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The long-running saga of the Riverside development at Bakewell is moving up another gear. Plans for the high-profile business and housing scheme at the historic Lumford Mill site are going to be decided in the near future. 

We’ve looked at the latest set of plans and are calling for improvements. The proposals have been revised over twenty times in the last five years. There are still 88 houses and flats included but there’s a very slight increase in the number that are affordable homes. Hybrid work and live units have been changed to standard offices now.

There’s great potential here to introduce some really good homes and offices for people in Bakewell, but we think the developers have missed a trick. There’s still not enough affordable housing, and they should be including far more renewable energy design and technology.

We’re pleased to see that the latest plans now include ten – instead of nine – flats for renting to local people on low incomes. This still isn’t enough! A recent survey shows that there are 30 households in need of housing in Bakewell – and we want to see at least 15 affordable houses or flats built at Riverside.  This could be achieved by including a “claw back” agreement with the plans so that when the market improves, the developers will have the finance to make more of the houses affordable.

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. We think it should reduce its carbon emissions by 25 per cent – and we’d also love to see the scheme use the River Wye for producing hydro power.

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