Barrier will not solve noise issue

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Plans to install noise barriers up to 18ft high outside Bakewell’s Agricultural Business Centre have been rejected to protect the landscape.

Derbyshire Dales District Council sought planning permission to put up the barriers – which would have varied in height between 11ft and 18ft (3.5 and 5.5 metres) – after receiving noise complaints from some residents in Coombs Road caused by the centre’s 6am to 9pm operations.

But Bakewell Town Council and 13 local residents opposed the plans, saying the noise issue was not enough to justify the visual impact that installing the barriers would have on the Bakewell Conservation Area and the Peak District National Park.

District councillor Judith Twigg spoke at the meeting as a Bakewell resident.

She said: “I strongly object, as I feel that this is out of keeping with this area. I just think it’s out of order.”

The town council argued that alternative ways of dealing with the problem had not been fully explored and that the solution proposed was out of proportion to the issue.

Members of the Peak District National Park Authority’s planning committee were told that Derbyshire Dales District Council feared the future of the Agricultural Business Centre (ABC) could be put in jeopardy because the noise levels could be deemed high enough to be classed as a ‘statutory nuisance’.

John Herbert, chair of the planning committee, said: “The committee unanimously decided that the solution proposed to deal with the problem had too unacceptable an impact because the noise barriers would be so visible to other residents and people walking through Bakewell town centre.

“We didn’t feel we were presented with conclusive evidence that the future of the ABC was under any threat at the current time. We feel that other alternatives can achieve the desired results, such as helping to improve insulation from noise in neighbouring homes or reducing noise levels on site.”

“The Agricultural Business Centre is one of the top five livestock markets in the UK and is crucial to the economy of the local area.

“We will continue to work with all parties to find a solution that means the centre continues to flourish and provide jobs for local people.”