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The long-running saga of the Riverside development at Bakewell will soon move up a gear. Plans for the high-profile scheme at the historic Lumford Mill site are going to be decided early in the new year. 

We’ve looked at the latest set of plans and is calling for improvements to the business park and housing development. The proposals have been revised 18 times over the last four years and now include 88 houses and flats, and 18 combined working and living spaces.

“There’s great potential here to introduce some really good housing and employment space for people in Bakewell,” says John King, our Planning Officer. “But we think the developers have missed a trick. There’s not enough affordable housing, and they should be including far more renewable energy design and technology.”

The current plans only include nine flats for renting to local people on low incomes. However, a recent survey showed that there are 30 households in need of housing in Bakewell – and we want to see at least 13 affordable houses or flats built.

We also think that the development needs to look at incorporating on-site renewable energy schemes , as well as energy saving techniques.

“Riverside is going to be one of the biggest developments in the national park in the coming decades, and it really has to be a shining example of good environmental planning. At the moment, it’s not nearly ambitious enough,” says John. “We think it should reduce its carbon emissions by 20 per cent, and at least ten per cent of its energy needs should come from renewable sources.”

We have written to the Peak District National Park Authority objecting to the plans as they stand, but with a number of recommendations.