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12th May 2017 Vacancy - Chair of Trustees

Are you passionate about the countryside?

This is an exciting opportunity to lead a highly regarded local environmental charity, running the trustee board who provide governance and strategic direction for our work.

Friends of the Peak District and CPRE South Yorkshire work to protect and enhance the countryside of South Yorkshire and the Peak District. Our vision is of a living, working countryside, which changes with the times but remains beautiful forever.

You will need to understand the role of trustee boards and have the leadership and management skills, experience and commitment that will help us achieve our objectives.

Further details: 

Informal chat about the role:

Contact either: the Director, Andy Tickle on 0114 279 2655 (Mon-Thurs) or andy@cprepeakandsyorks.org.uk . Or the Vice-Chair, Andy Topley on 07528 871771.

Closing date: Monday 31st July

This is an unpaid post but reasonable expenses are paid.

9th May 2017 CNP publish manifesto for next Government

We're calling on all political parties to commit to investing in our beautiful National Parks for the long-term prosperity and health of our nation.

National Parks are inspiring and breathtaking areas of our country. They are important assets to the nation which the next Government must seek to protect and enhance.

Ahead of the June election, we are calling on all the political parties to commit to

Strengthening national protections

Our National Parks are living, working landscapes and we want communities in these areas to thrive. The delivery of appropriate sustainable development, particularly affordable housing that meets local need, will be central to achieving that. Inappropriate development in and close to the boundary of our National Parks, however, threatens the special qualities of these areas and must be prevented. There should, therefore, be no further relaxation of the planning system through, for example, new or extended permitted development rights or changes to national planning policy.

CNP's recent report, National Parks: Planning for the Future, published in partnership with National Trust and Campaign to Protect Rural England, sets out how planning protections for our National Parks need to be strengthened and effectively enforced to prevent damaging development. In line with the recommendations within the report, CNP are asking all political parties to commit to setting out stronger protections for National Parks within a long term strategy for the environment.

Sufficient levels of resources

The National Parks are important national assets and they should be properly valued by the Government and supported financially. Public expenditure on National Parks in England equates to less than £1 per year per head of population. Due to the smaller population it is slightly more per head in Wales. But in light of the public benefits these areas provide this money is an important investment. National Parks need a fair share of resources if they are to continue providing these public benefits.

Past funding cuts led to the closure of information centres, an end to much of the work to keep rights of way open and a halt to much National Park Authority work on climate change, flood defence and conservation. We want the Authorities to be working to improve and enhance the National Parks so, among other things, they are richer in biodiversity, better at capturing carbon and better able to reduce flood risk. This needs to be properly resourced. The sustainability of funding is also critical. We ask all parties, therefore, to commit to protecting National Park budgets for the next five years.

Increasing sustainable access

National Parks were created for the benefit of the nation so everyone should have an opportunity to visit them. Nationally, a quarter of households do not have access to a car and rely on public transport for most of their journeys. And there has long been an over reliance on the use of private cars by visitors to access and get around the National Parks. Campaign for National Parks wants to make sure that the National Parks really are for everyone, regardless of whether or not they own a car. We also want to make sure that the high quality environment in National Parks continues to be protected and enhanced for future generations to enjoy by promoting more sustainable access to and within the Parks.

To make the National Parks more accessible by sustainable transport, CNP will ask all political parties to commit to requiring relevant local transport plans to consider and address the needs of visitors to National Parks.

Click here to download our full manifesto.

16th Mar 2017 A628 trans-Pennine upgrade consultation

There is currently a consultation on the upgrade to the A628 Trans-Pennine corridor until 10th April

Full details can be found here: https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/he/trans-pennine-upgrade-programme/

The proposals consist of a dual carriageway bypass of Mottram only, a link road off the bypass to Glossop (with two potential routes identified), climbing lanes in the Peak Park east of Woodhead reservoir and safety measures, and completion of dualling of A61 in South Yorkshire.  These measures would not relieve Hollingworth, Tintwistle, the Longdendale Valley and Gallows Moss or the South Yorkshire villages of through traffic. As was shown through the public inquiry into the Mottram Tintwistle Bypass in 2007, once the bottleneck at Mottram crossroads is removed there would be a substantial increase in new traffic on the A628, some diverting off the M62, and on the A57 through Glossop.

We don't support the proposed improvements to the A628 (T) corridor for a number of reasons. Not least because new roads fill up with traffic within a few years and congested conditions return with adverse impacts on local communities and the countryside.

