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We're set to consider revised master plan for Elvaston Castle and Country Park

Published: 13 December 2018

We’re set to consider a revised Master Plan to restore and regenerate Elvaston Castle and County Park.

Our Cabinet will decide whether to give the revised plan the go-ahead at a meeting at County Hall on Thursday 20 December.

It follows a six-week consultation where residents gave their views on proposals intended to ensure a sustainable future for the estate, attract more visitors, increase income to help with the high running costs and protect the heritage of the site.

The four key proposed changes to the Master Plan are:

  • To keep the showground in its current location and investigate the potential for improving drainage in the area
  • To build a new access road from a point on Shardlow Road to run across farmland and a small area of woodland to the proposed new car park. The road would avoid South Avenue and would be sensitively designed to be in keeping with the surroundings. Originally the new vehicular access to the car park was proposed to run from either the roundabout on the A6 or the South Avenue Gates on Shardlow Road
  • To carry out more drainage work in the area of the proposed new car park
  • To limit the proposed use of Home Farm to development for leisure, wellbeing, environmental and tourism activities. Previously, this site was identified for small scale ‘enabling development’ – development such as housing which would generate funding from the sale of the leasehold on the land to help fund repairs to the castle and estate. The revised plan also proposes usage for other enabling development sites such as the Gas House and Kennels Cottages as holiday lets.

Other proposed changes to the plan include:

  • More information about the proposed uses of the historic core area, for example the possibility of re-creating the Blacksmith’s Forge and introducing a woodcraft business to the saw-bench area
  • Introducing plant sales, farmers markets, a second catering outlet and an indoor family leisure facility around the old museum buildings area
  • More information about access for disabled visitors and promotion of outdoor events and activities such as cycling and orienteering.

 Our Council Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure Councillor Simon Spencer, said:

“We listened to all the comments we received – including from those who took part in our public consultation and those who signed the petition from Elvaston Castle Action Group – and all views have been taken into account when revising the Master Plan.

“Elvaston is a nationally important asset but we need to reduce the financial burden on council taxpayers.

“It’s clear that we need a long-term sustainable solution to revive and restore the site and we can’t continue without a pragmatic approach to tackle the ongoing issues that have been a problem for many years.

“This is a heritage and tourism-led regeneration which will benefit the whole county and it’s important we all work in partnership to bring Elvaston back to its former glory.”

Elvaston Castle and County Park – which was the first country park to open in the UK – attracts more than 350,000 visitors every year.

Our long-term plan is to hand the day-to-day running of the estate to the Elvaston Castle and Gardens Trust as a single management body.

Dr Peter Robinson, Chair of the Elvaston Castle and Gardens Trust, said:

"As the independent charity responsible for the future management of the estate, we have supported Derbyshire County Council to develop a plan which reflects the public consultation, but which also unlocks the potential for Elvaston to be sustainable for future generations.

"This means some difficult compromises are inevitable, but the revised plan will provide improved public access, new opportunities to celebrate the estate's rich heritage and the opportunity to address both the current backlog of repairs and to invest in the future restoration and subsequent conservation of this nationally significant estate."

Find out more about Elvaston Castle and Country Park.