News and Events
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As you are aware BCA are members of the Buxton Visitor Economy Strategy Board. Before Dai Larner left, he asked this Board to act as the Steering Group for the two High Street Regeneration Grants that HPBC have submitted for Buxton. Council Officers appointed consultants to draw up a proposed scheme for the Future High Street Fund bid. Sadly, we do not feel that we have been given the chance to adequately fulfil this steering role. We are very aware of the narrow constraints of the grant scheme, including the short time scale.
As you know this scheme has been out to public consultation over the last couple of weeks, and some BCA members attended a meeting last Wednesday and went through a number of concerns that BCA had with the scheme along with proposed changes to the scheme. (See link below)
We along with other groups in the town are very keen to see improvements to this crucial part of the town but have serious concerns about the scheme being promoted by the consultants. Opportunities such as this grant do not arise often and it is crucial that we get this submission right for the town.
BCA along with other organisations have managed to mobilise in a very short period of time and have held special meetings of our memberships to consider our responses to the scheme. As a result, each of us has submitted detailed responses and proposals to the council.
BCA's response can be found by clicking on the link below, along with a press release that we sent to the Advertiser last week.
Many thanks to all those members who attended the meeting and or sent in responses to the council. We will update the website with further news in due course.
BCA Response to Proposed Future High Street Application
High Peak Borough Council Future High Street Fund Application
Buxton Civic Association (BCA) is a registered charity established to preserve Buxton’s natural and formal landscape. The Association has a large active membership from the local community. BCA is commenting on the planning application for outline planning permission for the demolition of existing buildings and construction of new dwellings on the former market place – High Peak Town Yard, Market Street.
BCA supports the aim of redeveloping a brownfield site located in the centre of Buxton and the potential positive impact it could bring to local businesses through the provision of more local central dwellings enabling residents to walk to local facilities and businesses and help reduce car usage and climate change impacts.
BCA notes the objections primarily relating to the significant loss of car parking spaces and the negative impact this could have on local businesses, there is also objection to the proposed demolition of the existing properties and suitability of the planned development.
It is noted that there is a need to redevelop this part of town but with something that can be supported by local businesses and residents.
BCA has the following comments on the proposal:
1. The outline planning application significantly reduces the number of parking spaces available to residents and visitors from around 90 spaces to 50 – a 55% reduction. This is at a time when Buxton is expanding with a number of housing developments currently underway. Without significant improvements in sustainable public transport a large reduction in the number of spaces has the potential to negatively impact local businesses and so could lead to further business closures which the town can ill afford to lose. There is a need for the development to include for considerably more parking spaces than being proposed and the provision of electric car charging points.
2. The proposal to demolish the existing buildings is not accompanied by any supporting evidence to clearly demonstrate there is a structural need for this rather than refurbishment to high environmental standards. Any refurbishment would need to achieve high standards of energy efficiency. These buildings add to the character of Market St and are distinctive. They appear to be sound and may merit renovation and modernisation for residential purposes. However there is a need for an evaluation and structural survey to be undertaken to assess whether they can be redeveloped to high environmental standards before planning approval can be granted for demolition for some or all of these properties.
3. The building of new residential property, especially flats and apartments in the centre of Buxton could bring potential benefits to the area, however it is important they fit in with the surrounding central location and are built to achieve very high standards of energy efficiency to minimise climate impacts. There are some good redevelopments in the centre of Buxton that blend in notably the development of the former Otter Controls site nearby. The outline plans do not show that this development blends in and provides the type of suitable accommodation such as flats and town houses that are needed. There is a need to reconsider the plans for this site to ensure they fit in with the area, achieve high environmental standards (e.g. zero carbon homes), benefit wildlife (e.g. provision of bird boxes for swifts etc.) and provide the type of dwellings needed.
4. The archaeology report indicates the need for an investigation to be undertaken. This should be carried out prior to any outline planning being granted.
Planning Application - HPK 2019/0088 White Knowle Road
Buxton Civic Association (BCA) is a registered charity established to preserve Buxton’s natural and formal landscape. The Association has a large active membership from the local community. BCA is commenting on the planning application for outline planning permission for land adjacent to White Knowle Road HPK 2019/0088.
BCA notes that the site has a long history of planning applications and outline applications being made, all of which have been refused. The most recent application, which was refused by HPBC, was appealed. The appeal was refused by the Planning Inspector who upheld the decision by HPBC to refuse the planning application.
Applications for the site have been made in the following years:
1982, 1983, 1990, 1993, 2007, 2014 & 2015.
HPBC refused the most recent planning application (HPK 2015/0260) dated 29/6/2015 for the following reasons:
1. The development proposed would be detrimental to the character and appearance of London Road and the visual qualities of the adjoining open countryside to the detriment of the visual characteristics of the wider landscape and contrary to Policies OC1 and GD4 of the High Peak Saved Local Plan 2008; Policy EQ5 of the High Peak Local Plan (Submission Version) 2014; and Para 17 and Section 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework.