We fully supports the need to relieve local communities near the A628 Woodhead trunk route of the hugely negative impacts of traffic; impacts which are created by a mix of mainly locally generated car traffic and a minority of HGV through-traffic. However a solution must be found which both avoids new infrastructure within the Park or outside in its setting, and removes traffic off the A628 (T) corridor. This would include re-routing heavy lorries onto the motorway network (M1/M62/M60/M6/A50) around the Peak District, greater travel choices for local journeys with improved bus and rail services, slower speeds along the whole route and improved walking and cycling facilities. Together these would free up road space for through traffic, reduce congestion, and improve air quality and safety. They also offer substantial advantages over road building as they are inexpensive, could be applied immediately while being tested for their efficacy. If they failed to be effective, other measures could then be considered.

15th Mar 2017 Last bite at Stanton Moor

Last week, the National Park Authority approved what will hopefully be the last quarry permission in the Stanton Moor area, with the support of the Friends.

Over the past ten years or so, quarry company Blockstone had been pushing for an extension to their New Pilhough Quarry (NPQ). We had objected to all previous proposals on the grounds they were inequitable as the tonnage of stone to be extracted at NPQ was not balanced by the amount of reserves they offered to 'trade in' at Stanton Moor Quarry, which forms part of the Scheduled Monument.

Finally Blockstone reduced extraction to 50,000 tonnes (their first application was for more than five times that amount!) which, on balance, we found acceptable.

We are very pleased that, working closely with the local community, our joint 'pester' power meant a solution could be found and that the end of quarrying in this very special area of the Peak is nigh.

8th Feb 2017 Emergency restriction order to protect Holinsclough Rakes

We are delighted that Staffordshire County Council has put in place the first steps towards managing Hollinsclough Rakes – an emergency restriction order preventing anyone from using Limer and Swan Rakes.

These idyllic lanes in the Staffordshire Moorlands District of the Peak National Park were once a packhorse route for the trade of salt. They are now reduced to a rock scramble in places with horse riders, cyclists and walkers unable to pass.

Limer Rake in particular is in terrible state of disrepair and is unsafe for all users. Although water has played a part, their destruction is largely as a result of off-roaders destroying the surface and tearing down adjacent walls to try to get purchase. In addition, off roaders have been illegally using fields to exit the lane, creating disturbance for Hollinsclough residents during the night and disrupting farm business.

We urge Staffordshire County Council to continue to protect both Rakes by making a temporary traffic regulation order. This will give the Council time to prepare an order to ban all motorised vehicles permanently. Nothing less will do as the lane has been ravaged by their use which cannot be sustained.

Once the lane is protected, consideration should be given as to how to repair the severe damage in a manner that reflects the history of the lane.

1st Feb 2017 28th Feb 2017 Vote for us to win Bags of Help initiative in Sheffield

Our fantastic Peak District Boundary Walk project has been shortlisted for a public vote in Tesco’s #BagsofHelp initiative! Vote for us to win the top prize in stores in Sheffield from 1-25 February!

Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and this month shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant. Our beautiful 192 mile long distance walk following the stunning scenery around the Peak District National Park boundary is one of the groups on the shortlist.

Please vote in store as many times as you can in February!

Voting is open in stores from 1 to 25 February. Customers will cast their vote using tokens given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £25 million to more than 3,000 projects up and down the UK. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups each month. At the end of each month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Here's the list of stores taking part in the voting:

ECCLESALL METRO S11 8PN
FULWOOD EXP   S10 3QA
ABBEYDALE     S7 2QB
SOUTHEY S5 7HF
SHARROW LANE EXP      S11 8AN
BEIGHTON EXP  S20 1EA
CROSSPOOL GARAGE      S10 5DS
SHEFFIELD INFIRMARY     S6 3BU
TOTLEY SHEFFIELD EXP    S17 3LP
KELHAM ISLAND EXP       S3 8RA
BARNSLY EXP   S5 7AE
EDWRD ST EXP  S3 7BY
BROADFLD RD EXP   S7 1FS
BIRL RD EXP   S12 4WG
SAVIL EXTRA   S4 7UD
SAVIL EXTRA   S4 7UD
DYKES H EXP   S6 4EX
WEST ST MET   S1 4GB
CHURCH EXP    S1 1HA
BRMHILL EXP   S10 1BP
EYRE LANE EXP S1 2NP

To check the location of any of the above stores, please go to the website here: www.tesco.com/store-locator/uk/

13th Jan 2017 Friends object to development in Green Belt

Fletchers Paper Mill, Chew Valley Road, Greenfield. An allocation in Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework 2016

The Friends are objecting to a proposed major housing and tourist development right against the boundary of the Peak District National Park in Greenfield, Oldham. Greater Manchester claims that one hundred holiday lodges and 120 executive dwellings will create a gateway to the National Park on the disused Fletcher paper mill site below Dovestone reservoir.

Less than half of the site is the old mill buildings, and therefore brownfield land, but Greater Manchester is proposing in its draft Spatial Framework to more than double the size of the development by taking green field, also Green Belt, land.  This would include land to the west down river of the mill and below the dam wall.

