Houses and Buildings
We believe that protecting landscapes needs to be balanced with keeping rural communities thriving. Local people need places to live and work.
Homes sweet homes
The Peak District is bang in between the two large cities of Sheffield and Manchester – and within commuting distance of Derby and Nottingham. So it’s an attractive place to move to and enjoy fresh air, tranquility and beautiful landscapes. This, and the recent boom in people buying second homes, means houses are very sought after – and expensive – here. It also means that they are usually beyond the means of residents and young families who are first-time buyers or on a low income.
There are government targets to build houses in every region. Because it’s a protected national park, the Peak District’s target is zero. New houses can be built if they are affordable for local people on low incomes, or if they serve a conservation benefit, for example, by tidying up a run-down site. The High Peak and North East Derbyshire do have housing targets that can be challenging because of a lack of brownfield land and constraints of the landscape.
What we do
When plans for housing come in, we check against several things; mainly that
- brownfield or less beautiful sites have been used up first
- local people can afford them
- they fit local building styles
- are ecologically sustainable
- they don’t increase roads and car use
Over the years we have
- supported affordable housing schemes at Warslow, Bamford, Baslow and Elton because they were appropriately located and met a need for local housing
- campaigned for increases in the number of affordable homes at the Newburgh site in Bradwell and at the Riverside Development near Bakewell
- opposed the Harpur Hill development in Buxton because it was too far from local services and facilities, and would have really spoiled the landscape
At a regional level, we campaign to make sure that housing targets in our patch are realistic and sustainable. Please have a look at our Housing policy for full details.
We use a similar set of things to judge planning applications for new business buildings or conversions. Please see our planning policy for details about how we do this. Again, we work to protect the countryside against unnecessary and inappropriate developments – but try to balance this with the need for local jobs. For example, we
- supported the top-quality conversion of farm buildings into business units at Hathersage Hall
- are lobbying for more renewable energy technologies at the Riverside Development near Bakewell
- recently successfully campaigned against a massive bottling plant at Cowdale Quarry just outside Buxton because it would have ruined a much-loved beauty spot