CONCERNS are rife that the public will not have sufficient input into a future Matlock development as the district council use ‘commercial sensitivity’ to keep details secret.
Five submissions have been put forward and each propose very different plans for the development on Bakewell Road.
The district council now has to choose which submission best suits the supplementary planning document – which outlines the priorities for Matlock people over the next 10 to 15 years.
In an update to the original planning document, it says that local community can actively influence the development ‘within the parameters’ set out by the preferred developer.
However, as the submissions are so varied, Cllr David Jones fears that by the time the public are consulted the scope for their involvement would be limited by the choice of the developer.
To avoid this, Cllr Jones is demanding that detailed submissions be made public before September 13 when the final decision on which developer to choose is made.
Cllr Jones said: “People need to ask for involvement before the meeting takes place as by September it will be too late.”
Four of the five submissions propose an ‘anchor food store’ with additional retail units and office space.
Three submissions propose a hotel with restaurant facilities on the former Lido site, whilst one proposes a residential retirement development.
A spokesman for Derbyshire Dales District Council said: “The selection of a development partner is not reliant on the design of any submission made by the potential developer partners, and any subsequent planning application will be assessed against planning policy in the Derbyshire Dales Local Plan and the framework set by the Matlock Town Centre Supplementary Planning Document.
“In the event that a preferred developer is selected there will be a period of public consultation on a proposed scheme before the submission of any planning application.
“It is spurious for anyone to claim local people won’t still have a significant say in shaping the future development of Bakewell Road.”
Matlock Town Council is holding a meeting on August 8 to discuss the development.
The meeting is being held at the Imperial Rooms, Matlock, at 7pm and Cllr Jones is urging members of the public to attend.
Mike Hase, Planning Policy Manager for Derbyshire Dales District Council, has been asked to make an appearance but he has declined.
Cllr Jones said: “The district council is letting the people of Matlock down.”