Bakewell up in arms over the ‘Berlin Wall’

An “eyesore” sound barrier - measuring 5.5 metres high - could become Bakewell’s own Berlin Wall, campaigners say.

Thursday, 30th January 2014, 2:59 pm

Angry neighbours are at loggerheads with Derbyshire Dales District Council over long-running plans to install a noise barrier around Bakewell’s Agricultural Business Centre (ABC).

If given the final go-ahead next month the construction would be 180 metres long and cost £100,000.

The council has already spent almost £10,000 on public consultations since planning permission was granted back in 2011.

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Mayor Paul Morgans claims the whole scheme had been prompted by just three complaints from residents about noise - and two of them have since moved away.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “You’ve got people who have been living there since before the ABC was built – none of these support the noise barrier – and you’ve got a few people who moved in after the ABC was built, so they knew it was there.

“Now you are left with a five metre high barrier – the Berlin Wall was only 3.7 metres.”

Diane Gilmore – whose home in Coombs Road backs onto the ABC – has been heading a group of residents opposed to the noise barrier.

She said: “All we will see is uninterrupted wall.

“It will ruin our view. It will be an eyesore in Bakewell and will have a detrimental impact on the town.”

Diane said on Mondays, which is market day, farmers usually start turning up at around 6.30am, but when she is in the house she can’t hear anything.

She said if she goes into the back garden she can hear cows mooing and the sound of the truck wash but has no problem with that.

Diane has submitted a petition to the district council against the proposal, signed by 30 of Coombs Road families.

A council spokesman said: “Derbyshire Dales District Council is trying to deal sensitively with a long–standing issue. Our Agricultural Business Centre hosts one of the UK’s top five livestock markets and the second largest monthly farmers’ market in the country. The ABC also provides accommodation for local community groups, conference facilities, business units, café, and car parking and is the acknowledged economic hub of the Peak District business community.

“Opinion is split locally between residents who want us to take measures to reduce the noise that comes from the ABC during its operation, mostly as a livestock market, and those who do not want to see a noise barrier because of the potential visual impact they fear it could have on that part of the town.”

Bakewell councillor Judith Twigg said there was a statutory obligation to try to resolve problems even - when only one complaint has been received.

“I feel that tighter controls and better management of the noise could reduce the problem,” she said.

A formal report on the barrier is likely to be submitted for councillors to consider at the end of February.