Blueprint for town set to go to minister

People have until the end of the month to view a plan which will act as a blueprint on how Belper develops over the next 15 years before it is submitted to the Government for approval.

Amber Valley Borough Council’s Core Strategy will form part of a new “Local Plan” for the borough.

The council consulted on the proposals from June to August this year and are now preparing to submit the document to the Secretary of State for Communities, Eric Pickles.

However, final comments on the legal compliance and soundness of the proposals are still being accepted until November 30.

Anyone interested in viewing the plans can visit Belper Library during normal opening hours.

The strategy for regeneration in Belper is to promote it as a tourist attraction as well as a traditional market town and maintain and improve its historic character and appearance.

The draft stratgey states: “The Amber Valley Retail Study 2011 stated that the independent retail sector is a key asset to the town and should be supported, although there is a need to provide larger-format units to attract a greater range of national multiple retailers to the centre.

“However, it is vital that this does not involve development that would detract from the character of this historic market town and the outstanding universal value of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

“To continue its economic success, the council will consider if a masterplan needs to be produced to ensure a co-ordinated approach to its future, whilst attempting to maintain a balanced economy in the town.”

Planning permission will be granted for development and uses in Belper town centre that will improve its attraction for tourists, support independent retailers as well as maintaining and improving its historic character and appearance, and the outstanding universal value as a World Heritage Site.

The strategy also added: “To ensure that the services and facilities are adequate to support the tourism in Belper, town centre developments should look to improve parking for coaches.”

The purpose of the examination at this stage of the planning process is to consider if the Core Strategy has been “prepared in accordance with statute and regulations” and that its content is “positively prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national planning policy”.