We’re disappointed and weary to see the Cowdale application rearing its ugly head yet again. It has been refused twice already, and the arguments are the same. A huge factory in the middle of beautiful countryside just isn’t on.
Express Park Buxton submitted plans to build the five-hectare water bottling plant and distribution site on the greenfield site in early 2010 and again in 2011. Both times, High Peak Borough Council unanimously rejected applications because they would be “unsustainable” and “harmful to character and visual appearance of the countryside and special landscape area.” The Council also had concerns about the impact the building would have on the National Park.
Now the developers have appealed to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate against High Peak’s decision on the second application. The Planning Inspectorate is currently accepting comments on the appeal, and will make a decision following a local hearing.
Like High Peak Borough Council and local people, we maintain that Cowdale is a valuable green space in its own right, and an important buffer zone between the Peak District and Buxton, stopping industrial sprawl, noise and light pollution from affecting the National Park.
The plans were also rejected because the Council stated that the old limestone quarry was an “important heritage asset.” Since the last application, English Heritage has listed Cowdale Quarry as a Scheduled Monument of national significance, giving it further protection.
This is still the wrong building in the wrong place! There’s still no need for it, and it’s too close to the National Park.
If you haven’t commented already, then go to www.planningportal.gov.uk/pcs and follow the links to search for an appeal quoting 2166189. The deadline for comments to the Planning Inspectorate is 31 January. After this, the appeal will be decided following a local hearing.