2. The layout and form of the development proposed, including plot ratios and footprint of the dwellings is out of character with the neighbouring properties and does not contribute to local distinctiveness. This results in an incongruous form of development which will be detrimental to the visual qualities of the locality and views from the wider countryside to the south and west. The development is thus contrary to Policies OC4, GD4 and H11 of the High Peak Saved Local Plan 2008 and Policies EQ2 and EQ5 of the High Peak Local Plan (Submission Version) 2014 as well as Section 7 of the National Planning Policy Framework.
The Planning Inspector dismissed the appeal for the application made in 2015 (HPK 2015/0260). In summary the Planning Inspector stated that the proposed development harmed the street scene of London Road and the character and appearance of the countryside significantly outweighing any benefits of the scheme.
BCA objects to this application taking into account the decision of HPBC in relation to the previous refusal and the decision of the Planning Inspector for the following reasons:
1. The outline planning application harms the street scene of London Road. It also significantly damages the character and appearance of the countryside. This outweighs any potential benefits the scheme may make.
2. The proposal does not comply with the policies of the High Peak Local Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework as stated in the refusal/determination by HPBC and Planning Inspector on the previous application.
3. A number of residents on White Knowle Road object to this application and have submitted their detailed objections. It is noted that the proposed development is fundamentally at odds with the existing character of the area. The outline proposal relates poorly to the distinctive residences along White Knowle Road and does not conform to the Local Plan which HPBC has adopted.
Background to Planning Application
Buxton Civic Association (BCA) is a registered charity established to preserve Buxton’s natural and formal landscape. The Association has a large active membership from the local community.
BCA is commenting on the planning application for the installation of a water pipeline from Rockhead Spring to the Nestle Plant, Buxton, HPK 2019/0097. It is understood that a trench 600mm wide and 1200mm deep will be excavated to install two 65mm stainless steel pipes and two 150mm ducts for power and data lines.
BCA notes that there is a current licence in place for water abstraction from Rockhead Spring. The licence, which is valid until 2030, allows for up to 175,000 m3 per year to be abstracted in accordance with the requirements of the abstraction license issued by the Environment Agency.
Bowland Ecology Ltd has undertaken an arboriculture and ecological appraisal, along the line of the route from the spring to the plant. This has involved an evaluation and assessment of the route identifying potential areas of impact and mitigation measures to be adopted. At this stage it is not known whether the assessment meets the requirements of Natural England.
The majority of the route follows existing paths/tracks, verges and semi-improved grassland. However the pipeline route passes through 125m section of the Peak Dales SAC following the route of a footpath that may also be an old vehicular route with a field gate. The woodland, Pigtor Wood, is a designated SSSI and forms part of the SAC. It is noted that a section also passes through a small section of Cunning Dale South LWS and two HPIs.
BCA has visited the site, reviewed the geology of the proposed route (this summary report can be provided on request) and considered some potential aspects relating the pipeline.
BCA has the following comments to make:
1. None of the documents supporting the planning application state whether any alternative, less environmentally sensitive routes have been considered for the pipeline;
2. Natural England and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust are both consultees to the planning application. BCA will rely on the statutory consultees to comment on the ecological aspects of the proposed route and whether planning permission should be granted and any mitigation measures to be adopted;
3. Method Statement – a detailed method statement for any ecologically sensitive areas and for protecting small mammals from becoming trapped in the trench should be prepared prior to any works commencing;
4. Japanese Knotweed/invasive species – to minimise any potential issues arising from the presence of such species it would be appropriate for the landowner or contractor to identify, treat and destroy prior to works commencing to minimise the potential for spread following construction works;
5. A qualified ecologist and wildlife expert (e.g. badgers) should be present on site during any works being undertaken in areas designated as being environmentally sensitive to oversee and ensure any ecological/wildlife impacts are minimised;
6. No excess excavation materials from trenching should be disposed of on site in any designated sensitive areas and in accordance with the requirements of Natural England;
7. Consideration should be given to establish depth to bedrock and whether it will be possible to construct a trench along the line of the path in Pigtor Wood and other areas given the shallow soils with bedrock. Where the pipeline installation occurs in areas of no exposure, it would be helpful to sample the rock (including orientation data) at intervals to confirm the geological mapping of the area. Samples might be sent to the British Geological Survey;
8. At the top of Ashwood Dale, the line of the pipeline follows a path to the A6. On the east side of the path there are outcrops of the Woo Dale Limestone and at the lower part of the path the Woo Dale Dolomite. One outcrop shows a clear contact between massive bedded (dolomitic?) limestone and a finely bedded calcilutite, typical of the Woo Dale Limestone Formation. This contact and its structural information should be preserved.
Proposed route of pipeline near Pigtor woods
Report and Update from BCA's Planning Committee September 2018
Click on the link below for the latest report and update from BCA's planning committee. Excellent work from Andy Banks (Chair), Alyson Phillips, John Anfield, and Derek Bodey
Derbyshire County Council are holding a drop in session at Kent Banks Library on Monday 6th February 2017 from 2pm until 6.30pm. There is a link to the poster below.
Ashwood Dale Quarry have applied for an extention (See map below) and further details can be found on the link below.
Details of the proposed extension to Ashwood Dale
BCA members discuss the old Buxton Mineral Water site planning application on Monday 9th February 2015