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~ Friends of the Peak District have spoken out against a housebuilder in Glossop who is riding roughshod over the planning process and the wishes of local residents.

Gladman Developments recently appealed against High Peak Borough Council’s decision to refuse them planning permission to build 150 houses on green field land at North Road, just outside Glossop. The inquiry appeal opens in Glossop on February 11th. Yet Gladman have also submitted a second, almost identical planning application that will be considered by High Peak’s Planning Committee on 17th February.

"This is a classic ‘twin-tracking’ tactic designed to bully the local Council into approving the second application to avoid fighting the appeal on the first one," said Andrew Wood, Friends of the Peak District’s Planning Officer. "It’s perfectly legal, but it’s a nasty way to do business and we hope that the Council gives it short shrift it deserves."

"The site at North Road is being considered for future housing development through the new Local Plan, and allowing a planning permission now would undermine the Council’s lengthy consultations with High Peak residents on the pros and cons of different sites," Andrew Wood continued.

"It’s the wrong development in the wrong place," said Elizabeth Strek from the North Road Residents’ Group, who recently organised a large public meeting to share local people’s worries about the scheme. "It would allow Glossop to sprawl out into the countryside, it’s too far from the shops and services and it would generate a lot of extra road traffic. And because the land is high the new houses would really loom down on the adjoining housing on Heath Road."

"We feel like we’re up against a developer who is happy to exploit the system to get what they want," continued Elizabeth Strek, "and that’s not something local residents can understand or compete with".

Locals may still object to the second application, reference HPK/2013/0648, by writing or emailing to High Peak Borough Council. They can also ask for the North Road site (known as G6) to be removed from the Local Plan, as this is part of an additional consultation that is open until 10th February.