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National housebuilding giants Persimmon Homes have appealed against refusal of a 120-house scheme at Leek Road, Burbage, near Buxton.

The planning application was refused last year, because it’s against Local Plan policy and would have a harmful impact on the surrounding landscape. We have now registered to take a major part in the forthcoming Public Inquiry, submitting our own evidence and cross-examining Persimmon’s witnesses.

Saving one prominent green field site is important enough, but this case also has implications for other places in the High Peak and beyond. The High Peak Local Plan contains a policy allowing for ‘sustainable’ developments outside the defined boundaries of settlements. We objected to this policy at the time, because it gives landowners hope that their green field sites could gain permission for housing even if they are not identified in the Local Plan, which offers them an incentive to pursue costly planning appeals to get their way.

In fact, the Local Plan sets high standards for the kinds of development that could be deemed acceptable, and the Leek Road scheme falls well short of them. We’ll be aiming to demonstrate that the landscape impact, even outside the National Park, can dictate against this type of development. And we’ll argue that the Local Plan counts for nothing if the sites it rejected as unsuitable for housing can still come forward for development.

The Public Inquiry is likely to happen in early-mid 2019, and we’re keen to make contact with local people who share our determination to see off this damaging proposal – so please let us know if you’d like to receive campaign information about the case. You can look up the proposals on High Peak’s planning website, by searching for application reference HPK/2017/0110.