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Buxton spa plan picks up cash but receives fresh 'Bath warning'

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Councillors in Buxton have warned they do not want another Bath Spa on their hands despite approving a £1 million grant towards the transformation of the town's Georgian Crescent buildings.

Earlier this week High Peak Borough Council agreed to help fund a £23 million project to convert the famous Grade I-listed landmark into an 87-bedroom hotel spa.

However, councillor Caitlin Bisknell has advised caution over the plans - drawn up by London-based practice DA Architecture and Manchester's Edmund Kirby.

The Labour council member said she was determined to avoid a repeat of the financial catastrophe surrounding Grimshaw's yet-to-be-opened Bath Spa scheme.

Speaking at a meeting of the full council, Bisknell said: 'It is a big project, but also a big risk for the borough. I wouldn't want it to be another Bath - we absolutely want to avoid that.'

The thermal spa project, which will feature hot running spa water in the hotel rooms, has already received full listed building and planning consent.

The decision in April was a major milestone for developers Trevor Osborne Property Group and CP Holdings and ended nearly 10 years of uncertainty about the Crescent, which is currently empty.

Yet the future of the scheme still depends on receiving Heritage Lottery funding and the developers said there remains 'a lot to do' before work can begin on site - it is hoped before the end of the year.

by Richard Waite

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