It’s great to see that restoration works are well underway at the old stone cottages adjacent to John Smedleys at Lea Bridge.
A few years ago, Planning & Design and Evans Vettori Architects worked with John Smedleys to secure planning and Listed Building consent for a redevelopment scheme on a disused part of the famous factory. Some creative thinking by all parties resulted in a proposal to restore the derelict and run-down eighteenth century ‘Arkwright’ style cottages as part of the scheme. Achieving this objective was not straightforward in planning terms –the cottages lie within a different local authority area to the remainder of the factory site and were in such a poor state of repair it wasn’t possible to enter the buildings to carry out a full survey.
All parties involved deserve credit, including Amber Valley BC and Derbyshire Dales DC for their flexibility and support, and most of all John Smedleys for their commitment and investment in the restoration project.
Classic examples of Derwent Valley worker’s cottages, their restoration will help to preserve the special character of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site for many years to come.
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