Up to 25 new jobs planned

ARTIST'S IMPRESSION: Hopes of how St Elphin's main house will look once completed.
ARTIST'S IMPRESSION: Hopes of how St Elphin's main house will look once completed.

THE latest phase of a £30.5 million retirement village is well underway, and there are hopes that up to 25 new jobs will be eventually created.

Work on the main building of the St Elphin’s House development in Darley Dale should be completed by July, which will include apartments and the much-anticipated leisure facilities including a swimming pool, treatment room and restaurant, all of which will be open to the community as well as residents.

Built by Audley, it is part of a huge scheme built on the footprint of the old school which closed in 2005. The 44-acre site will eventually see approximately 130 homes built in total for those who have reached retirement age.

Eighteen of the 25 already-completed homes are occupied, and work on the next phase, which will consist of 20 new apartments, is to begin in the coming months.

But Audley insists there is no shortage of interest.

Alison Davies, community relations manager said: “We regularly get customers in to ask about them.

“I honestly think all the apartments will go, they are absolutely unique.

“For people to make the commitment just from looking at plans before they are built is fantastic.”

The rest of the development is planned for completion in four years, when a mix of full time and part time positions will be created.

Cllr David Burton of Derbyshire Dales District Council welcomed the work, saying: “I’m extremely pleased with the development, it was very bleak and unattractive and I think we are very fortunate that it’s not stayed empty and going to rack and ruin.”