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.”