Peak business park plan blocked again

LONG-RUNNING proposals to transform a business park in the Peak District, including the addition of homes, are set to be resolved by a public inquiry after the developers failed again to convince the park authority.

A Government inspector is scheduled to scrutinise plans for Riverside Business Park in Bakewell on July 5.

The latest scheme was refused by the Peak District National Park Authority, despite it being supported by authority officers and Thornbridge Brewery, which is on the site.

Litton Properties said housing was needed to help pay for new commercial and industrial units, and for a new road across the River Wye from the A6 Buxton road.

But the Peak Park planning committee remained concerned about the loss of employment land and said the amount, type and location of affordable housing was not appropriate.

Chair John Herbert said: “We all want businesses, and small businesses in particular, to thrive but we also have a duty to protect the interests of the residents and the landscape. Members felt that in this instance the balance of this application wasn’t right. A crucial part of the debate revolved around members’ worries about access improvements to the site and when these would be done.”

The £25m scheme includes industrial units, offices and workshops, 76 townhouses and apartments and ten apartments to be managed by a housing association.

Litton Properties managing director Mark Twelves said: “We are bitterly disappointed. The officers worked very hard on a complex scheme and did their job.

“But we were let down by the committee, who didn’t seem to trust us as a developer, or trust their own planning department. The message the committee is sending out is that the Peak District is closed for business.”