Planning Design has secured detailed consent for a new link road connecting the A52 with the existing Ashbourne Airfield Industrial Estate.
The new road is the first stage in the redevelopment of the Airfield for mix use development, comprising business and industry, community facilities, residential and associated retailing, pub and café uses.
The Airfield extends over 90ha and is the largest redevelopment opportunity in the Derbyshire Dales. The airfield industrial estate operates successfully and has a low vacancy rate. However the estate suffers from congestion, the existing road network is at capacity (it has only a single point of access off the Derby Road) and for some sections of the estate the environment is poor.
Several of the companies on the Estate want to expand, they want to remain in Ashbourne but without new road connections the Estate cannot grow so there is a danger that businesses will move away. This will affect the employment opportunities for local people and the economy of the wider area.
Ashbourne is a popular town for business; it is an historic market town on the edge of the Peak District with excellent local facilities including a district hospital and good local schools. It is centrally located and offers a good quality of life.
The proposals have the support of the council’s regeneration team and have attracted growth funding. At over 700 metres in length the Link Road is the first major piece of road infrastructure since the building of the Ashbourne bypass. The new road is designed as a distributor road, with wide green verges for trees and shrubs and combined cycle paths and pavements on both sides of the road. The road will create an attractive entrance to the town. It will also form a new bus route with an hourly bus service six days a week connecting the Estate with the town centre and Derby.
The junction with the A52 will be a signalised junction with new lighting and traffic lights. Whilst this attracted some local opposition at planning committee the proposals had the support of the County Highways Officer and the County Highways Technical team reviewed the layout of the junction and suggested improvements to its capacity to ensure that it will operate efficiently and effectively.
Councillors approved the detailed scheme at their meeting on the 24thMay 2016. The proposals are a welcome boost to the local economy and work is expected to commence soon.
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