Such a sprawling development would devastate the setting of this beautiful approach to the National Park, detracting from its landscape, and the sense of remoteness and tranquillity it provides. It also does not preserve or enhance the heritage of the mill and is a wholly inappropriate use of the Green Belt.

Instead we would support development sensitive to the local environment which would make best use of the old mill buildings. If the site is progressed the Friends hope something more innovative such as a community-led hydro scheme, with eco-housing/selfbuild/micro-businesses on the mill site could be included and that the green field part of the site is retained as green space for local residents and visitors.

See previous article in the Saddleworth Independent: http://saddind.co.uk/fletchers-mill-in-greenfield-targeted-as-tourist-hotspot/

17th Nov 2016 Help us stop Fracking!

We have been fighting quarrying since the 1920s. We were delighted by the success at Backdale Quarry: the fight to stop the illegal and hugely damaging quarrying was one of the biggest in our 90 year history and a huge drain on our resources.

The latest threat of mineral extraction is much more serious. At a time when we need to cut down carbon emissions and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, companies are planning to tear up our beautiful local countryside to extract shale gas by ‘fracking’. 

This is because the Government has reversed its promise not to allow fracking under our National Parks, despite fears over water and air pollution, the dangers of increased lorry traffic on narrow country roads, the noise and visual impact, and the fact that shale gas is a fossil fuel which will contribute to climate change. To avert this, we are planning to work with local communities to form a ‘no-frack’ cordon around the Peak.

Fighting Backdale took 13 years of persistent campaigning, taking a lead role in public inquiries, seeing the case through the highest Courts and getting legislation amended. This was just one part of the essential work we do every single day to protect the Peak District year after year.

Fracking now threatens the beauty and tranquillity of our local countryside, and we need your help to make sure it doesn’t happen. If you love the Peak District and its surrounding landscapes, please help us protect it from fracking.

Please click here to donate to our 'No Fracking' appeal today.

 

20th Oct 2016 Dismay at dairy appeal decision

We were extremely disappointed by the Planning Inspector's decision to allow a housing estate to be built on the edge of Hartington. The proposal for 26 houses on the former Dove Dairy site was refused by the Peak District National Park Authority in 2015, and an appeal hearing took place in early 2016. A previous, similar scheme was refused on appeal several years previously.

Andrew Wood, planning officer for Friends of the Peak District, commented: "The site is out on a limb from the village, includes a conspicuously large house, twenty-one other private homes and a measly four affordable homes. The community in Hartington have spent years trying to work with the site owner to secure a good scheme with more affordable homes and some workshops, so that the re-use of the site could really contribute to the life of the village. This is the wrong scheme, and it's deeply disappointing that it has been approved on appeal."

The Planning Inspector deemed that the proposals will enhance the village by removing the derelict dairy buildings, and also welcomed the large house as important to the design of the whole development. His findings are almost the exact opposite of those put to him by the local community.

Andrew Wood continued: "It's a perplexing decision. The community wants the site to be developed for the benefit of Hartington as a whole, and their attempts to secure a good solution have fallen on deaf ears. It's a sad way to end a long campaign."

David Annat, Chairman of Hartington Parish Council commented. “This is an extremely worrying precedent for National Parks and almost impossible to see how this can be in the public interest. It was opposed by the Parish Council and Community, 98% of the wider public, who wrote almost 200 letters opposing the scheme, and rejected by a planning committee made up of planning experts and elected and parish council representatives. So the democratic and public voice gave a resounding no to a scheme completely at odds with this historic village or local needs. Yet a single individual can dictate we were all wrong. Something is wrong with the system and with the pressure on the need to build this is an alarming precedent.”

7th Oct 2016 12th Oct 2016 Lets get off-road vehicles off Jacob's Ladder

Respond by 12 December 2016

Derbyshire County Council is now consulting on whether or not there is sufficient evidence to support the making of a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to ban off road vehicles off Jacob’s Ladder in Stoney Middleton. We need to show them there is no doubt about the evidence.

The lane ascends from Stoney Middleton to join the now closed New Road to Eyam. The impacts of off-road motorised vehicles on Jacob’s Ladder have been well rehearsed and the substantial evidence from residents and visitors for closing the lane to motorised traffic is already compelling. The character of the lane - narrow with blind bends and no verges - makes it inherently dangerous for it to be used by horse riders and pedestrians whilst vehicles are permitted to use it – a resident was knocked down by a vehicle last year. Not only is repairing the lane, which DCC has deployed twice, a short term measure but it also does not address unsustainable use or the conflicts that arise between those using the motorised vehicles and other more vulnerable users. We urge everyone to respond to the consultation by 12 December in order once again to show the Council the overwhelming support that exists for a TRO.

All the information, including map and questionnaire can be found here www.derbyshire.gov.uk/council/have_your_say

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