1,000 jobs a step closer as first phase of Peak District resort gets green light

How the resort will look

Some 1,000 new jobs have taken a step forward after Chesterfield Borough Council approved the planning application for a revised first phase of the PEAK Gateway Resort on the reclaimed Birchall Estate.

The 300-acre property is located on the eastern boundary of the Peak District National Park in Chesterfield.

PEAK wants to recreate an internationally successful ski resort to bring forward the 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 and 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. It is one of the largest permitted mixed-use leisure schemes in the UK.

PEAK will partner with the education sector 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 be open 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 mobility and skills.

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

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 an economic sector growing at 6% per annum. 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 National Park.

Tarah Gear, director at Milligan, which is 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 has been appointed to take the project forwards.