Historic features saved at pub site

Developers hoping to convert a Matlock pub in to 14 houses say they will now save a historic urinal.

Town councillors welcomed plans to transform the former Horseshoe pub, in Matlock Green, at a meeting on Monday – but said the urinal should stay.

Civic chiefs also appealed to developers to maintain some of the site’s heritage.

Peter Wild, of Matlock Civic Association, said some of the features dated back to 1880, including the outside urinal, at the back of the building and tethering rings on the walls.

There are also several hooks inserted in to the wall of the car park, thought to be used to tether livestock during the 1880s when a fortnightly cattle market was held.

Mr Wild added: “It is surely good practice to preserve as many of these heritage features as possible.”

In a letter to Derbyshire Dales District Council, resident Doreen Holden said: “The farmers’ urinal behind the front of the building must not be demolished.

“It is a relic not to be equalled.

“Perhaps no clochemerle, but unique.”

Sheila Burton, of Stoney Way, also urged planners to maintain the pub’s history in the way that other communities already do. She said that many people may not realise that Matlock Green was the earliest part of the town.

She added: “I do believe that this urinal has a county treasure certificate.

“Let’s not let our history go without a chance to save it.

“Then each generation of school children can enjoy looking and not just reading about it from books.”

A private developer is hoping to build 14 apartments and houses to be sold on the open market, at the pub site and also convert outbuildings and grounds and provide car parking.

The scheme does not include affordable housing.

Developers originally planned to demolish the urinal but following protests from residents are now set to include it in their plans.

District council planning officer, Gareth Griffiths, said the applicants were set to re-submit amended proposals.

He added: “I understand that the urinal which was proposed to be removed is now to be retained.”

The application is set to be discussed by the district council’s planning committee at a meeting on July 5.