COUNCIL chiefs have unanimously voted against proposals to build a futuristic new hotel in Cromford.
At a meeting on Thursday, October 11, councillors begrudgingly refused planning permission for the 51 bedroom spa and conference facility after it received strong objections from Natural England and the Highway Authority.
Despite this, a number of councillors suggested deferring a decision until a later date in a bid to give the developers more time to address the issues raised.
Cllr Lewis Rose was adamant that the site – which is half a mile south of Cromford on the A6 – was in desperate need of a hotel and expressed ‘empathy’ for developers after spending £75,000 and months of work on the project.
He said: “How ridiculous can you get that a world heritage site can’t even put people up to stay in it. How do we kick start this project?”
The advice that committee members received from planning officers was that, with the current proposals, there were too many strong objections to overcome to make the development work.
Paul Wilson, head of planning for Derbyshire Dales District Council, said: “We are so far away from an acceptable scheme that there’s no point in deferring a decision until a later date.”
Natural England’s main objections were the effects the hotel would have on the world heritage site – which is also a site of special scientific interest – and the wildlife that inhabits the area.
They were also concerned that the information provided was not detailed enough to provide assurances.
The Highway Authority’s main objection was that the 90 permanent parking spaces and 20 temporary spaces were ‘wholly inadequate’ for a facility of the scale proposed by developers.
Cllr Bob Cartwright said: “It is a real shame there isn’t a hotel in this area but the objections from English Heritage are very difficult to override.”