A BUS station cafe will close on Saturday — despite plans to redevelop the site being recommended for refusal.
Derbyshire Dales District Council planning officers have recommended proposals to double the size of the Sainsbury’s supermarket and turn the bus station off King Edward Street into an extra car park, be refused by the southern area planning committee, which met last night.
A raft of applications for Sainsbury’s to expand onto land currently owned by Trent Barton, for the bus operator to build a new depot in Carnation Way and for applications for national chains at Waterside Park, were all to be debated after the News Telegraph went to press yesterday.
Busy Bees cafe owner Richard Glover, will close the doors of his premises at the weekend, as he was given notice by Trent Barton just weeks ago.
He said: “I think they assumed they were going to get permission, but I don’t think they expected the level of opposition that they’ve had.
“It’s gut-wrenching really, because I know the cafe is going to be left empty.
Empty isn’t as bad as seeing it as rubble, though — the day they knock it down is the day it will really hurt.
“Stupidly, it still feels like it could be something, even if it’s empty.
“I think there will be some amended plans put in, it does feel like the big boys stamping on the small people again and at the end of the day I think they will get their own way.” Ashbourne Community Transport is also facing eviction, with its 12-month notice period ending in November.
Chairman of the organisation, Pat Laughlin, said: “As a result of the current application and anything that follows thereafter, we have been given notice on the Kind Edward Street premises.
Nobody has come back to say that will change. Our operational base will no longer be available once the notice period ends.
“We should be compensated as a charity for that unexpected cost and associated problems with our service.
“We are very grateful to Trent Barton for considering us in the application at Carnation Way. But they are offering a site where we cannot have an office or any ancillary space for storage.
“It’s a parking place, not an operational base.” Ashbourne Community Transport is now looking for alternative premises, although working from a split site, with the accompanying investment required for telecommunications, is a real concern for the charity. Mrs Laughlin added: “Trying to find something that we can work with and is affordable has proved quite difficult.
“We have worked with Trent Barton for many years and we were hopeful that would continue, but there’s a lack of certainty about what they can offer.” The results of last night’s planning meeting will be available on the News Telegraph website from today.