Multi-million pound village pottery scheme

VILLAGERS in Denby had the chance to meet the people behind a multi-million pound ‘village-style’ development at Denby Pottery this week.

The plans, which could create around 600 jobs, includes an 80-bed hotel, an inn and a large nature reserve.

This week Valco Capital Partners which owns the Derby Road Pottery after buying the firm in 2009 from the management team which had owned it for £30 million, met with villagers to discuss the proposals.

A spokesperson for the company said: “The consultation has gone really well, it has been busy all the way through, which is good.

“We will assess the views that have come back from this.

“We are hoping the planning application will be determined by September.”

The spokesman said that overall feedback for the scheme had been positive and there had been particular interest in the creation of more jobs at the site.

However, some residents were concerned about the development increasing traffic on Derby Road.

Tom Leighton, 52, of The College in Denby, says he sometimes struggles to sleep at night due to the amount of traffic on Derby Road already.

He said: “My major concern is traffic.

“I live on the main road and you can barely hear yourself think in the front room sometimes.

“Now what will it be like with a few thousand more people going there?”

His neighbour Peter Buttle, 46, shared similar concerns and was disappointed the plans on display at Monday’s consultation event at the Pottery did not show how traffic might impact on the nearby roads in Denby.

He said: “We were hoping to see something about the infrastructure here.

“I suppose we will have to keep our eyes on the planning application website to see if there are any developments.”

Several nearby residents who attended the event, spoke in favour of the expansion plans however.

Mark Williams, 42, said: “It is in keeping with the area and will bring something we don’t already have to Denby.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Denby Pottery to develop.”

The spokesman for Valco Capital Partners said the company was currently conducting a traffic impact assessment on the site. It was also too early to say how much the project would finally cost.

It is not yet decided what kind of attractions will go in the nature reserve to the south of the site.

Early plans include an arena, a maze and a play area. Denby visitor centre currently attracts 200,000 people per year and employs 95 people. It was established in 1809 and continues to produce stoneware products that are sold throughout the world.