October to December 2011

October

Ashford in the Water

We celebrate when the refurbished water turbine at Ashford Old Mill was is finally switched on. We have championed the scheme, and worked closely with the owner as part of our Peak Power project supporting small scale hydro power in the National Park.

National Planning Policy Framework

The deadline for consultation period on Government proposals to rewrite the planning system closes. There is still time before the final document is published so we pledge to keep up the pressure and lobby politicians for some radical revisions in order to save our countryside.

South Yorkshire

We are part of the South Yorkshire Biodiversity Forum, which has just passed the first stage for getting funding from Defra's (Department of the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs) Local Nature Partnership Fund.

Thorpe Marsh

We are disappointed when the Government approves plans for the new gas-fired power station north of Doncaster. We realise a new power station will mean jobs and electricity, but we’ve got real concerns. We've been campaigning against the plans on two grounds - they are outdated in terms of climate change; and will also have a serious impact on Doncaster’s landscape.

Peak District National Park

The Park Authority formally adopts its Core Strategy for the next fifteen years. Overall we support it, but we disagree with its policy on climate change and renewable energy, wanting clarity about the need to balance the potential harm to Peak District landscapes against the potential benefits of installing things like small scale hydro, wind turbines and biomass sites in producing green energy.

 

November

National Planning Policy Framework

We send an open letter to Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and MP for Sheffield Hallam calling on him to stick to his green principles and radically rewrite government changes to the planning system. We remind him of his past pledges to the environment and tell him of our concerns about the impact that these planning changes will have on our countryside, especially to much-loved Green Belt land in his own Sheffield Hallam ward.

We follow this up with a giant postcard and petition campaign. We take the five foot wide postcard showing how the much-loved Rivelin and Loxley valleys could look if the planning changes go ahead to key venues. Hundreds of local people sign our petition and our campaign gets extensive coverage in the Yorkshire Post and the Independent.

Sheffield

Historian David Templeman gives a great talk about the rivalry between Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth I and Bess of Hardwick as part of our walks and talks programme.

Ashford in the Water

Our good friends at Cotton Grass Theatre perform their brilliant play The Unreturning Army: Derbyshire Dales and the Great War every year for Remembrance Sunday and this year they put on a couple of performances at Thornbridge Hall to fundraise for us.

Walks and Talks

We welcome new corporate friends, Large Outdoors. We team up them to plan some great walks and events in the Peak District next year.

Countryfile

We are interviewed about our Peak Power project into the viability of small scale hydro in and around the National Park for BBC’s Countryfile, and the newly installed turbine at Ashford in the Water that we supported is also featured.

Millers Dale

Intrepid supporters jump 80 feet off Millers Dale Bridge to take part in our Shriek for the Peak fundraising abseil.

Hartington

We object to plans for redeveloping the former cheese factory. The new buildings would spill out onto greenfield land beyond the original footprint of the factory and dominate this classic Peak District village. We also want to see a higher proportion of houses earmarked as affordable for local people.

 

December

Doncaster

We attend the Examination in Public of Doncaster’s Core Strategy. Despite our vigorous arguments for extending the Green Belt to protect countryside to the east of the town from development, we fail to get a commitment. The Green Belt boundaries will be reviewed again in five years.

Stanton Moor

The prospect of more quarrying near the Nine Ladies Stone Circle raises its ugly head again. Blockstone Ltd proposes a 500,000 tonne extension to nearby New Pilhough Quarry, in exchange for giving up 100,000 tonnes at Stanton Moor Quarry. We condemn the deal as unfair.

Photo competition

The deadline for our annual competition to find the best images of the Peak District closes and we begin the task of shortlisting. The winner is Chris Charlesworth’s Dawn of a New Day showing a frosty Higger Tor. 

Take Back the Tracks

Our campaigning is paying off! We welcome the Peak District National Park Authority’s new plans for dealing with off-roading damage in the National Park. It has allocated an extra £100,000 to manage unsurfaced routes over the next two years and an effective looking new strategy and action plan. We still have concerns about the future funding for maintaining our key green lanes and hope that the Park Authority will be building a strong relationship with Derbyshire County Council to ensure our beautiful and sensitive landscapes are sustained for the future.

National Planning Policy Framework

The year ends with a cross-party committee of MPs calling for ‘significant changes’ to improve the draft NPPF – and the suggested changes reflect many of our aspirations for the final policy.

We deliver our five foot postcard - and a petition signed by over 600 people - to Nick Clegg, demanding that the Government radically rewrites the draft NPPF. We ask for a meeting with the MP for Sheffield Hallam so that we can talk to him about local people’s concerns about the impact of these planning chances on countryside. We also write to local MPs asking them to put pressure on the Government to rewrite the NPPF. We wait with baited breath for the final document to be published in early 2012.