Third bid for major Bakewell scheme

Riverside Business Park in Bakewell and the narrow bridge which is set to be replaced.
Riverside Business Park in Bakewell and the narrow bridge which is set to be replaced.
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A businessman has submitted a third application for a £25m redevelopment of a Bakewell business park, four years after threatening to walk away from the scheme.

Mark Twelves has lodged plans for a Premier Inn, supermarket and more business space at Riverside Business Park in the Peak District village.

He has the backing of Thornbridge Brewery boss, Jim Harrison, and wooden building firm Pinelog Group, who are both based on the estate.

The project would create and safeguard 600 jobs, it is claimed.

The new bid is the latest twist in Mr Twelves’ 15-year struggle to redevelop the site he bought in 2001.

Two earlier applications were refused, the latest, in 2011, led him to accuse the Peak District National Park Authority of “being closed for business.”

He said he returned with a new scheme which has no housing - a major sticking point last time - after being encouraged to try again by park bosses.

He added: “I was approached by a supermarket and the Peak Park encouraged me to try again.

“These proposals reflect a defining moment for the local economy and major employers in our region. The improvement and developments proposed will lead to more jobs, more visitors and ensure that Bakewell maintains its position as the Peak District’s ‘capital’.

Jim Harrison, Thornbridge chief executive and chair of Business Peak District, said the plans were ‘vital’ to maintaining the prosperity of the Peak District’s economy and commercial activity in Bakewell.

He added: “ We are growing our business and reputation. The opportunity to expand our operations at Riverside will ensure we continue to grow, create jobs and attract visitors from around the world to Bakewell.”

Nick Grayson, group managing director at Pinelog, said: “We are all very proud of where we are based and want to remain in Bakewell, contributing to the local economy through jobs and inward investment.”