ther deliberations over the Bakewell Road redevelopment the process will be open, democratic and given sufficient time for genuine negotiations and thoughtful discussions. These should include interested parties from the residential and business communities of the Town as well as representatives from the authorities. Both the housing sites issue and the first Bakewell Road proposal were bedevilled by a lack of true democratic openness, decisions and voting undertaken on the basis of perfunctory knowledge by the authorities, failure to properly explore all options and target criteria and an overall lack of care for the character of our townscape and landscape. To these must be added a general arrogance on the part of some of the authorities. All of these failings have resulted in an enormous amount of public anguish, poured very large sums of taxpayer’s money ‘down the drain’ and wasted huge amounts of people’s time. We have studied and believe that the Supplementary Plan Document (SPD) sets out a range of attractive ideas that are in keeping with the scale and character of the Town’s morphology. We feel that this proposal, produced with great care by a combination of many interest groups in Matlock, meets real needs in the Town and creates environments that that would be attractive to residents, business and visitors alike. It does not dismiss the idea of a central super mart, indeed it includes such a proposal, but not a monstrous 48,000 square feet superstore. The exploration of such ideas will need time for real discussion with knowledgeable, relevant and committed parties, not just one meeting where there is the threat of a time guillotine hanging over participants. At the end of the day, if a plan that truly enhances the town cannot be produced at the moment, it would be better to leave it for a few years until circumstances change, because if a ‘monster’ scheme anything like the one unveiled last year came to fruition we would be saddled with it for decades - repeating previous District Council ‘gems’ such as the utilitarian add-on of Firs Parade and the current windswept dungeon of the market hall. Neither Bakewell Road nor the housing sites should be prostituted by District Council members, most of whom do not live in Matlock, in order to line the pockets of developers and the District Council. Matlock Town and its people deserve a far better deal and immensely better service from the planners and politicians.
Alison Cowlishaw, Robert Clarke, Peter Thompson, John Tresadern