Plans for Bakewell’s ‘Berlin Wall’ rejected

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After eight years and £20,000 in costs, councillors have scrapped unwanted plans for a 5.5 metre high noise barrier in Bakewell.

The controversial proposal to build a wall around the Agricultural Business Centre, dubbed Bakewell’s ‘Berlin Wall’, were rejected by members of Derbyshire Dales District Council’s environment committee at a meeting in Matlock on Thursday.

Planning permission was granted in 2011 for the 180 metre–long construction, which would have cost around £100,000 to build, after residents living close by complained of noise from the cattle market.

The authority spent almost £10,000 on public consultations and between £8,000 and £10,000 on noise consultants’ fees to finalise the plans for the structure.

Speaking in the meeting, Cllr Steve Flitter said: “When I first saw this wall I thought it was appalling. I looked at it and thought ‘that’s not something we want to see in the Derbyshire Dales’, and it keeps coming back to ‘how did it get this far?’”

Paul Wilson, corporate director of planning and housing services, said that the council has never sought to justify the aesthetic appearance of the noise barrier.

Addressing the committee, Alistair Sneddon, a senior partner at Bagshaws Auctioneers, who run the market, said a number of different approaches were being taken to reduce nuisance noise, including the construction of a covered shed to act as a sheep selling area and more sound proofing of the sheep and cow buildings. He added: “We will do our best to keep problems at a minimum, but running a busy livestock auction is never going to be done silently.”

Members resolved that regular consultation would be held with Bakewell residents about the Agricultural Business Centre.