Concerns raised over new proposals for major development near Chesterfield

Concerns have been raised about new plans for one of the country's biggest developments on the outskirts of Chesterfield.

Monday, 16th September 2019, 12:56 pm
This artist impression of the development was released a few years ago.

PEAK, formerly known as Peak Resort, aims to eventually offer leisure, health, sport and education facilities on the 300-acre Birchall Estate near Unstone.

The indoor adventure centre - which is the brainchild of leisure entrepreneur and former professional English tennis player, David Lloyd - would boast a variety of activities including a ninja course, zip lines, climbing walls, rope courses, adventure golf, caving, trampolining and e-karts.

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This artist impression of the development was released a few years ago.

Those behind the proposed development insist it would be a 'brilliant amenity' and create 'huge' employment benefits.

But this online petition, which was started by local landowner James Allsop and has so far been signed by nearly 400 people, states that the proposals are a '180 degree turnaround from the previous planned project and will result in noise, disturbance and pollution to the local area'.

The petition adds: "The proposed development is at odds with original permission that would have seen people holidaying in peace and tranquillity - staying for up to a week at a time.

"The new plan will bring in floods of people for a day or half a day putting strain on the road system.

"As a local landowner my land value would soar if this project was to be approved but I have no interest in this and believe the whole scheme to be inappropriate for the area."

Mr Allsop said one of the biggest objections from residents was about the e-karts - with fears about noise and light until 10pm.

The petition states 'we were expecting tranquillity, peace and relaxation' and adds that the homes and feeding areas of many listed birds - including peregrine falcons, barn owls and woodcocks - would be 'destroyed or disturbed beyond use'.

The petition is also critical of Chesterfield Borough Council, claiming the authority 'seems biased in promoting the scheme with little or no detail on their web or Facebook site of how one can object'.

Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of the council, said: "The council has worked with the developer of PEAK for a number of years and we are supportive of the benefits that the resort would bring to our economy, as well as the jobs it would create for local people.

"We are also aware that David Lloyd has submitted a reserved matters planning application for a development as part of the overall resort.

"We understand that people may have views they wish to express on the application.

"These views will be considered by the council's planning committee in October, in determining the application."

Councillor Alex Dale, who represents Unstone on North East Derbyshire District Council, said 'several' residents had contacted him with concerns about the plans and promised to 'look into all the issues raised'.

He added: "Whatever people's views, I'd urge residents to go online and look at the latest applications, and the previous planning history, and ensure they submit any relevant comments they may have before a decision is made.

"It's vital that the planning committee takes account of local views and they can only do that if people engage with the process."

The Derbyshire Times asked Birchall Properties Ltd, the company behind PEAK, if it wanted to respond to the concerns which have been raised - but did not receive a response

David Lloyd previously told journalists: "I am thrilled with the opportunity of working with Birchall Properties, the owner of the 300-acre Peak site, and the authorities in Chesterfield to develop Adrenaline World and provide a brilliant amenity in a fabulous location.

"The employment benefits are huge for the local population and for those families who will relish the very different facility we will be providing.

"I am looking to this Adrenaline World being the first of many we'll build across the country in the next few years."