PICTURES: Deal struck to sell former High Peak College site for housing

Harpur Hill college site from Burlow Road which has been sold to developers.
Harpur Hill college site from Burlow Road which has been sold to developers.

More than 150 new homes could be built on the former High Peak College site on the outskirts of Buxton after a deal was struck to sell the land to a housing developer.

The University of Derby this week confirmed it had exchanged “conditional contracts” with Persimmon Homes to dispose of the site in Harpur Hill, which has stood derelict for more than a decade.

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes North West told the Advertiser: “We recently exchanged contracts to purchase the former University of Derby campus in the Harpur Hill area of the town.

“Persimmon Homes propose a scheme of 153 high-quality family homes ranging from two, three and four bedroom properties.

“The scheme will include open spaces, retained woodland and a children’s play area located around the current sports facility.

“A planning application is expected to be submitted in June 2018, with work expected to commence in early 2019.”

The college opened in 1955 in what is now Buxton Museum, but moved into the old RAF buildings in Harpur Hill in 1964. The sports hall - built in the 1970s - remains in use today by university students.

Hari Punchihewa, the university’s deputy chief executive and finance director, said: “The university has exchanged conditional contracts with a housing developer for its land at Harpur Hill in Buxton. The sale is subject to the developer receiving satisfactory planning approval from High Peak Borough Council in due course.

“The site has been vacant for many years since relocating the Buxton College to the Devonshire Dome, so we are very pleased that this land will now be put back to good use and provide much-needed new residential accommodation to satisfy the growing demand in Buxton.”

The 3.1-acre site previously had planning permission granted to build new houses.

Barratt Homes was an interested buyer of the site back in 2007, but pulled out after the recession.

The site fell into disrepair after the University of Derby moved into its new campus at the Devonshire Dome in 2006.

Councillor Linda Grooby, who represents the Cote Heath Ward on High Peak Borough Council and is also a member of Harpur Hill Residents’ Association, welcomed the news.

She said: “In line with the majority of the residents I am delighted that something has finally happened. Over the years the site has become an eyesore so this is much-needed and has been a long time coming. It will be good to see it turned into much-needed housing.”