Young architects have been looking at the redevelopment of Bakewell Road, in Matlock, with fresh eyes.
Architecture students at the University of Nottingham were asked by their lecturer Professor Brian Ford to come up with ideas for the town centre development.
For many years the future of the site, which includes the old bus station, garages and riverside, has been debated. The Matlock Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was drawn up, laying out how residents would like to see the town develop.
When Derbyshire Dales District Council’s preferred developer, Henry Davidson, put forward plans for a supermarket on the land, there was uproar among townspeople, and the council abandoned the proposal.
The Bakewell Road Group was formed to collate public opinion for the redevelopment, and member Professor Ford invited 18 of his students to come up with ideas for it, which he presented to members of the public at a meeting hosted by Matlock Civic Association on Monday evening.
He said: “I think the biggest contribution it can make economically is to make the place attractive to make it a place that people want to be in.
“So it’s not just providing retail, but it’s actually providing a public realm.
“Part of requirement here is to create a development that really does attract people to the town and I believe we can.
“I believe that’s partly related to the quality of the proposal.”
Prof Ford said his students had taken into account the existing landscape when coming up with their ideas.
He presented four master plans by different students to the audience, which he claimed has been based heavily on the Matlock SPD and the comments made by members of the public during the Derbyshire Dales District Council’s consultation process.
Ideas put forward by students feature public space, retail and residential premises as well as a bridge over the River Derwent to Sainsbury’s and the train station, as well as reusing the existing buildings and creating a rooftop garden where the Coop car park currently is.
Students Cong Wang and Haoran Deng, who attended some of the consultation events held regarding the Bakewell Road development, suggesting relocating the library and market to the site, which is currently used by the old bus depot and former Lido site. They also suggested a cinema and hotel could be built on the site.
They suggested cafes and restaurants could be built along the riverside, a pedestrian bridge over the river and a central plaza.
Nadia Lasrindy and Maurico Lecaro also suggested a public plaza, as well as a mixture of two and three bedroomed apartments built into the slop of the bank on the north side of the proposed site.
Liwei Yu and Ding Zhiqi proposed housing, a hotel and a winter garden on the riverside, while Xu Li proposed a raised walkway over Bakewell Road going from the existing Coop car park, alongside which would be a winter garden.
How would you like to see Bakewell Road develop? Email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
To see a picture slideshow of pictures from the presentation, visit www.matlockmercury.co.uk