‘Monstrous’ Buxton hotel plan refused

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A ‘monstrous’ plan to demolish and rebuild a Buxton hotel which dates back to the 1800s has been rejected by councillors.

The application for the complete rebuild of the Buckingham Hotel, on Burlington Road, was criticised for its poor design choices which would ‘bring the town down’.

Speaking at a meeting of High Peak Borough Council’s Development Control Committee on Monday, Councillor Emily Thrane said: “I have lived in Buxton for many years, but this is the most monstrous plan I have ever seen. No, no, no. This should not go ahead.”

The application called for the demolition of the Buckingham and its replacement with a new, larger hotel providing 110 rooms, ancillary facilities, sub-ground parking and a small vertical farm.

Councillor Jean Todd said: “The proposal does have some redeeming qualities and has a strong environmental ethos, but it does seem a drastic and unnecessary over-development of the site and I will be seconding the refusal.”
During the consultation process the council received 24 letters in support and nine objections, however the committee chose to refuse the plans as they were deemed to be not in-keeping with the town’s conservation area.

Councillors also cited the loss of a non-designated heritage asset, the adverse impact on privacy and amenity, the loss of mature trees on the site and the overall failure to meet local plan guidelines as reasons for refusal.

The applicant said it was not economically viable to retain the existing hotel, and that other potential uses were unviable as the building’s structure required too much work to make it safe.

However after conducting its own report, Ben Haywood, the council’s operations manager for development services, said: “The cost of the repairs are substantially less than the figures we have been given and it would be more economically viable to bring it back into use than to demolish and rebuild.”

Commenting on the size of the proposed development, which would have been taller than the existing building and include three levels of underground parking, Councillor Stewart Young said: “I back the refusal and feel the development is too large and incongruous for the town. I’m not 100 per cent sure how this project would impact on the Buxton Water supply we are so proud of.”
Councillor Samantha Flower added: “This is not aesthetically right for the town.

“The applicant needs to go away and rethink the plans, coming up with another suitable architectural plan which is more in-keeping with the area.”