SO A firm that has overseen some of Ashbourne’s biggest ever developments has written an open letter publicly admitting it has large sum of money burning a hole in its pockets.
Cedar House Investments agreed, when consent was given to build Ashbourne’s retail park on land formerly occupied by the Nestle factory, that it would treat the community to a few new facilities to sweeten the deal it was making with our planners.
It’s a standard legal process that falls under the infamous ‘section 106’ of the Town and Country Planning Act and, among a few of the developer’s obligations at the time, was the construction of a footpath to ensure people could walk safely to the new commercial outlets.
To build this path to what Derbyshire County Council refers to as an ‘adoptable standard’ - meaning good enough so they’re happy to take on its maintenance - it will have to be made of tarmac and larger bridges will have to be constructed where the path crosses the River Henmore.
Cedar House Investments has not publicly revealed how much money it has set aside for this project but we’re assured, in the letter on page eight, that it’s been allocated as part of its budget and that they have no intention to shy away from a responsibility.
Rather the firm wants to know whether building the path is what people really want. It’s an unusual step to make but it’s a company that knows Ashbourne and knows what makes it tick.
A big question now, is, if the people of Ashbourne do indeed choose not to have a footpath built, if the company’s hunch that people would rather the money be spent elsewhere, will the authorities drop their on-going enforcement action and allow the public to have their way?
More to the point, how will we decide where the money will be spent?
It’s over to you now to have your say.