The number of outdoor markets taking place at a Derbyshire shopping centre will double despite concerns about the impact of noise on neighbours.
At a Derbyshire Dales District Council meeting last night (December 13) plans to increase the number of markets from 12 to 24 at the Peak Village shopping outlet in Chatsworth Road, Rowsley, were approved.
Owners Devonshire Retail Property Limited have also secured the right to play low-level background music and host the markets later into the evening.
Instead of finishing at 5.30pm every day on which the markets are held, the events would close at 8pm Monday through Saturday and 6.30pm on Sundays and bank holidays.
Council officers agreed with the applicants to limit Sunday and bank holiday closing hours to 6pm.
Cllr Neil Buttle said: “Imagine being a resident there, you’ve got 12 hours of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, you are just going to want to shoot yourself.
“Living next door to that and it never stopping…
“12 markets to 24 or 36, if there isn’t a noise nuisance, it doesn’t matter how many there are.”
Cllr Peter O’Brien said: “It is a fundamental change and for 24 times a year there will be amplified background music from 11am to 6pm. A fundamental change for residents living cheek by jowl next to this facility.
“The level of the noise is not as much of a concern to me, it is the fact that it is continuous.
“If you have to listen to a low-level of amplified music from 11am in the morning til 6pm in the evening you will go mad, absolutely mad.”
Louise Sneddon, agent for the applicants, said that since the new owners bought the site in 2021 they have worked to revitalise it as a “centre for culture and tourism in the Derbyshire Dales”.
She said: “The long term objective is to enhance the centre’s contribution to the local economy, including through the provision of jobs and its contribution to the local community.”
Miss Sneddon said the changes were aimed at securing the long-term viability of the centre, to bring more income into the local economy and spread visitors throughout the day – and avoid clashes with events at Chatsworth.
Cllr Mark Wakeman said: “The peak village was on the brink, it was in a really bad state, but it has been brought a new life.”
Council leader Garry Purdy commented that it was a “quality site with good management”.
Cllr Sue Burfoot felt the site may find it needs to keep increasing the number of events to remain financially viable, and said the “noise concern is significant”.
Councillors had looked to defer a decision on the scheme until a consultation could be carried out with residents around the site and to assess a noise mitigation plan, but this was rejected.
Cllr Richard FitzHerbert said that after four months of negotiations it was time to make a decision, saying: “If they get things wrong people will complain and they are going to have to address it.
“We have all said today what the Peak Village was like in the past five, six,10 years. It has got a new life now and we as a responsible district council have got to support that.”
Cllr Peter Slack said: “This Peak Village has struggled before it was sold on. We can think of Masson Mills, which has now gone into liquidation and we don’t want to see the same thing happen at the Peak Village.
“We have got to support the local economy and I think this is a good way of supporting the local economy.”
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