Inspector throws out housebuilder’s appeal over housing estate in Buxton countryside

The development site at Burbage
The development site at Burbage

A planning inspector has thrown out housebuilder Persimmon’s appeal against the council’s objection to its plan for 120 homes in Buxton countryside.

Hayden Baugh-Jones wrote in his appeal decision report how the development would cause ‘very serious harm to the area’s character and appearance’.

Persimmon’s appeal came after the council refused plans for the homes on Leek Road in Burbage last year.

However the inspector ruled the appeal over the planned homes on Leek Road in Burbage ‘did not succeed’ following a week-long public inquiry.

During the week-long hearing members of the public said they were not happy Persimmon had reduced the number of homes from 120 to 100 before the appeal - effectively submitting an alternative plan.

However Mr Baugh-Jones told them the inquiry was deciding nothing more than the ‘principal’ of an outline plan and the detail would be considered during a separate ‘reserved matters’ application.

The inspector’s main reasons for refusing Persimmon’s appeal were the damage the estate would cause to the face of rural site - saying it would ‘not sit comfortably within the landscape’.

He pointed out how the homes would result in the loss of dry-stone walls within the site - ‘an intrinsic feature of the Peak District’.

He also advised how due its sunken level drivers passing the land - which borders the Peak District National Park - would be looking down ‘across an entire housing estate’ .

Mr Baugh-Jones told how the ‘fine panoramic views’ from a ‘well-used’ nearby Public Right of Way would be would be ‘significantly adversely affected’ by the completed homes.

Although the inspector admitted the development would result in a number of benefits such as a ‘level of affordable housing’ he said a ‘compelling case’ had not been made in favour of a large development over smaller or ‘piecemeal’ schemes to avoid harm.