Brexit vote ‘could delay developments’ in High Peak

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Development of major sites around the High Peak could be halted due to funding issues.

High Peak Borough Council is currently consulting residents on its growth strategy, which includes major development projects such as the A6 enterprise corridor and Buxton Station Gateway.

However, these plans are facing uncertainty over the availability of funding.

Tony Kemp, the council’s executive leader for regeneration, said: “The Brexit vote has had a knock-on impact on large projects like these as previously money would come from the EU through the European Regional Development Fund.

“Without that money there is a funding uncertainty, but we have been promised other funding and grant options will be made available. However, there is still much to sort out before then.

“I think both the leave and the remain campaigners thought the country would stay so it feels we are in the unknown, but the new Prime Minister will have to fix things and open up other avenues of revenue so development can happen.”

The growth strategy aims to encourage further investment in High Peak and sets out a plan for sustainable growth while identifying development opportunities in the borough.

Cllr Kemp, said: “At this stage it is important to get people’s views on what they think should be done with the area.

“Some of the larger projects, such as Chapel Business Park and the Whaley Bridge industrial estate, are still key in the council’s mind, however it will be up to the developers and investors to secure the future of the sites.”

The growth strategy puts forward four key ambitions to deliver what the council is calling ‘an aspirational yet realistic vision for planned growth’ in the borough.

These are: a vision that respects the high quality and valued natural environment; a plan that will drive growth in entrepreneurial activities; facilitate housing delivery; enhance the visitor economy to deliver economic, social and environmental benefits.

The current growth strategy has been informed by the council’s corporate plan priorities, existing evidence base reports and current initiatives being carried out by the council and its partners.

Cllr Kemp added: “The strategy outlines a delivery plan that will result in a reinforced identity of the High Peak, making it a better place in which to work, live, play and travel.”

Anyone wishing to make a comment on the outlined growth strategy, which will be presented to the council at the end of the year, should do so by Monday September 26.