Council planners reject new Buxton housing development

The development site on the outskirts of Buxton.
The development site on the outskirts of Buxton.

Controversial plans to build up to 120 houses on the outskirts of Buxton have been thrown out by councillors.

Members of High Peak Borough Council’s Development Control Committee voted unanimously on Monday to reject an outline application by Persimmon Homes for the new residential development on grazing land at the corner of the A53 Leek Road and the A54 Macclesfield Road.

Speaking at the meeting resident Christine Slack said: “This is greenfield land and shouldn’t be built on.

“It complies with providing affordable houses but none of the other conditions of the Local Plan which was laid out to protect the landscape.

“A spa town of Buxton which is held in high esteem will have its beauty - which attracts visitors from all over the country - taken away if this plan goes through.”

The proposal had originally included the realignment of part of Macclesfield Main Road and its junction with Leek Road, however this was withdrawn before the meeting by the applicant.

Councillor Emily Thrane, who proposed to support the officers recommendations for refusal said: “How can we approve something this big if the details of the road access are not being discussed?

“High Peak Borough Council has a Local Plan which is up to date and a five year land supply, there is no over riding reason looking at that site this particular land should be considered at all.”

A planning officer’s report prepared in advance of the meeting had recommended councillors reject the application due to the development’s “prominent, visual intrusion into the landscape” and “undesirable encroachment into the open countryside”. Around 110 representations had been submitted to the council in opposition to the plans.

Councillor Jean Todd said: “It would be disastrous if these plans go ahead as it would ruin one of the main entrances to the town.”
Another reason the planning officers felt the plans should be refused was based on information from Natural England regarding phosphate levels in the water.

Councillor Stewart Young said: “That area is a water catchment area for the River Wye and I would hate to think we do something which could later damage our famous water supply.

“This development is not needed in our town.”
Sean McBride from Persimmon Homes said: “The 120 homes off Macclesfield Road would bring a significant benefits to Buxton.”