Peak District luxury apartments plan for ‘eyesore’ site refused

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A proposal to develop the site of a former Peak District hotel, described as an ‘eyesore’, into luxury apartments has been refused, with officers raising concerns over its lack of affordable housing and ‘harmful’ effect on the character of the area.

The application to build 21 apartments on the site of the former Marquis of Granby hotel, in Hathersage Road, Bamford, was turned down by Peak District National Park Authority’s Planning Committee today, February 11.

The plans included 15 two-bedroom apartments and six three-bedroom apartments, as well as car parking and 2.1 acres of landscaped grounds.

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There were numerous comments on the application, both for and against.

The proposed apartment buildingThe proposed apartment building
The proposed apartment building

Among them, Sir Richard FitzHerbert, of Tissington Hall, said: “This site has been an eyesore for years and is in desperate need of a new life.

“This scheme not only addresses the shortage of housing in the national park, but also addresses the needs of a brown field site.”

Deirdre McKenna, of Shatton, Bamford, added: “This planning application will provide a welcome and valued residential addition to the Hope Valley in a tasteful and attractive manner with reference and regard to local architecture, natural materials and design.”

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However, Dr Althea de Carteret, of Thornhill, Bamford, commented: “I feel angry that there is no requirement for affordable housing in this development – considering the acknowledged severe shortage of affordable housing in this area.”

The Marquis of Granby hotel in its heydayThe Marquis of Granby hotel in its heyday
The Marquis of Granby hotel in its heyday

David Randall, of Station Road, Bamford, agreed: “I would like to see the approved buildings have an element of affordable housing as part of the agreement to build.

“This type of housing is a vital part of maintaining available homes for local families and young adults who might otherwise leave the area.

“Building homes that are only available to higher earners does nothing to ensure long term continuity in the valley.”

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The hotel went out of business in 2004 and permission was granted in 2007 to demolish the building and replace it with a new hotel and conference facility, which has never taken place.

A planning officer’s report into the application concluded: “The development would not be in the public interest and exceptional circumstances do not exist to justify the proposed major housing development.”

Adding: “The scale, design and character of the development would harm valued landscape character.”