Peak District farm park unveils expansion plans
A popular Peak District family attraction has revealed expansion plans in a bid to secure its future.
Matlock Farm Park has unveiled plans for sheep racing, new picnic facilities and a further play area, as well as a new barn and improved access.
In an application to North East Derbyshire Council, seeking permission for the developments, it says: “The proposed works are a necessary investment to the park improving its sustainability to become an all-year-around tourist attraction.”
Plans include sheep racing, picnic facilities, a children’s play area and relocation of the ferret racing area.
A statement accompanying the application says: “The design principle is to draw visitors further into the park, avoiding overcrowding near the entrance
“The entertainment of the sheep racing and ferret racing facilities will draw the tourism into the lower fields.
“An additional outside children’s playground again ensures social distancing is easily achievable within the playground areas.”
New link road
Other planned developments include a new barn to “provide much-needed facilities to store feeds and particularly hay, a staple for the majority of the park’s residents”, while additional space within the building “will provide shelter in winter to the animals normally accommodated within fields adjacent to the main park”.
The park, on Jaggers Lane, near Matlock, also wants to develop new compounds, to provide staff access to the barns and safe storage of farm machinery.
A new link road would connect the park’s main and overspill car parks, with a vehicle-free pedestrian walkway “allowing families safe access to the main entrance”.
The application says: “The existing provisions are adequate to cater for the current visitors. However, the park has seen an increase in tourism due to Covid-19, attributed to successfully providing a safe, outside area with enough space to ensure social distancing is widely available.”
It says the car parking changes “should reduce queuing on Jaggers Lane at busy periods”.
Summing up the proposals, the application says: “The investments ensure the sustainability of the farm park as a tourist attraction, this will impact on the attraction of the park and surrounding areas producing a positive economic benefit to the wider district and will enable the farm park to ensure its economic viability into the foreseeable future.”
A decision is expected by July.