Help us shape the future of Belper

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RESIDENTS will be asked to help shape the future of an area of land in Belper.

Members of the public will be able to say what they would like to see on the 69 acres of land, some of which is believed to be owned by Tesco, between the A6 and the River Derwent at an open day in February.

The land is currently home to the former Thornton’s chocolate factory and other vacant buildings, as well as the sports pitches and facilities at Belper Town FC and Belper Meadows Sports Club.

A team of external planners has been appointed by Amber Valley Borough Council to help draw up a planning document which, alongside existing policies, would form the basis for future planning decisions in the area.

A workshop has already been held with a range of the town’s community groups at the Lion Hotel in Belper.

Steve Williams, on behalf on the external planners, said: “The people who took part clearly love Belper.

“It is a very special place because the industrial heritage relates to the whole town not just the World Heritage Site.

“People love the buzz in the town created by the independent shops, the ‘food and the ale’ which is set against the backdrop of being a World Heritage Site in a river valley setting.”

A council spokesman said the main areas of concerns identified at the workshop were problems with traffic on Bridge Street, the need to access the site and link it with the rest of the town, and the need to generate new employment.