In an area of diverse natural beauty, 494 new homes will be built alongside a stunning new country park. Each village boasts its own distinctive character offering a variety of rural-style homes in the form of 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom woodland lodges, courtyard cottages and spa villas. Matlock Spa will embrace the ‘Healthy Town’ model, promoting fitness in addition to a firm commitment to working with and protecting the local ecology and famous heritage of the Derbyshire Dales.
Matlock Spa encourages healthy living by design, promoting the use of a network of cycle lanes and footpaths, flowing naturally with the local terrain. There will be an active landscape, providing residents with a wealth of outdoor pursuits from bracing country walks to cycling, fishing and play areas. Homes will be insulated to the highest standards. All appliances will be energy efficiency and recycled materials will be used extensively.
The first of the villages as you approach from the town centre is the most urban in aspect. At the entrance of Matlock Spa, to the west are three spa villas inching up the hill. To the east, with a striking backdrop of a cliff looming in the distance, a four storey mill-style building of loft apartments; providing an evocative reminder of the industrial heritage of Cawdor Quarry.
The Spa Crescents follow the contours of the upper plateau of the old quarry and offer sweeping views of Matlock and up the Derwent Valley. At the entrance to Crescent Road, opposite the townhouses and villas, there are views opening up to the country park which links the Gateway to the Spa Village and floodplain below.
Wandering beyond the Crescents there is a site of post-industrial woodland which will be replanted and reenergized with indigenous trees and plant life. Clusters of woodland lodges will be settled around a series of quiet communal driveways interspersed between the new trees. These lodges will be constructed using materials such as deep, dark coloured rustic masonry which will make the buildings recede seamlessly into the woodland setting.
The second main route through Matlock Spa sweeps down to a lower plateau. Here are several two-storey, low-energy, business units, cut into the slope so they are partially hidden, and fronting onto the historic platforms of the Peak District Railway. Beyond, the road broadens out to join the pedestrian and cycle ‘greenway’ along the bank above the River Derwent, forming a generous esplanade with space for informal play and events.
The esplanade converges with the route to the Village Spa. Here a village green creates a focal point with space for a bowling lawn and a double sided community pavilion, looking over the Derwent Valley Heritage Trail. A restored brick tower, flanked by renovated hopper structures, provides an evocative focal point and is bordered by tasteful apartment buildings and terraces of cottages. To the west a smattering of villas and crofts are woven into the slopes of open parkland.
Surrounded by stunning countryside, historic houses and castles, and delicious places to eat, Matlock Spa is extremely well connected to England’s extensive rail and road network, adding a broad range of lifestyle option to its beautiful natural surroundings.
A short drive away from the M1, motorists and rail users can get to London in less than three hours, Manchester in an hour and a half, or Derby in less than 40 minutes.
Matlock Spa’s villages, linked by the new country park, will be built to fit the natural topography of the local surroundings. Situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty, with ancient gorges, dales and moors, cliff faces, wild woodland, lakes and open plains, Matlock Spa will take great care in blending its architecture with this stunning backdrop. An existing site of special scientific interest will be enhanced with significant new areas of habitat, and opened up to the community to encourage environmental education and healthy living.
Spa towns have historically drawn visitors for their health benefits and Matlock Spa will continue this tradition by making well-being its focus. All roads and pathways are designed to gently encourage residents and visitors to leave their vehicles and interact sensitively with the countryside by going on walks, cycle rides, as well as fishing and the potential for climbing trips for the more adventurous. Out of sight, out of mind - parking areas will be deliberately and discreetly hidden from view. Matlock town centre is less than ten minutes’ walk away and will be well connected by path and cycleway.
Many people visit the Matlock area for a day out. Soon Matlock Spa will offer more than a day trip; it will be a place to settle, for young and old alike. The landscape of Cawdor Quarry provides the scenery for a tranquil 600 homes across several villages. The design will be spacious and natural, harmonised with the local ecology, not ‑fighting against it. Quality will be reflected in the extensive use of stone and slate, in keeping with the local area's proud heritage.
The new villages will not just consist of homes but a sequence of flexible business units with grass roofs and solar panels to promote a thriving, living rural economy. There is space at the gateway for a local convenience store, as well as a local cafe which is a stopping point on the Derwent Valley Heritage Trail and a place to meet.