375 homes approved for Buxton farmland

Harpur Hill residents concerned about house building
Harpur Hill residents concerned about house building

A vast development consisting of 375 homes, a 70-bed retirement complex and a retail park has been approved for Harpur Hill, in Buxton.

Hallam Land Management’s plans for Foxlow Farm, on Harpur Hill Road, were given the green light by High Peak Borough Council’s development control committee at a meeting in Chapel-en-le-Frith on Monday.

The scheme includes a children’s play area, a multi-use sports pitch, allotments and a park.

The site would be accessed midway along the Ashbourne Road frontage.

Members heard that the authority had received 62 letters of objection on grounds including brownfield sites such as the old university campus site should be built on before greenfield land.

Officers recommended the application be granted consent for reasons including the provision of 113 units of affordable housing and the employment opportunities provided by the retail centre.

Philip Dowell, of Harpur Hill Residents’ Association, told councillors: “The current infrastructure of the village cannot sustain this level of development.

“There are already sewage and surface water drainage problems.

“The school is currently planning to install terrapin classrooms for extra space to accommodate current pupil levels.

“Medical facilities within the Buxton area are currently oversubscribed at both GP and hospital level.

“The A515 is an extremely busy road with a junction to Staden Lane already having seen a driver death and other junctions on this road have recorded at least three further deaths.”

Ward Cllr Keith Savage agreed, describing the plans as “inappropriate” and “simply too big” for Harpur Hill.

Opening the debate, Cllr John Faulkner, referring to the council’s lack of a five-year housing supply and current local plan, said: “It’s not where we would normally want development in normal circumstances, but we have to deal with the situation we’re in.”

Moving it for approval, he added: “I’ve got to say, it’s not ideal but it is a sustainable site. We’ve rejected applications that are in more unsustainable locations than this one, in places like Chapel, Dove Holes and Glossop, that have been granted at appeal.

“I take on board what people have said locally, but to a certain extent, this committee’s hands are tied.”

The 11 councillors present voted unanimously in favour of approving the plans.