Free advice for anyone considering submitting a Peak District National Park planning application

Residents and businesses wanting to make a planning application in the Peak District National Park are being encouraged to get free advice to make sure they’re up-to-date with new planning policies.

These policies are in the Core Strategy which has been produced by the Peak District National Park Authority and will guide future development in the national park for the next 15 years.

A planning inspector has decided the Core Strategy is “sound”, meeting the government’s requirements. The new policies come into use immediately, so anyone making a planning application is encouraged to seek advice from the National Park Authority before applying.

John Herbert, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority’s planning committee, said: “This is a forward looking document, with new strategic policies to help us respond positively to the constant changes in society and the economy, and to care for this protected landscape and its communities. As such it is important to everyone living or working in the national park, as well as to visitors.”

The new strategy contains commitments to:

• find innovative community approaches for locally-needed homes

• seek to retain shops, services and community facilities

• encourage business development that uses the national park as an economic asset

• promote sustainable buildings with design and renewable energy measures that fit the policies

• continue to support farmers and land managers to look after the landscape

• ensure the landscape character of the park is retained

John said: “We want to see development in the most sustainable locations and, by doing so, conserve and enhance the valued characteristics that define the national park, now and for future generations. We want to do this by working with our communities.

“The strategy will help us manage new and growing development needs, such as supporting opportunities for small businesses on farms or in rural communities, and for small scale renewable energy schemes within homes and other buildings.

“By taking the new principles into account in planning applications, residents, landowners and businesses in the national park will be helping to keep the national park environment special, with vibrant communities and a thriving economy.”

The new policy document has been the subject of several consultations and a public inquiry. It can be seen at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/ldf

For anyone considering making a planning application the Peak District National Park Authority organises free drop in sessions at Aldern House, Baslow Road, Bakewell, each weekday morning between 9.15am and 12.45pm to get up-to-date advice and informal guidance from a planning officer.

The 20-minute appointments can be made by ringing 01629 816200 or emailing customer.service@peakdistrict.gov.uk

Over the next two years more detailed and supporting planning policy documents will be produced to help provide more specific guidance. The Authority will consult the public again as these are produced.