Derbyshire County Council has pledged support for a scheme which would see a new roundabout and relief road built in Buxton to serve 675 new homes.
Plans for the scheme were submitted by High Peak Borough Council in September last year as part of an aim from central government to invest £2.3 billion to unlock sites for 100,000 homes in England.
The borough council’s proposals have been given the go-ahead by Homes England, a government organisation aimed at helping tackle the UK housing shortage. It has granted the scheme £2 million.
The rest of the funding required for the project is coming from the house-builders themselves.
A new roundabout will be built on the A6, slightly further north of the current junction between Fairfield Road and Waterswallows Road in Buxton.
Adjoining access roads to the east and west will also be constructed to divert traffic to the Tongue Lane Industrial Estate and provide access to housing sites down Dale Lane and past St Peter’s Church towards Hogshaw.
Another smaller roundabout would also be built halfway down Dale Lane, opposite the rear of Knowles Crescent.
These would cater for housing sites capable of providing 675 homes at Hogshaw and Granby Road.
These two locations are earmarked for housing in the High Peak Local Plan – a blueprint for future development – and have been sought after as locations for new homes since 2005.
As it stands, the ambitious housing plans are at risk of being unviable without the proper highways infrastructure.
It is hoped that the new roundabout and access roads will provide a solution to this issue, and improve traffic flow through the town.
The county council has buddied up with the borough council in order to expedite the scheme.
County council officers suspect that the £2 million investment from the government requires the infrastructure improvements to be built “at pace” – being in place and ready to use during the next year.
To fast-track this, the county council will take up the role of obtaining design and construction contracts for the scheme, pledging cash and its own officers “to ensure these opportunities are maximised”.
It has also offered to spend more of its own money to ensure that the design of the scheme meets its own objectives, which could include trails fit for walkers, cyclists, and horse riders.
The authority’s “expertise” in this area was requested by the borough council in order to get the plans finished as quickly as possible.
As such, officers recommend: “the continued support of Derbyshire County Council officers to facilitate the accelerated delivery of required infrastructure through provision of expertise and access to construction frameworks”.
They added: “From the county council’s own perspective, there is good reason to offer this facility; the proposed infrastructure comprises a new roundabout on the A6 north of the town, with spurs to each side serving housing land in the Hogshaw area to the west and the Fairfield area to the east.
“The latter will provide some additional benefit through improved access to the Tongue Lane Industrial Estate and the former could potentially provide improved access to the Hogshaw rail sidings.
“Another important consideration is that the proposed roundabout sits at the terminus of an existing bridleway which is likely to represent the preferred option to connect the White Peak Loop multi-user trail to Buxton; the Hogshaw land to the west may present opportunities to provide a high-standard route further towards the town centre.”
The plans will be discussed in full at this week’s county council cabinet meeting.
Eddie Bisknell , Local Democracy Reporting Service