Planning chief rejects Hartington factory appeal

The Peak District National Park Authority has welcomed the rejection of an appeal over the proposed redevelopment of the former Hartington Cheese factory.

Developers Cathelco had applied to build 39 houses, business units, a sports pitch, playground, allotments and car park on the former Dairy Crest site, which closed in 2009.

The proposal was refused by the authority’s planning committee in January 2012 as its scale would be out of keeping with Hartington and damaging to its landscape and character.

And Planning Inspector Ian Jenkins upheld the refusal after spending six days hearing evidence from witnesses, including many villagers.

Chair of the authority’s planning committee Cllr Lesley Roberts said: “We welcome this decision and, while we and most villagers appreciate that some redevelopment needs to take place on that site, the scale and design needs to be reconsidered.”

Cllr Roberts also welcomed the inspector’s rejection of Cathelco’s application for a full award of legal costs against the authority.

The inspector concluded that Cathelco had not demonstrated that its proposal would amount to “exceptional circumstances necessary to justify major development in this national park.”

It would not be in the public interest and would not fit with the patterns of sustainable development, he added.