High Peak council refuses housing scheme over concerns for trees and biodiversity

Delighted residents applauded High Peak Borough Council’s planning committee following its refusal of plans for a housing scheme at Glossop after hearing concerns about the potential loss of wildlife and trees.
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The council’s committee refused Wain Homes’ planning application during a Development Control Committee meeting for a residential scheme involving 92 homes, public open space, landscaping and associated works on grassland at Dinting Vale, in Glossop.

Residents who had also raised worries about traffic congestion, traffic safety and air pollution were so pleased when the scheme was refused, they applauded the committee at the meeting at The Pavilion Gardens, in Buxton.

Cllr Stewart Gardner, stated in a letter read out by Cllr Paul Hardy: “The A57 through Dinting Vale is already a traffic clogged road as anyone with even the slightest familiarity with the area knows.

Residents at the planning meeting, held  at The Pavilion Gardens, in Buxton, applauded when the [lanning application was refused.Residents at the planning meeting, held  at The Pavilion Gardens, in Buxton, applauded when the [lanning application was refused.
Residents at the planning meeting, held at The Pavilion Gardens, in Buxton, applauded when the [lanning application was refused.

“The only access to the site will be via a new road from the A57. This would mean that the building of a new estate with ‘100’ new houses would lead to, potentially hundreds of extra car journeys a day on the A57. I find it hard to believe that anyone living in the area considers that to be a good idea.”

A council officer explained it was not advisable for the committee to oppose the application on the grounds of traffic issues, despite concerns, because the Derbyshire County Council highways authority had not raised any objections to the scheme.

But the meeting heard there would be significant tree loss expected, aeven though new trees were expected to be planted on the site.

The officer added: “Biodiversity and tree issues – we have acknowledged it does not comply with these responses – and that is a legitimate concern and these would be sustainable reasons if you felt the balance laid in that direction.”

The application site included 4.71 hectares of greenfield land, currently used for the grazing of horses, on the south side of the A57 next to existing dwellings, trails and woodland and near to Dinting Primary School and Dinting Church.

Around 433 representations were submitted to the council with no letters of support but there were some supportive acknowledgments within some of the letters.

Some of the concerns included the proximity of the school, air quality with more traffic moving around the school, the impact on wildlife, loss of green space, increasing congestion on the A57, and that the access road to Adderley Place and Simmondley Lane would become a rat run unless barriers were installed.

A council officer explained that the proposed scheme fitted in with the council’s 2016 Local Plan, and that the Derbyshire County Council highways authority, the flooding authority, and the Environment Agency have not objected to the scheme despite concerns.

A Wain Homes’ representative told the committee meeting that the applicant intended to plant 191 new trees and aimed to make an overall £789,000 contribution to mitigate the impact of the development and this amount included a contribution towards any biodiversity losses.

However, the committee voted to refuse Wain Homes’ planning application for a residential development at Dinting Vale, Glossop, on the grounds of the loss it would cause to the area’s biodiversity and the loss of trees despite the council planning officer’s recommendation to approve the scheme.