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PEAK Gateway Resort, a clean growth infrastructure for the regional visitor economy, receives reserved matters planning approval

March 13, 2024

Chesterfield Borough Council has approved the reserved matters planning application for a revised first phase of the PEAK Gateway Resort on the reclaimed Birchall Estate.  The 300-acre property is locatedon the eastern boundary of the Peak District National Park in Chesterfield,Derbyshire.


PEAK proposes to bring the scope and services of internationally successful ski resorts to createthe UK's equivalent for biking, hiking and other adventure sports as well as for nature, culture and heritage experiences.


PEAK will have its own micro grid for energy, waste and water. PEAK will generate and consume its own energy and operate a zero-carbon tourism dedicated mobility service.


Planning permission includes extensive overnight and holiday accommodation supported by hospitality, leisure, wellness, a multi-disciplinary bike park and experiential retail. As such, it is one of the largest permitted mixed-use leisure schemes in the UK. Five of the six largest cities in England are within 75 miles, providing a visitor catchment of over 20 million people. 


Locally, PEAK has the potential to create over 1,000 new jobs. It will partner with the educationsector to deliver a Green Skills Academy in support of both PEAK and Chesterfield’s commitment to training and upskilling across a broad range of key sectors, but especially for construction and tourism.


PEAK will beopen to day, as well as stay visitors. Local residents and businesses will be able to take advantage of incentives and membership opportunities.


Councillor Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council,said: “PEAK Resort offers a fantastic opportunity to bring more visitors into Chesterfield, grow our local economy and create a range of new jobs.


“It will be an incredible asset for our borough and will be a national leader in respect of clean energy, zero carbon mobilityand skills.  


“I look forward to seeing this development take shape over the next few years.”


The current landowner has, over many years, fully reclaimed the 300-acre Birchall estate from opencast. The property now provides the perfect natural setting for the consented development. Nature and outdoor experiences are at the heart of the PEAK offer and BNG (Biodiversity Net Gain) resulting from the development will all be achieved on the property.  


Birchall and PEAK hope to be an exemplar of the reclamation of land from the industries of the past into enterprises of the future. 


Rupert Carr, a director of Birchall and Peak Gateway Properties, said at the Planning Committee Meeting: “PEAK is the opportunity to deliver a clean growth infrastructure for the regional visitor economy, an opportunity for Chesterfield and indeed the region to build a significant presence in a growing economic sector. PEAK is finally of its time.”


PEAK Resort will also support the UK's first hydrogen and EV tourist mobility service linking visitors to Chesterfield's medieval market town centre, its national rail station and surrounding attractions as well as to the trails and natural wonders of the National Park. 


Tarah Gear, director at Milligan who are part of Peak Gateway Properties said; “PEAK will become a blueprint for sustainable tourism, adding value to Chesterfield’s economy and community through job creation and investment in skills and regional connectivity.


“Milligan are proud to have been part of the team bringing the project forward to a point of market readiness. PEAK as proposed has been achieved through true partnership, a collaboration between local and regional stakeholders as well as national and international commercial operators. PEAK now has the opportunity to be a trailblazer and set new standards for the future of leisure and tourism.”


Colliers’ National Capital Markets team have been appointed to take the project forwards.