People will soon get to have their say on the controversial Bakewell Road development at an open forum next month.
After calls from residents, traders and councillors for more transparency on the issue – Derbyshire Dales District Council will open the discussion up to the public.
The authority has acknowledged that people have been “straining at the leash” to put forward their views on the development and have said are “delighted” to finally hear them.
Henry Davidson Developments Ltd (HDD) – the company selected by the district council to develop the Bakewell Road site – will also be sending a representative to the open forum.
Paul Wilson, director of planning and housing services for the district council, said: “We really want to get a feel for local people’s ideal vision of the way Bakewell Road could look.
“The difficult part of course is balancing great ideas against the economic reality of what will be needed to make a development viable.
“That reality includes the willingness of potential tenants to sign up to any plans and in today’s economic climate we have to accept that there are no guarantees in this respect.”
Mr Wilson was keen to stress that Bakewell Road remains a “blank sheet of paper” and that a “developer” has been chosen – not a “development”.
Matlock Town Team chairperson Richard Roberts welcomed the opportunity for people to have their say but warned it was “vital” for developers and planners to get the project right to ensure that independent traders can “view the future with confidence”.
The public event – which will include the opportunity for people to make live comments via Twitter and Facebook – will take place at County Hall, Matlock, at 6pm on 27 February.
To follow the meeting via social media, visit www.twitter.com/derbyshiredales or www.facebook.com/derbyshiredales.