Duke defends hotel rooms proposal

Plans to turn three cottages into hotel rooms on the Chatsworth Estate
Plans to turn three cottages into hotel rooms on the Chatsworth Estate Photo: ITV Central

The Duke of Devonshire has promised upset villagers he will not "Disneyfy" their Derbyshire village after getting the green light to turn three cottages into hotel rooms.

The small stone-built Dove Cottages in the centre of Beeley, on the Chatsworth estate, will now be turned into six letting bedrooms after an application was approved by planners at the Peak District National Park Authority.

But people in the picturesque village have become embroiled in a row with the Duke, claiming the conversion may change or even kill the community.

Speaking at Chatsworth, the Duke of Devonshire said it was "perfectly fair" that people who were upset about the plans had voiced their concerns.

"We have a very, very good record indeed of affordable housing across the estate - not just in Beeley but in the other villages, and we're very proud of that.

"We'll talk to the people who are upset and try and reassure them we are not going to Disneyfy the place, we're just going to make it nice, make it balanced."

– Duke of Devonshire

The cottages are owned by Chatsworth and their position opposite the village's popular Devonshire Arms hotel makes them well-placed for visitors.

One woman in Beeley said locals understood tourism was part of life and a pull for income for the village, but many people were concerned the village would lose its intimacy and closeness.

The 56-year-old, who did not want to give her name, said: "It's not that we're against people coming here, that's great for business and makes us all very proud, but we don't want to lose our homes and village to tourism."