Many of us use Elvaston Castle Country Park in Derbyshire. Derbyshire County Council are keen to develop it and have put forward new plans to do this. Have a look at what the Friends of Elvaston Castle say about the plans.
The Friends of Elvaston Castle write:
The original Derbyshire County Council hotel and golfing resort scheme, which would have brought about the destruction of the Country Park fell through, (thankfully).
We would be very grateful if you could take the next five minutes or so to read our latest letter to you.
Derbyshire County Council has just announced updates to its ‘Vision and Plan’ for Elvaston Castle Country Park. We know however that individuals and organisations like ours have neither asked for, nor consented to, the development of a new road system which cuts the Estate in half and covers it in concrete, tarmac and constant traffic movements.
Due to these completely negative aspects of the Vision and Plan the Park is once again under threat from the Council’s proposals to build a new two lane road and car parks right across the Estate, a concept neither properly investigated or explained in the original master plan and one which the Friends believe will devastate the Country Park, causing irretrievable damage.
The twin lane road (on a three foot high embankment) will run through untouched woods and park land in order to take traffic right up to the core buildings where it is to be deposited on a massive new car park, with an equally sized overspill car park joining onto it, both of them built alongside the Local Nature Reserve.
The County Council believes that this severance will somehow help it to regenerate the Castle and Country Park by bringing traffic and visitors right up to the Castle and core elements. We believe that it will destroy them completely, ruining the peace and quiet and impairing the enjoyment of the Park experienced by hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.
The Friends of Elvaston have produced a twelve minute video showing where the road is to run (according to proposals published by Derbyshire County Council);
These proposals have been accompanied by plans to relocate the current main car park (Fox Covert) to the newly planned ones, a massive expansion to the caravan park to allow for this, the relocation of the Show Ground and the building of housing units at numerous locations around the Park.
Campaign groups do not believe recent reports that parts of these further proposals are being shelved or postponed and think that it is only a matter of time before they are fully implemented as part of a creeping smoke and mirrors programme of changes which are objected to by thousands of people.
In order to carry out its controversial proposals Derbyshire County Council has formed an organisation it calls the Elvaston Castle Gardens Trust.
This supposedly independent organisation is tasked with carrying out the Council’s road and car park developments which now also contain proposals for a roundabout on the B5010 (only around one hundred yards from the main A50/Raynesway link roundabout), in order to facilitate access/egress to the Park via the new road, which it plans to run through Rookery Wood.
By logging onto the Trust’s website;
And locating the Master Plan link the extent of the road and car park proposals for the Estate can be viewed (esp. pages 10/11, Access & Movement).
The Elvaston Castle Gardens Trust is not currently registered with the Charity Commission but is in fact registered at Companies House as a private company limited by guarantee, with two of its (12) directors sharing any liability incurred by the company in the sum of £1 each.
An organisation which opposes these plans, The Elvaston Castle Action Group produced a thoroughly professional set of Alternative Proposals to the County Council’s which requires no new roads, car parks or house building and which, when costed, were under twelve and a half per cent of the Council’s published figures. The County Council leadership rejected these alternatives without even presenting them to members, or properly discussing them in the Council Chamber, despite the petition against the proposals by 10,500 people which supposedly gained them this right.
Derbyshire County Council is the local Highway Authority so it does not require planning permission from South Derbyshire District Council to go ahead with the project. It can, in effect, grant itself any permission required in order to build the road through the public park as it is (in legal terms) both the Highways Authority and the owner.
The Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) produced an excellent work entitled, ‘The Impact of Road Projects in England (Transport for Quality of Life), dated March, 2017, in which the almost total destruction of the great crested newt population at Elvaston Castle (p26, bullet point two) and the visual intrusion for the Castle and Historic Park (p27, 3.3 Heritage Impacts: evidence from POPE) which a previous road incursion, the A6 Alvaston Improvement (A50 link) caused, is recorded.
The new road and car proposals are opposed by;
10,500 visitors, who signed a petition against the new road and car parks. This was presented to the County Council which discounted it out of hand.
The Elvaston Communities Group.
The Elvaston Castle Action Group
Elvaston Parish Council
The Friends of Elvaston Castle.
The Gardens Trust (the national charity formerly known as The Garden History Society).
Hundreds of people who became aware of the plans for the first time at the recent Woodlands Festival at the Park and were disgusted by them.
There are still thousands of members of the community who know nothing of these plans. Elvaston Castle is Grade 11* listed and the Country Park and Gardens are also Grade 11* listed.
We are now in a situation whereby the Country Park could be permanently damaged beyond repair and its value as a retreat for the community and as a wildlife sanctuary seriously diminished if we do not unite to prevent this national treasure from being turned into an extension of the current road system. Its importance as an unspoilt green space is now even greater in view of the massive house construction schemes already underway across the nearby Snelsmoor Lane and Boulton Moor and the planned 450 hectare garden village close to Sinfin and Chellaston which are nearby.
Could Bramcote residents add their voices to the growing number of groups and individuals opposing the destructive plans of Derbyshire County Council at Elvaston Castle Country Park? We are attempting to broaden the strength of opposition to them through the growing list of individuals and organisations who do not want the Park ruined forever.
Graham Mansey, Chairman, for and on behalf of The Friends of Elvaston Castle