It seems to work too. Paul Watson, 76, a retired international development consultant, and his wife Ruth, 72, moved into a two-bedroom apartment last October. “It was the apartment rather than the location that initially appealed, but we like the concept of Matlock Spa based on activity, health and wellness,” says Paul. “We love to walk and our new home is a short distance from the Limestone Way which runs from Matlock to Castleton.”
The layout is in direct contrast to 1960s and 1970s cul-de-sacs that were designed for cars to have a turning radius. Matlock is instead influenced by the designs of early Georgian aristocratic developers. “The original estates in central London created communal gardens and crescents that allow residents to come together – that’s what we’re trying to bring here,” says Rifkind.
Building a new Scottish community
When completed – in five or six decades – Tornagrain near Inverness will look like a traditional Scottish market town, with 5,000 houses, three primary schools, a secondary school, shops, employment spaces, parks and more services spread over 620 acres.
The team behind the project, led by John Stuart, 21st Earl of Moray, began by studying different examples of new and old towns to help shed light on the evolution of Tornagrain. “The most successful examples had many characteristics in common,” says development manager Andrew Howard. “They were compactly built, had a wide variety of housing sizes and types and a diverse community, and had jobs and services and streets designed for people, not cars.” Tornagrain’s plan is to allow all properties to have off-street parking tucked away behind houses and apartments; charging stations for electric vehicles are being rolled out.