News and Events

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Our Spring Newsletter is now available online by clicking on the link below. Members of BCA will be receiving their printed copies shortly.

The theme for the next Newsletter is "The Best of Buxton" and we aim to publish it in early July.

If you want to contribute to it then please get in touch with Alyson Phillips at

We hope you enjoy our Spring edition.

Events Post

The BCA Annual events listing covers a range of activities including family friendly events, socials, talks, presentations, performances, music and art installations. Join to gain full membership access to all BCA events

Please note that all events start at 7.30pm and are held at Poole's Cavern Visitor Centre, unless stated otherwise.

En Plein Air – Come Rain or Shine

Lyn Noble and Kathyrn Howson report on a very successful first En Plein Air competition

They knew that it would happen come rain or shine, and it did. Add to that a blustery wind and the stage was set for a challenging art competition in the “plein air” (remember your school French?).

On 28th September artists from as far afield as Plymouth and Whaley Bridge descended on the Pump Room to sign in for a five hour battle with the elements and produce a work of art that would be exhibited and judged in the Old Clubhouse at the end of the day.

More than 40 artists braved the elements and most people found a moderately sheltered location; two brave attempts to paint in the open were sadly washed away by the rain but the artists started again under cover. Despite, or perhaps because of the weather, everyone rose to the challenge and clearly enjoyed the day.

The judging panel was led by The Buxton Spa Prize 2019 winner, Simon Roderick. Also judging were Sarah Males, director of Buxton Civic Association and Kate Dickson, member of BCA and director of Creative Heritage (a Buxton Spa Prize sponsor). The Bingham Trust was represented by trustee Christine McMullan. Jonathan Dawson, Managing Director of Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust & Thermal Spa also joined the panel.

The prize winners were chosen as Kieran Ingram – First Prize, winning £500, David Lowther – Second Prize and Conan McPhee – Third Prize.

The event was sponsored by Buxton Civic Association, The Bingham Trust, Buxton Crescent Thermal
Spa and The Buxton Spa Company.

Organisers Neil Scowcroft and Kathryn Howson of The Buxton Spa Prize Team, are delighted with the success of the very first Come Rain or Shine! event and are already planning for next year . . .

Lyn Noble took his camera out and about to photograph some of the artists at work

Members Event Thursday 19th September

Dr Catherine Parker Heath on Discovering Heritage in the South West Peak

Discovering Heritage in the South West Peak: How the Barns and Buildings and Small Heritage Adoption Projects are adding to our knowledge of the past in this part of the Peak District.

Thursday 19th September at 7.30 pm, Poole's Cavern Visitor Centre, free to Members.

BCA to sponsor En Plein Air Competition

Buxton Spa Prize have organised an 'en plein air' competition for artists of all ages using any medium apart from photography.

Buxton Civic Association are sponsoring the first prize of £500.


To Register come along to The Pump Room, Buxton Crescent to register on Saturday 28th September 2019 between 9.30am and 11.30am.

Then go and create your work of art by anywhere in and around the town.

Return with your finished piece to the Old Clubhouse by 3pm.

Exhibition Preview & Prize Giving from 5pm.

Artists are invited to exhibit and sell their work the next day.

1 Day Exhibition - Sunday 29th September 2019 - Noon to 6pm.


Enter the competition and produce a work of art, see details above

Volunteer to help out on the day with registration and helping with the exhibition, contact Simon Fussell at

Doing their Bit for Nature

Anna 13 and Izzy 10 raise £50 to help Friends of the Earth Save the Bees Campaign selling delicious homemade cup cakes at Poole's Cavern Visitor Centre

Buxton International Festival 2019

Buxton Civic Association are sponsoring a talk at the festival 'Mark Cocker and friends'. The talk is on 6th July at 10.30 am in the Pavilion Arts Centre.

Mark Cocker is one of Britain’s foremost natural history writers whose books include Our Place: Can We Save British Nature Before It’s Too Late? and Claxton: Further Field Notes From A Small Planet. BIF has invited Mark to ‘guest edit’ this event, and he has chosen two authors whose work he admires. Jean McNeil, author of The Ice Diaries and Tessa Boase, author of Mrs Pankhurst’s Purple Feather join Mark for an informal and lively debate about diversity in our countryside, climate change and the writer’s art.

BCA Planning Group – Comments on HPK/2018/0462 Market Street Buxton


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.

Members May Talk – Creswell Crags Ice Age Archaeology

Thursday 7.30pm 16th May at Poole's Cavern

Jennifer Horseman is a trained anthropologist with a fascination for the human story during the last ice age will be talking about the Ice age archaeology of Creswell Crags and beyond. She is also the learning and engagement officer at Creswell Crags.

The event is free and is open to Members and Non-members.

BCA Planning Group

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.

BCA Planning Group – comments on Nestle Pipeline

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