July to September 2011

July

Take Back the Tracks – rally!

A hundred mountain bikers, families with children, dog walkers, and countryside lovers of all ages hundred march up Long Causeway with us to Stanage Pole - to call on the Peak District National Park Authority to get tough on off-roading. Ironically horse riders who had turn up to show their support have to turn back because Long Causeway is so badly damaged by off-roading. We are filmed by TV and documentary film crews.

Long Causeway is just one of many tracks in the Peak District being eroded and trashed by off-roading. It is currently legal to drive on Long Causeway, so off-roaders aren't breaking the law. However - knowingly or not - they are eroding and carving up this green lane. We want to see the Peak District National Park Authority make it illegal to drive on Long Causeway, and other tracks in sensitive places. We hold the rally before it meets to review its policy about how it manages off-roading in the National Park.

Rotherham

The council publishes the latest draft of its Core Strategy, identifying locations for new housing and employment over the next 15 years. Reductions in both of these mean less Green Belt will be used, so overall it gets our support.

Chatsworth

We take some of our members and supporters on a highly popular tour of Peak Ales Brewery.

Take Back the Tracks

We picket the National Park Authority's committee meeting about its strategy on off-roading and are pleased when it says it will have urgent meetings with local highway authority leaders and police chiefs to find ways to manage this difficult conflict. It also agrees that the strategy needs revising, and that it will look at ways to find more resources to make thing - including Traffic Regulation Orders - happen more quickly.

Haythornthwaite Wood, Dore

Volunteers complete a wildlife survey of our woods and find many bird species - and small deer - using the area, as well as scope to develop a wider variety of grassland and flower-rich areas.

Aston

We support a proposal at a Hope Valley farm for a turbine capturing the power of a small stream flowing off Win Hill. The application is deferred for more information.

 

August

National Planning Policy Framework

The Government publishes a draft National Planning Policy Framework for public consultation - the biggest shake-up of planning for over 50 years and a huge threat to our countryside.  The NPPF does not commit to the principle that the countryside should be protected for its own intrinsic character, beauty and heritage. Instead, it will place the countryside under increasing threat and leave local communities and planning authorities largely powerless in the face of developer pressure. We have grave concerns about pressure on the countryside from more damaging development and start our battle against the NPPF.

Take Back the Tracks – Chapel Gate

We celebrate when the National Park Authority announces an 18 month experimental ban on off-roaders at this iconic 3 km route skirting Rushup Edge and crossing a Special Area of Conservation, a Special Protection Area and Site of Special Scientific Interest. This is a real boost for our campaign to stop off-roaders carving it up. We pledge to fight for a permanent ban.

Hope

We support a resubmitted application to build two new affordable houses at Market Place in Hope to help meet a vital demand for local homes. The houses will fit the area well, and won’t have an impact on the iconic landscapes around the village.

Wortley

We call for improvements to ambitious plans to develop the Barnsley village which is a conservation area and surrounded by Green Belt land. We want more clarity about how new houses will be affordable for local people.

Planning training

We secure funding from the Co-operative Group to train local residents about neighbourhood planning. We also apply to CPRE National Office for further funding for future work giving local communities the skills they need to understand changes in the planning system.

Dark Peak

We hold our first landscape photography workshop thanks to professionals Paul Hill and Karen Frenkel. The day is sold out and we plan to repeat the success next year.

Photo competition

The same month, we launch our annual competition to find the best Peak District images.

 

September

Take Back the Tracks

We're disappointed that Derbyshire County Council refuses to get involved in a key forum looking at the problems of off-roading in the National Park, and demand an explanation. We’ve been pleased to see a change in the attitude of the Peak District National Park Authority. However for really significant improvements, DCC needs to pull its finger out too! DCC listens to our concerns and we give them six months to improve their policies.

Win Hill

We're delighted when local supporters David and Rosemary Lake sell cakes and refreshments to walkers and cyclists their home at Edge Farm, near the top of the iconic Win Hill to raise money for our work.

Matlock Bath

A band of our intrepid volunteers enjoy the illuminations and fireworks while fundraising for us at the same time.

Rother Valley

We are horrified at plans to build the Visions of China theme park in Rotherham’s Green Belt using planning permission agreed for the failed YES! Project. We call on Rotherham Council to demand that developers apply for new permission.

Totley

We demand that Sheffield City Council refuses permission to build two large houses on a small area of land that is a really important buffer zone between urban Sheffield and the Peak District, and soon to be reclassified as Green Belt.

Longstone Edge

Thanks to our campaigning, excessive limestone quarrying may hopefully be a thing of the past at Backdale quarry but we continue to keep a watching brief. Glebe Mines is bought by a new company but its plans to resume operations fail to materialise.