Friends of the Peak District condemns two decisions by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate to allow almost 250 houses to be built on the edge of Glossop as evidence that localism is dead.
An application for 93 homes at Dinting Road, that will narrow the gap between Glossop and Hadfield, had been refused by High Peak councillors last year amid fervent campaigning by local residents. Soon afterwards, again following a vocal campaign by the community a further 150 homes at North Road were refused due to impacts on wildlife.
In both cases, the developers appealed to the Secretary of State, and in both cases a planning inspector decided that the need to build hundreds of new homes in High Peak outweighed other concerns. Both schemes are now set to go ahead.
"In Glossop, as in so many other places across the country, we see the coalition Government’s promise to give local people more control over the planning decisions affecting them was completely hollow," said Andrew Wood from Friends of the Peak District. "House builders now know that whenever a local authority refuses a planning application, they just have to appeal and they’ll probably get their way. So much for localism. These decisions prove that controversial planning decisions have been nationalised."
The decisions come at a time when High Peak’s residents are being consulted on the draft Local Plan. "Not only have these appeal decisions pre-empted the Local Plan," continued Andrew Wood, "they have also strengthened the hand of house builders who persuaded Government that building on greenfield sites will fix our housing crisis. This is not true: all it will do is create more sprawling suburbs, more traffic congestion and more damage to the countryside. Meanwhile, communities are increasingly alienated by planning being done to them, rather than for them."
The High Peak Local Plan consultation closes on 23rd June. There is another speculative planning application, at Linglongs Road, Whaley Bridge, which people can object to now by visiting www.highpeak.gov.uk, and there will be more to come. You have been warned!