We may have to face up to change

Tourism is now an important part of life in the Peaks and Dales.

It is one of the main sources of revenue for the district and growing every year.

For it to thrive, extra accommodation is needed and that means planners have tough decisions to make about what can and cannot be converted.

Prime targets should be the disused farm buildings and empty farm cottages dotted about the landscape and it would be good if the owners of derelict old buildings could be forced to renovate them and put them to good use.

This week’s decision to allow three cottages at Beeley to be used as hotel rooms has provoked a storm of understandable protest from the residents in the hamlet.

However I don’t think holiday lets and second homes should be considered as one and the same.

A second home may remain locked up for many weeks of the year and the owners may bring much of their food with them from their home city when they do visit – but people coming here on holiday will be spending money in the community.

Future jobs in this area may rely on tourism so we are going to have to face up to some changes.

Amanda Hatfield, editor