All parties involved in the former Buxton Water factory redevelopment are being urged to attend round table discussions in the hope a ‘unified plan’ can be reached for the site.
Disagreement as to how the site, in Station Road, could be redeveloped has rumbled on for years now – meaning the prominent location has stood unused and undeveloped since it closed in 2012.
But at a meeting recently, voluntary group Vision Buxton has committed itself to organising a series of discussions, involving all interested parties.
Richard Silson, a director for Vision Buxton, said he hoped the discussions will start early next year.
He said: “There are so many players involved, and so many different ideas for the site, that a round table discussion is the only productive way forward.
“It will involve people getting round the table and being honest with each other... to see if any agreement can be reached.”
On Vision Buxton’s ideas for the site, Mr Silson said : “There has long been discussion about how to improve the Cottage Hospital, and the possibility of creating a super surgery and hospital on the site is one idea that has been proposed recently.”
He added: “Our position is that we think there should be a mix of use – not just retail – and it should include some housing.”
In June we reported that Cheshire-based Consolidated Property Group (CPG), who are working with owners Nestle Waters, withdrew plans for supermarket, 60-bed hotel, pub and restaurant, shops and cafes on the site.
The developer said it is reconsidering the scheme in light of the changing retail landscape and the comments received during the public consultation.
The Advertiser has learned that the High Peak Local Plan – which is set for approval, aside from housing quota issues – states that the Station Road site is not suitable for retail.
Mr Silson said: “CPG are retail specialists. So convincing them that retail might not be the best way forward could be a challenge.
“But this is such an important site for Buxton and these discussions must take place.”