Whaley Bridge’s long-debated dream of a second bridge into the Bingswood industrial estate is back on the agenda. High Peak Borough Council is preparing its Local Plan – a blueprint for planning over coming decades – which will ‘ensure the sustainable development of the High Peak’. The public will be fully consulted before the Local Plan is finalised.
As far as Whaley Bridge is concerned, a section of lengthy reports to the council is most significant. The future of Bingswood is aired in the thinking on strategic development sites.
New ideas for Bingswood include:
- A new approach to attract private sector funding for the second bridge
- Flexibility in the uses and layout of the site
- Up to half the site developed for new uses, including residential, with about 75 new houses built.
The report describes the existing industrial estate as ‘unsuited to modern business use’ – a major employment site with access by a single, sub-standard bridge. The main road to the estate runs through the Canal Basin are and the historic core of the town. The long-term aim of the borough council and Whaley Bridge Town Council is to create a new access. A scheme, largely relying on public funding, foundered in 2009 because the money was not there to buy land needed for the bridge.
The report says: “A new approach is required to attract private sector funding.”
Flexibility of use and layout of the site could raise the necessary funding, with up to half the site going for new uses, including housing, but not retail business.
The report adds: “It is proposed to relax the existing employment designation to allow other uses … Any scheme should provide a new access to the site, new business units and retain existing jobs.”
The second bridge is desperately needed. These proposals can only benefit Whaley Bridge. Let’s hope it happens this time.