Fears ‘huge’ new Harpur Hill estate will set a ‘worrying precedent’

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Final plans for ‘one of the biggest’ housing developments the borough has ever seen have been approved amid concerns that they set a ‘worrying precedent’.

Reserved matters relating to the development of 395 homes at Foxlow Farm in Harpur Hill were approved by councillors on Monday after the builder behind the scheme’s design addressed open space and privacy issues.

Consultees told how the scale of the estate would mean the developer ‘cramming houses into a small, steep sloping site boundary pocket of land’.

Following public consultation responses over the issues, the builder has agreed to remove several plots completely and replace a three-storey house design with a two-storey one to guarantee open space and privacy between dwellings.

However during Monday’s meeting of High Peak Borough Council’s planning committee several members voiced concerns about the density of the scheme.

Councillor Graham Oakley said: “It’s a big development and there is much that if it had been a little development would not have been accepted.

“I realise there’s a trade-off but I am a bit worried that it seems a precedent that the High Peak will allow it.”

Councillor Caroline Howe said she was uncomfortable with the ‘design density’ at the countryside edge and abstained from the vote.

A report by planning officers read how a ‘higher density’ of housing would be built near existing properties on Harpur Hill Road and a lower density would be placed near the open countryside edge.

Harpur Hill resident Richard Hough told the meeting there had been no ‘serious engagement’ with previous objections to the plans.

He said: “The applicant says the site will be an open boundary but this does not avoid urban sprawl.”

Speaking about separate plans approved for more than 150 houses also in Harpur Hill, Richard said the two developments together would be ‘putting pressure on infrastructure’.

He added: “I would respectfully urge members not to be fixated on housing targets and refuse the application in its entirety.”

The development on the 17-hectare greenfield site will be made up of 130 two bedroom, 194 three-bedroom and 71 four-bedroom houses.

To view the full reports visit democracy.highpeak.gov.uk.