And they’re off… historic Derby stables regeneration given go-ahead

Plans to regenerate Darley Park’s historic stables and bakehouse have been given the green light by Derby City Council’s planning control committee.

Duffield developer Darley Abbey Stables Sanctuary LLP is intending to restore the derelict Grade II listed buildings to create unique new work spaces for small and medium sized businesses in Derby.

The council’s planning control committee voted unanimously to approve the £850k plans last night (Thursday, September 26) having previously already approved the award of a £170k regeneration grant towards the project.

Parts of Darley Abbey Stables and the adjacent Bakehouse date back to the early 18th Century and form part of the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site.

Work on site is expected to begin in November, with completion scheduled for early May 2014. The development is set to generate in the region of 30 jobs.

Dr Tanya Spilsbury, of Darley Abbey Stables Sanctuary, said: “I’m obviously delighted that the council has shown its support for this wonderful project.

“The stables and associated buildings are an incredibly important historical asset for the city, and it’s been quite sad to see them in such a state of disrepair.

“But now we have a chance to breathe new life into them as well as providing some much-needed, beautiful and unique commercial and office space on the edge of Derby’s most picturesque park.”

During the consultation process, a concern was raised over the impact of the planned car parking spaces for the new businesses and the removal of some trees to accommodate them. The developer is working closely with the council to ensure minimum impact from the additional vehicle movements in Darley Abbey village, and has offered to work with the council’s parks department to plant new trees to replace the ones removed.

Dr Spilsbury said: “We do recognise and have responded to the concerns. We are confident that the impact of any extra traffic will be contained by our proposed measures and we will replace any trees.”

Darley Abbey Stables Sanctuary is to create eight individual work spaces over 600 square metres within the buildings, which surround a central courtyard at the northern edge of Darley Park behind the existing Darley Park Terrace Cafe.

The largest unit will be transformed to create a pilates and yoga studio over two floors with an associated treatment and physiotherapy room. There is already an interested party involved in negotiations with the developer for this unit.

Some of the other units have also been taken, and expressions of interest for the remaining workspaces are being sought through Derby commercial property agent Innes England.

Central to the character of the new Darley Abbey Stables will be the retention of historic features including the horse stalls and associated fixtures and fittings, which represent particularly fine examples of equine architecture. Rare lime ash floors, lath and plaster ceilings and some roof timbers must also be preserved due to their historical interest.

Heating pipes and a boiler room serving a stable block that was subsequently converted into a garage will also remain. They were apparently installed to warm a Bentley car owned by the Evans family, who owned the former Darley Hall to which these outbuildings belonged. The hall, outbuildings and Darley Park have been under local authority ownership since 1931, though Darley Hall itself was demolished in 1962.

Dr Spilsbury added: “I’m passionate about finding new uses for historic buildings. It will be fabulous to see jobs being created and businesses thriving in a group of buildings that have been derelict for some time. They will be really interesting buildings to run a business from, so we’re hoping to attract businesses that like to be a little bit different from the rest.”

The new Darley Abbey Stables development will be accessed through Darley Abbey village, which sits near to the junction of the A38 and A6, about two miles north of Derby city centre and close to public transport routes.

The architect on the project is Lichfield-based Brownhill Hayward Brown, and the developer has commissioned local Darley Abbey-based consultancy Armsons as quantity surveyor.

As part of the regeneration award, Derby City Council has handed over the buildings to the developer on a long lease. A portion of the repair costs will be supported by the city’s Regeneration Fund, which is also aiding the rejuvenation of the nearby Darley Abbey Mills site.