News and Events
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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.
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.
Our Summer Newsletter is now available online by clicking on the link below.
The theme for the next Newsletter is Water and we aim to publish it in February 2020.
If you want to contribute to it then please get in touch with Alyson Phillips at email@example.com
We hope you enjoy our Summer edition.
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
Professor Richard Pattrick on Fairfield Road's Carboniferous Corals
An outcrop of limestone on the east side of Farfield Road, Buxton (Fig 1) displays an excellent example of Carboniferous corals. The outcrop at [53°15'40.56"N 1°54'19.55"W] is a 3m vertical section, 25m long, set back 20m from the road.
The rock is the Eyam Limestone, of the Late Brigantian sub-stage (CX)(P2) of the Visean, Mississippinian stage of the Carboniferous. It is a dark grey limestone with distinctive chert bands (BGS Lexicon, 2019).
The coral is Siphonodendron junceum (Aretz and Nudds, 2005) – Order: Rugosa; Family: Lithostrotionidae. It is a reef build up, colonial rugose coral. This coral is displayed in transverse and cross sections of large (40cm) colonial masses (Fig. 2).
The importance of the site is that it is an excellent example of a colonial coral, easily seen over a long stretch of outcrop.
M. Aretz and J. Nudds. 2005. The coral fauna of the Holkerian/Asbian boundary stratotype section (Carboniferous) at Little Asby Scar (Cumbria, England) and implications for
boundary. Stratigraphy 2(2):167-190. https://www.bgs.ac.uk/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?pub=EYL
Fig 1 Outcrop of coralliferous, Carboniferous Limestone on the east side of Fairfield Road, Buxton
FIG 2 A & B) Colonial masses of S. junceum C) Oblique section of S. junceum D) Cross section of S. junceum. All Farfield Road site.
Pete Webb will be talking to us about the History of Ecton Mine on 18th April at 7.30 pm in the Poole's Cavern Visitor Centre.
Supporting the Serpentine Community Farm
Alyson Phillips BCA director presenting a cheque to John Boardman towards the irrigation system at the Serpentine Community Farm.
Buxton Civic Association Director Alyson Phillips presented a cheque for £600 to John Boardman, Grower at the Serpentine Community Farm, to fund the cost of the components for an automatic watering system for the greenhouse and polytunnels.
Alyson Phillips commented that “Buxton Civic Association has always actively supported Serpentine Community Farm and the restoration of this important Heritage site. When we heard about this opportunity to educate locals and visitors about a targeted irrigation system that conserves water and saves energy we were happy to help out.”
John Boardman said “summers seem to be getting hotter and the system we will build with this generous gift will save our volunteers a huge amount of work shifting water and give us a much better way of meeting the needs of our plants. The gift is much appreciated.”
The Serpentine Community Farm is off Burlington Road and is open on Wednesday’s and Sunday’s from 11-3 pm. Visitors and Volunteers are welcome.
Stone Circles of the Peak District
The members talk will be on Thursday 14th March at 7.30pm this month at Poole’s Cavern Visitor centre.
Byron Machin is talking to us on the ‘Stone Circles of the Peak District.’
Byron is a documentary maker, writer, professional lecturer and Geography teacher from the Staffordshire Moorlands. Born in Leek, he has a passion for all aspects of the landscape history since he was a young boy.
The talk is free to members and their friends.