Council knocks back e–petition

Future Development: The Bakewell Road development site in Matlock.
Future Development: The Bakewell Road development site in Matlock.

AN attempt by a Matlock resident to set up on online petition to reopen debate on the Bakewell Road site has been quashed over fears it will ‘mislead’ the public.

Andy Botham, of the Matlock Labour group, had his attempt to set up an e–petition on the Derbyshire Dales District Council’s website knocked back as the authority claims it poses a danger of misleading the public.

“The Matlock Labour Party spoke to people about the development and the response was just overwhelming,” he said.

“We have never ever come across so much anger from residents regarding a development.”

In light of the response from locals, Andy requested that he be allowed to set up a petition calling for a full and open consultation regarding Bakewell Road, including all five options previously placed before the district council.

He also requested that any decision on a preferred developer already made be held until the consultation process had been thoroughly exhausted.

Having had his request refused, Andy plans to continue with the petition regardless.

“They don’t seem to be open to debate,” he continued.

“They’re not open to having their decision questioned.”

Andy will be on the streets of Matlock on Saturday from 11am talking to residents and gathering signatures for the petition.

He stated that while he was from the Labour party, he did not want to make the petition party specific, as it was for the greater good of Matlock as a whole.

A district council spokesman stated: “While the district council is absolutely aware that the future of Bakewell Road is of massive importance, there is nothing yet for local people either to petition about or comment on. Allowing people to sign up to an official online petition with no foundation would simply cause more confusion.

“We are happy to repeat our pledge that the public will be the first to see and comment on the more realistic plans – which don’t yet exist – before any formal planning application is submitted to the district council.”

The spokesman went onto state that the consultation exercise undertaken with the developer would be thorough.