Details on consultation

It seems relevant to transitionbuxton to get involved in (or at least read up on) the current stages of development of core strategies relating to infrastructure from the high peak council.

You can find them here:

http://highpeak-consult.limehouse.co.uk/portal/planning/jointcorestrategy/

and if you want to be involved in consultation (ie, make comments on any relevant parts of the documents, or go to meetings, voice objections/approvals),then call Mike Hase from Derbyshire Dales:

        Please ask for:    Mike Hase   
        Direct Dial No:    01629 761251   
        Fax No:    01629 761163   
        Your Ref:       
        My Ref:    PLS-MH/G/5/P2(i)   
        E-mail:    planning@derbyshiredales.gov.uk

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In relation to proposed development opportunities relating to land NE of Hogshaw (the old tip, but more importantly, the new nature reserve, a designated wildlife site), I wrote the following, at section 8.52 of the Derbyshire Dales and High Peak Joint Core strategy:

There are still a number of issues relating to this area for development. As pointed out in the Growth Options sustainability Appraisal, there are flooding risks (1 in 100), contamination, from the railway and old refuse, and also, according to many locals, asbestos (under and around the playing field). I believe the report suggested that the area could support at best 25% development due to its topography and the flood risks, which given the above issues, and including the fact it is a significant designated wildlife site (not just for grassland but also for the birch wood and willow wood within the site) and nature resource for many residents, doesn't make for a very good development opportunity. It would appear that the only conceivable way of weighting the balance towards pros is to ignore the cons.

Bearing in mind also the fact that according to council objectives from the draft core strategy, the council is committed to  'ensuring that development will not have a detrimental effect on [...] the existing green infrastructure unless replacement provision is made that is considered to be of equal or greater value than that which will be lost through development', it is hard to see the benefits of destroying such a significant piece of land in the process of active natural regeneration if a new or greater area will need to be replanted elsewhere and locally to provide the same ecological/social value. It would seem far more sensible to leave this site in favour of others with less ecological value and with no pre-existing issues of contamination/flood risk.

It's also worth considering that alongside housing development (priority was meant to be given to brownfield sites), a significant factor affecting Buxton in the future are issues such as peak oil and the need for localised energy generation. The mention of wind generation in the relevant report could be incorporated with or without accompanying new housing. But the more woodland (and green land for food production) we can foster in and around Buxton itself, the greater the resources for residents (eg, firewood, with uncontaminated parts left aside for community orchards such as the new one in Glossop - even active coppice/regeneration woodland management of the land would turn the patch into something of significant worth from the perspective of both residents and high peak council without sacrificing the designated wildlife site status of the area). Fuel poverty is already noted in these reports as a significant issue affecting many of the residents of the high peak, and as renewables go, wood is one of the most reliable.

Finally, the need for an additional 1000 homes is cited as a factor influencing the need for more development. But elsewhere in these documents, the council admits to there being approx 2.4% unoccupied residences in the area. Given the surrounding figures, it would seem this translates approximately to upwards of 900 homes, maybe more than 1000. Surely rectifying this issue should be given priority?

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cheers

Localism and neighbourhood plans

The localism bill allows ( will allow) a local group ( in an unparished area like Buxton) to produce a statutory document called a neighbourhood plan that becomes part of the Core straegic pplan for the area - I'll try toup load a briefing on this - 

 Joe