Matlock’s future is ‘still a blank sheet’

Future Development: The Bakewell Road development site in Matlock.

Future Development: The Bakewell Road development site in Matlock.

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The council’s chosen developer for Bakewell Road has broken their silence amid calls for more transparency on the project.

For the first time since being selected by Derbyshire Dales District Council to design the central Matlock site, Henry Davidson Developments has spoken out to local people.

Scott Davidson, the managing director of the company, explained: “The task now is to start afresh and review Bakewell Road with the District Council, including the retail market’s view of Matlock and also a public consultation to establish the needs of the local community.

“In addition to this initial public consultation, a further public consultation will also be undertaken as part of the due planning process giving the public the opportunity to provide their views on two separate occasions.”

The company’s initial bid featured a 38,000 sqft food store and a budget hotel – companies suggested for these premises include Premier Inn and Morrisons.

Mr Davidson has stated however that the bid was ‘purely indicative’ and the future of the project is by no means sealed.

A council spokesman added: ”The fact is there are no proposals for Bakewell Road right now and no plans.  As we keep repeating, we have chosen a developer for Bakewell Road, not a development.

“We’re delighted to have selected Henry Davidson Developments Ltd (HDD) as the company that will eventually develop this important part of Matlock town centre, but it’s important to say that currently the way Bakewell Road will look is a blank sheet of paper that local people will have an opportunity to help fill in. 

“The illustrations that accompanied HDD’s contract pitch are not useful in terms of what the development will actually look like and there will certainly be no planning application until a thorough public consultation has been carried out.  Before even that happens, there will be an up-to-date assessment of the retail potential in and around Matlock.

“To give local people an idea of timescales, that assessment hasn’t started yet, and the next time the district council is scheduled to meet with HDD is the second week in November.

“Make no mistake, the district council totally understands that this development is of massive importance and we need to get it right.  In the light of local feeling and, it has to be said, some misinformation, we recognise we need to hammer home the point that so–called plans and proposals for Bakewell Road simply do not exist.  In short, there is nothing on the table yet for anyone to object to.  When the time is right to consult, we will shout the message loud and clear.”