Litton Properties drew up a proposal for a £25 million redevelopment in Bakewell, but after ten long years and two knock-backs, they have lost a battle with the Peak District National Park Authority Planning Committee.
The redevelopment of Riverside Business Park, which is located on the outskirts of Bakewell, would have seen various commercial properties, including industrial units and offices, along with 97 new residential homes being built in the area.
The developers have revised the scheme twice in the past, but both were rejected by the local authority. Speaking in May, Mark Twelves, Managing Director of Litton Properties expressed his disappointment: “We are bitterly disappointed and feel completely let down by the Peak Park’s Planning Committee Members. Since we took ownership of the site in 2001 we have worked tirelessly with the Peak Park’s Planning Officers to produce a viable scheme that would secure the future of the site.”
“I am sure that there will also be many in the Peak Park that will be disappointed that the majority of the members have rejected a scheme that would have provide much-needed jobs, especially in this current economic climate,” Mr Twelves added.
Litton Properties have now decided not to submit a revised application, after two knock-backs. As with the previous applications, the developers listened to recommendations from the Peak District National Park Authority of what they would need to include for the application to be successful, but still the authority rejected the scheme, which left Litton Properties baffled. Speaking of the application process, Mr Twelves, stated: “We were actively encouraged by the Planning Committee members to re-submit and were given strong indications of what was needed to achieve their support. Despite meeting all these concerns we were refused again.”
The scheme would potentially have given the area a much needed economic boost, with new businesses in the commercial properties and new people moving to the area. The scheme would, furthermore have helped fund the cost of a new bridge, and flood defences that the area drastically need.
The authority refused the application on the grounds that employment land would be lost and that there wasn’t enough affordable housing. However, the authority hopes that the rejection hasn’t damaged their relationships with Litton Properties, for future developments. Speaking on behalf of the authority, John Herbert, the Planning Committee Chairman, expressed: “I remain convinced we can continue to work with Litton to find ways of developing the site.”
Litton Properties are currently moving their head office from Chatsworth Estate to Riverside Business Park, and hope to be settled in the new office by December of this year. Speaking of the move, Mr Twelves, stated: “We also want to get much more ‘hands on’ on this site in view of the unforeseen planning delays with our Masterplan scheme.”
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