New designs on the table for the tearooms

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New designs for Belper’s Swiss tearooms are
 exclusively unveiled by the News today, following months of speculatation over the development.

Last month we told how campaigners had expressed concerns that the £400,000 plans had been put on ice.

Plans were first drawn up for a replacement tearooms at the gardens in 2010, with an architect being chosen to develop a three-winged Edwardian-style design.

Now, Amber Valley Borough Council has released fresh images of the proposed attraction from the same architect.

However, the designs will still have to be approved by the authority’s planning committee before works can begin.

Belper East councillor Martin Tomlinson said: “The council has listened carefully to the views of the public and partners, and I am confident that the final design will be widely welcomed and will quickly become a popular focus within the River Gardens.”

It is thought that the design will be submitted for planning approval towards the end of July and the planning process will take around 12 weeks to complete.

The new designs have evolved from the early proposals and a spokesman for the authority said they balance the need to achieve a long term future for the building, with the historical importance of the River Gardens.

Local residents will be provided with an opportunity to comment on the design during the planning process.

Trevor Griffin, chairman of the Friends of Belper River Gardens, said: “The initial reaction has been very positive.

“Obviously we need to look at them in more detail but early indications are that they are a significant improvement on what has been on the table in the past.

“They do reflect the Edwardian character of the gardens and the previous Swiss tearooms building.

“They also seem to be very functional and a welcome addition to the gardens.”