Harpur fears being swamped

Harpur Hill is in danger of being swamped by new houses, residents have said via a survey.

Harpur Hill Residents’ Association held a very well attended consultation evening with High Peak Borough Council planning official to get an informed opinion from local people about the housing development proposals for the area.

At this meeting, in addition to a lively question and answer session with the planners, all those who attended were encouraged to fill in a questionnaire designed by the Association.

Over 120 questionnaires were completed, and an analysis of these showed:

l 94 per cent responded that 200 houses or less should be built in Harpur Hill in the next 16 years.

l People are concerned at the level of proposed new housing and the potential that Harpur Hill could be swamped with new homes.

l More than half of the respondents felt that green field sites should never be used, whilst the remainder only felt that it was acceptable once all brownfield sites in High Peak and Derbyshire Dales have been exhausted.

l There is a lack of starter homes for local people and that these should be prioritised.

l Already people feel that there is no infrastructure to support the current level of occupancy of Harpur Hill and that these should be improved prior to new housing – not as a condition of additional homes.

l 97 per cent of respondents feel that the roads in Harpur Hill are at capacity or struggling to cope with the current level of traffic.

l 86 per cent of respondents are concerned that Harpur Hill already presents road safety issues for residents.

l People who live in Harpur Hill value its semi-rural location, the surrounding stunning countryside, the peace and quiet and sense of community – but are concerned that this will be destroyed by the possibility of so much additional housing.

l When asked what people would change about Harpur Hill, feelings were high that the brownfield site should be prioritised and that other issues in the area which are causing anti-social behaviour should be resolved.

l A staggering 79 per cent of respondents felt that HPBC don’t listen to local views which is influenced by the repeated consultations over the last six years on suggested sites for housing.

l11.97 per cent of respondents felt that the level of suggested sites for Harpur Hill is unacceptable.

The survey’s results will be sent to High Peak Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council

“However, it is still not too late for residents to have an influence on the planning proposals by contacting High Peak Borough Council through its Customer Portal and writing to their local councillors and MP,” said an Association spokesman.

“The Association strongly encourages you to do this since huge changes to the area are being proposed.”

There will be further discussions on this matter at future meetings of the Association.

The next meeting is October 30 at the Hoffman Bar at 7.30 pm, when local councillors will be present to provide updates on this and other matters.Full copies of the report will be available at this meeting.