Work has stopped on a huge property scheme at a disused quarry after the main contractor went bust.
Work on the first phase of the 500 home Cawdor Quarry scheme at Matlock, Derbyshire, got underway in August 2019 – with an overall completion date of 2032.
But the site was left in limbo after Wildgoose Construction, the Derbyshire company working on the site, went into administration this month.
Councillors in the area hope site owner Groveholt Ltd can find a new firm to finish the project and prevent the development becoming an “eyesore”.
Coun Colin Swindell, whose Derbyshire Dales District Council ward covers part of the quarry site, said: “I hope Groveholt finds someone and gets it all moving and things carry on.
“I’ve never been against the building on the quarry, it was always against the building at the end towards Snitterton Field, so I am not going to sit here and yell that I am delighted that it is not going ahead.
“Some people would be like ‘wahey, great, that puts an end to it ‘, not at all, the development of the brownfield was a great thing and takes the pressure off finding other sites in the Local Plan which would involve more development on green fields.
“We knew it (the quarry) was an ideal place for development.
“I am hopeful that the rest of it will carry on and go ahead and Groveholt will find someone, but obviously it is sad news for Wildgoose and their employees.
“I wouldn’t like to see it (the development) stop and for it to be an eyesore on the landscape now with a half-built development.
“If it means that the greenfield won’t get built on then that would be a bonus, but I wouldn’t like to see the rest of it come to a halt now that work has begun, because then you have got a development that looks a bit of a mess.”
A spokesperson for the district council said: “Although the loss of a developer on a key site such as Cawdor Quarry is regrettable the district council will continue to work with the landowners to ensure that the development of the site is not unduly affected by these unfortunate circumstances.”
A spokesperson for Interpath Advisory, the appointed administrators for Wildgoose Construction, said: “I can confirm that work at Cawdor Quarry did cease prior to the appointment of the joint administrators, with the client being notified in advance to give them appropriate notice to source alternative contractors to continue the project.
“Wildgoose Construction will be wound-down by the joint administrators.”
In late July, Wildgoose had been awarded a further £4.5 million contract for the next phase of the Cawdor Quarry development, after successful completion of the first £11 million phase.
During the 2018 approval of the scheme after 20 years of planning, the development was hailed as a scheme for the “greater good of Matlock” and a “momentous event”.
However, concerns were raised about the lack of affordable housing, omitted due to the cost of developing the site.
The Local Democracy Reporting Service has attempted to contact Groveholt Ltd for comment.
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