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Restoration plans for historic town building

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One of the oldest buildings in Matlock could get a makeover if a proposal from a developer is approved by planners.

The former Park Head Garage in Knowleston Place, Matlock, is the subject of a planning application to turn it into six homes.

The site, which is grade two listed, was the former barn of an adjacent farm building dating back to the 1600s.

Mum–of–two Emma McClean, of Smedley Street, Matlock, has carried out a lot of research into the premises.

She said: “From what I have researched it’s the oldest visible building in Matlock. There are older buildings, but they have all be extended or changed over the years.”

Looking at parish records, Emma was able to find documents relating to the barn being legally changed into the dwelling house at the turn of the 18th Century.

“The Knowles family originally owned the farm, then they sold some of their land so the council could create Hall Leys Park,” Emma added.

The applicant, David Ashbrook, wishes to restore the property, adding a further five homes to the existing three–storey building, with six parking spaces.

Emma has a passion for old buildings and has previously applied to Grand Designs to try and buy the property and do it up herself.

“I want to make sure they aren’t going to do too much to it,” she said.

Emma, who volunteers for local non–profit group Parenting Additional Needs, said she has lived in Matlock herself for 30 years and the building has been derelict for all that time.

“I don’t think anyone has been in it for more than 60 years,” she said.

“I’d love to go inside and see what it is like.”

To view the planning application online, search for reference ‘14/00213/LBALT’ on the planning section of the Derbyshire Dales District Council website, www.derbyshiredales.gov.uk.

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