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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:

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:


To check the location of any of the above stores, please go to the website here:

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:

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

6th Oct 2016 New design guide to help solar panels shine

For the first time, a simple national guide helps property owners install attractive solar panels - Get them right, and they can be an attractive part of your home and lower your electricity bills.

The new guide and summary leaflet on solar design, published by CPRE and BRE National Solar Centre, show how solar panels on buildings can look good whatever the structure or surrounding landscape.

Among the various design principles, CPRE advocates the use of panels that match the size and shape of existing roof tiles. Other suggestions include installing panels symmetrically or ensuring that panels fully cover the roof. Aimed at property owners, designers and installers, the guide and leaflet also illustrate how the sun is already helping to power an incredible range of the nation’s buildings – from homes and listed churches to greenhouses and office blocks.

With millions of viewers tuning in to programmes such as Grand Designs each week, there is a clear appetite for innovative design, and 800,000 home solar panel systems have already been installed in the UK.

New technologies are reducing the cost of solar panels, despite Government cuts to solar subsidies. The publication of the guide has therefore come at a very useful time to showcase solar developments that protect the countryside. The guide is being promoted at the Clean Energy Live event in Birmingham on 4 October.

Kim Hagen, senior energy campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, comments: “Whether you’re installing solar on a historic country house or a simple garden shed, it’s no longer difficult to make your building look great. It can be as simple as positioning the panels to reflect the structure of your roof. Or you might want to consider using technologies to generate electricity from glass in windows.

Combining simple principles with inspiring case studies, this guide shows how solar can fit in well with our towns, villages and countryside while helping provide some of the energy we need.”

Chris Coonick, senior consultant at BRE National Solar Centre, says: “Over the last six years in the U.K. solar PV systems have become a more common sight on homes and buildings.

With innovations in solar panel design and methods of integration there are more options available for improving the aesthetics of solar PV installations in the built environment. This guide highlights the fundamental considerations for good visual design.”

Leonie Greene, head of external affairs at the Solar Trade Association, comments: "CPRE's solar design guidance will help home owners understand both the wide range of solar products on offer today and how they can work with installers to ensure solar is a truly attractive addition to their home, whatever their budget and wherever they live.

Given the great range of products on offer today and some fabulous examples of best practice there is no excuse for solar roofs which are anything less than stunning. The guide supports our own work to continually raise standards across the industry.”

30th Sep 2016 We saved Longstone Edge!

SLEG FPD final celebration credit J Tippett

Campaigners from the Save Longstone Edge Group (SLEG) joined Friends of the Peak District members for a walk and picnic on Longstone Edge on Sunday, to celebrate the end of a long and hard-fought campaign to protect this beautiful part of the Peak District from illegal and hugely damaging quarrying.

The celebration brought together members of the nearby communities and folk from far afield, including Julian Tippett, former secretary of SLEG who now lives in Devon, who called the event “A very fitting wrapping up of the campaign”.

Following a public inquiry held in January this year, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government upheld an order to remove the planning permission which covered nearly 140 hectares of Longstone Edge, including the infamous Backdale Quarry.

Instead of being a large and unsightly gash in the landscape, the area which was saved is now being restored and nature is beginning to cover over the extensive damage caused by many years of mineral and limestone extraction and a new newt pond has been created by the current landowner, Mr Peter Hunt.

The group toasted their success in a summit picnic on top of Hassop Common, where they were joined by the owner of the Hassop Estate, Henry Stephenson, a long term supporter of the SLEG campaign. Tributes were also paid to the staff and members of the Peak District National Park Authority for their commitment to using every avenue to stop the damage, including fighting a long legal battle through the Courts.

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