ironworks site

Both of the buildings sit on the side of the site closest to the former entrance, off Butterley Hill and Coach Road.

The larger of the two buildings, which still bears a sign saying “Butterley”, but is currently boarded up, would become a bathroom showroom along with four office units.

Meanwhile, the second building set for reoccupation, which is also currently boarded up, sits immediately to the right, alongside the sloped entrance into the site.

Papers filed by the applicants say this building would be used by a business specialising in tattoo removal, which is currently operating in Ripley town centre.

RG+P, the agent for the applicants, writes: “There are compelling economic, social and environmental benefits associated with the delivery of this development which utilises a long underused vacant site.

“The delivery of a range of spaces for local and regional business will deliver compelling economic benefits to the area through job creation, construction activity and other multiplier effects.

“Environmental benefits will be delivered by securing the optimal viable uses of buildings within a historically-important complex.

“Analysis of the sustainability of the proposal demonstrates that in the absence of wider economic, social and environmental objections the proposal would represent sustainable development, notwithstanding its location within a historically important complex.”

Parking for a total of 26 cars will be provided on the site while the number of jobs set to be created is to be confirmed.

In September 2020, the borough council approved plans from the applicants to build 80 homes and a range of “offices, eateries and facilities” on the site.

The plans include conversions of historic buildings to form wine bars, restaurants, a care home, shops, a swimming pool, soft play area, dance studio and gym.

At the moment, the land is littered with rubble, graffiti, broken glass and is overgrown with shrubs and weeds.

Protected buildings on site have their windows boarded up while some have been shattered, despite tall fencing, CCTV cameras and guard dog patrols.

The site had once been one of the UK’s most advanced engineering operations, the Butterley Companyemploying 10,000 people at its peak.

It ran for 219 years from 1770 to 2009 after being placed in administration due to an “economic downturn”.

Workers there were responsible for building vital iron parts for St Pancras Station and Vauxhall Bridge in London, the Falkirk Wheel canal lift, pontoons for D-Day, weapons and military equipment during WW1 and WW2, and the Jubilee Bridge in Matlock Bath, along with many other bridges and parts for steam trains and ships.

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