£75m halldale plan in doubt

Plans for Halldale Quarry include this artist's impression of a major hotel.

Plans for Halldale Quarry include this artist's impression of a major hotel.

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The developer wanting to transform Halldale Quarry says his multi-million pound scheme is in jeopardy because his plans for a housing development have been refused.

Property developer Alan Hughes hoped to build six detached four bedroom house on the Matlock quarry site.

But Derbyshire Dales District Council objected to the houses on three grounds, stating the development would “undermine the rural character and detract from the open countryside.”

He hoped the houses would help fund his major redevelopment at the 19.5 acre quarry off Snitterton Road – which included plans for a hotel, cinema and business units .

The council added that insufficient information had been submitted to address highways matters and show protected species would not be harmed.

Mr Hughes, who was jailed for five years in 2002 for the notorious “Donnygate” scandal, told the Mercury he was desperate to start work on the project and was really disappointed by the council’s decision.

In July the Mercury ran a story saying the site was up for sale with a £10million price tag.

Mr Hughes said: “It is on hold until we can clear this situation up which is crazy as we have got people with money who want to start work.

“We are talking to some very big players but this has really put the brakes on.”

Mr Hughes, who is a director of Wykeham Estates (Northern) Limited, said his company would be appealing the decision.

He added: “It is all time and money but we were assured houses would be okay for that site. It is in the settlement boundary.

“If this doesn’t go ahead it will be left a derelict site and will not benefit anyone when the town could be getting massive benefits and lots of job will be created.

“I’ve got faith in Matlock and want to see this through but we can’t keep throwing any more money at it.

“We’ve spent up to ££300,000 to get this far.”

The firm was granted planning permission last July to transform the quarry in a scheme said to be worth around £75 million.

Mr Hughes was jailed in 2002 after being convicted of two charges of corruption involving a planning application and a crooked multi-million pound land deal.