There was an interesting 11th hour attempt to stop the Sainsbury’s expansion on Tuesday evening.
A developer from Norfolk sent in a late objection to the plans on the grounds that it would scupper his plans for Bakewell Road.
It seems that the chap from Norfolk who has been having discussions with the head of planning Paul Wilson for a few months is not at all happy that the Cawdor Quarry superstore is being allowed to grow.
He is of the opinion that his big ideas for Matlock are streets ahead of the, now approved, plans to give Sainsbury’s a march on the town.
Not least because it is more centrally situated but also because he claims his food store would have been bigger than anything Cawdor Quarry has seen.
His attempt to put the bullet in for the current superstore failed though, as councillors backed their officers’ report and said yes to the extra floorspace for the current store.
What is interesting about his move though is that he is adamant that the growth of Sainsbury’s makes his plans unviable.
He has no truck with the planning chiefs’ assertions that by 2017 there will be room in Matlock for another store on Bakewell Road.
In the complicated report, which details retail statistics supplied by consultants, there is talk of “expenditure capacity”, “convenience goods”, “comparison goods”, “sensitivity tests” and “residual surplus”.
Once you have read through all that you get to the conclusion which says: “there is likely to be sufficient expenditure in both the convenience and comparison sectors to support both the proposed Sainsbury’s extension and the new convenience and comparison goods floorspace at Bakewell Road.”
Of course this is in six years time and I am no planning expert, as Mr Wilson will probably tell me, but I think I agree with David Alcock and that we might be pushing our luck if we think Matlock can support both and keep a vibrant town centre.
Time will have to tell, I guess. For now Sainsbury’s have got a headstart and we will have to see if anything develops on Bakewell Road.
Amanda Hatfield, editor