Have your say on Bakewell Road site

Matlock residents are being urged to have their say about the controversial redevelopment of their town centre.

An open forum on the future of the Bakewell Road site will be held at County Hall, Matlock, at 6pm on Wednesday, February 27.

The eagerly–awaited meeting will be the first event in a consultation programme, further details of which will be announced shortly.

Derbyshire Dales District Council’s director of planning and housing services, Paul Wilson, said: “We want to hear how local people would ideally like Bakewell Road to look in the future.

“We have stressed many times that Bakewell Road is currently a blank sheet of paper – there are currently no proposals and no plans.

“The council has chosen a developer for Bakewell Road, not a development.

“The real challenge for this important area of Matlock is balancing great ideas against the economic reality of what will be needed to make any development viable.”

Henry Davidson Davidson Developments Ltd , who the authority has selected to undertake the scheme, will attend the forum.

Matlock Town Team chairman Richard Roberts said: “It’s vital that the developers and planners get this right to ensure that the town’s many independent traders can view the future with confidence.”

In 2008, the district council led a consultation for the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), which laid out residents’ views on how Matlock should develop.

Cllr David Jones, of Matlock Town Council, stated the district council’s repeated references to the plans for Bakewell Road being a ‘blank sheet of paper’, implied the SPD had been disregarded.

“Apparently all the consultation that went into the SPD didn’t count for anything,” he said.

He also questioned how the authority had chosen developer without having a development in mind.

“I think the more people turning up to the meeting the better,” he added.