Development of a £20m hospital in Buxton would be the “perfect opportunity” to form a new public transport hub in the town, it has been claimed.
The Advertiser reported earlier this month how a partnership led by the NHS with other public sector bodies had agreed a deal worth almost £1.8m to purchase part of the old Buxton Water bottling site, next to the railway station on Station Road, Buxton, from Nestlé Waters UK.
Health chief outlines plan for new £20m Buxton hospital
New Buxton healthcare hub planned for former water bottling site
New hospital development ‘would not deter’ Buxton-Matlock rail line reopening
It means almost two thirds of the site will be a new base for the NHS in a state-of-the-art building, bringing together services currently provided at the town’s two existing hospitals and also incorporating three GP practices.
Contracts have also been exchanged for the other portion of the site with McCarthy and Stone, the UK’s leading retirement housebuilder, which is proposing to develop specialist extra care retirement accommodation.
Reacting to news of the new development, Dave Carlisle, Chairman of the Friends of Buxton Station group, said: "We are excited to see how the development will encourage greater use of public transport as there is a possibility that private vehicle parking will be a major issue if unaddressed or poorly considered.
"There is a perfect opportunity to form a public transport hub at the station and we will look to explore this and more attractive fare structures with the train operators and Network Rail as drawings (formal plans) are released.
"We hope that Peak Rail will still be able to use the site to provide a rail connection south of Buxton."
Peak Rail has told the Advertiser it remains committed in its efforts to reopen the Buxton to Matlock railway line - and that plans for the new hospital and retirement village 'will not deter' this long-held vision.