153 new homes on former Buxton college site recommended for approval next week

The former High Peak College site in Harpur Hill.
The former High Peak College site in Harpur Hill.

Plans which would see the long-awaited redevelopment of the former High Peak College site in Harpur Hill look set to be approved.

High Peak borough councillors will be asked at a meeting on Monday to green-light a proposal by Persimmon Homes to build 153 new houses on the 13-acre site bounded by Burlow Road and Trenchard Drive.

The Advertiser revealed last year how the University of Derby had struck a deal to sell the derelict former campus to Persimmon.

£15m housing development planned for former college site in Buxton

Speaking at the time, 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 empty since the university relocated the Buxton College to the Devonshire Dome in 2006, and all former buildings have since been demolished.

Documents published ahead of Monday's Development Control Committee meeting show the proposed residential development would consist of 81 two-bedroom, 65 three-bed and seven four-bed houses, with 24 of these homes being classed as affordable 'starter homes'.

Access to the site would predominantly be off Burlow Road, with a limited number off properties accessible off Trenchard Drive, state the plans, which also include a play area, open space, landscaping and pedestrian/cycle links.

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

The housing plans have attracted 12 objections, in particular highlighting concerns over the impact on local services and infrastructure. The fact the site is allocated for only 105 dwellings in the local plan was also raised, along with concerns the development would be "out of character".

However a report prepared by council planning officers in advance of the meeting states: "The figure set in the local plan is considered to be a guide based on estimated site capacity and does not represent a maximum, provided that any scheme which is forthcoming complies with all other relevant policies with regard to matters such as design. The proposal is therefore considered to be acceptable in principle.

The development also falls short of local plan policy in respect of affordable housing provision, the report says, but adds: "The developer has adequately demonstrated that at policy compliant levels of affordable housing the scheme is not financially viable but that it could sustain 16 per cent starter homes, which equates to 24 units. This has been verified by the council’s consultants and the scheme is therefore found to be acceptable in this regard."

Planning officers are recommending councillors approve the plans on Monday, subject to conditions, which include seeking financial contributions by way of Section 106 agreements towards additional school places, outdoor sports provision and highway improvements.