‘Critical’ business park plan rejected

New plans to redevelop Bakewell’s main business site have been refused, despite a brewery saying part of the scheme was “critical” to its future success.

Riverside Business Park applied for permission to build new units, offices and craft workshops to replace some existing business buildings.

Directors at the Thornbridge Brewery, which is based on the site in Buxton Road, told planners that a new bridge included in the plan was a much-needed improvement.

But members of the Peak District National Park Authority’s planning committee rejected the argument along with others made by the site’s owners Riverside Business Park Ltd.

The firm had also asked for permission for 76 town houses and apartments for sale on the open market to pay for the rest of the development and ten affordable one-bedroom apartments.

It was claimed that once the first 30 houses were built, a bridge would be constructed to link with the A6 Buxton Road.

Objections to the scheme were received from Bakewell Town Council, Bakewell and District Civic Society and 24 residents who had concerns over traffic on Holme Road and the number of affordable homes.

Riverside Business Park claimed nearly half of the space available on its site was unoccupied because the existing units did not meet modern standards and building new units would help attract businesses and generate a significant numbers of jobs.

John Herbert, chairman of the planning committee, said: “We all want businesses, and small businesses in particular, to thrive but we also have a duty to protect the interests of the residents and the landscape.

“Members felt that in this instance the balance of this application wasn’t right. A crucial part of the debate revolved around members’ worries about access improvements to the site and when these would be done.”

An earlier application, which was refused in 2010, is the subject of an appeal which is due to be heard by a planning inspector this year.