Next step for Matlock town centre redevelopment

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

Council chiefs have abandoned proposals to build a supermarket in Matlock town centre in light of public opposition to the public.

Instead, Derbyshire Dales District Council has decided to progress with the redevelopment of the town centre as part of a community–led project.

Members of the council’s Corporate Committee voted in favour of the third of three options for the Bakewell Road site in a meeting last week.

Option three was that the council would concede that at the present time, the state of the economy meant any redevelopment of the site without a supermarket would not be commercially viable.

A report into the issue stated: “Due to widespread opposition to a new major food retail development within the town, the district council [will] facilitate where possible the development of a community–led scheme without any further significant district council resources being committed at the present time.

“In the event that a community–led scheme evolves, the district council will subject that scheme to commercial viability assessment and market testing.”

The decision followed a workshop help in March, in which community leaders were invited to debate the future of the town.

Councillor Geoff Stevens said: “We have spent a lot of time on this subject. I’d like to thank the people that gave up their time.”

He assured people that the council would be fully involved in the project.

“We are definitely talking about a partnership, we don’t want you to think we’re walking away,” he added.

“We value what’s been said and I think the contributions have been really outstanding.

“In my career as a councillor I have been to many meetings and I think this is one of the best I’ve ever been to and I think it’s a credit to Matlock and the people who live here that they are prepared to help the council.”

Proposals put forward by Henry Davidson Developments – originally chosen by the council to lead the project – featured a 38,000sq ft supermarket, which went against the vision for the redevelopment project set out in the Matlock Town Centre Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), created five years ago.

The committee backed option three on the grounds that the council provide technical support in order to come up with a plan for the town centre which better suits what was initially outlined in the Matlock Town Centre SPD. It also agreed the arrangement with Henry Davidson Developments would be concluded.