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Plain English guide to Peak District planning

This is an archived press release

Friday 17 December 2004

17 December 2004

Plain English guide to Peak District planning

A new simple guide should become essential reading for anyone thinking of making a planning application in the Peak District National Park.

The National Park Authority has just published its free Planning Handbook 2005, which gives clear explanations and step-by-step checklists to help everyone through the planning process.

Dealing with more than a thousand applications a year, the Peak District is one of the busiest National Park planning authorities in the country - and one of its prime roles is to ensure that new developments are in keeping with the surroundings and do not harm the landscape.

Therefore location, building designs and materials are of particular importance in protecting this distinctive environment - and the handbook emphasises that development control officers are keen to advise on these even before people make an application.

It also explains what could affect an application, such as a Conservation Area, Tree Preservation Order, archaeological features, rights of way or protected wildlife habitats.

Planning committee chair Narendra Bajaria said: "Planning affects people's lives, and we recognise that the planning process can appear confusing and a little mysterious at times. We have produced the handbook to try to explain the background to planning in the Peak District and guide people through the process.

"The handbook also explains who to contact for further help. I'd say to people, don't be afraid to ask questions - we'e always trying to improve the service we give."

In addition, the handbook explains the role of the forward planning service, which sets the overall strategy and policy guidelines for the National Park.

Outlines of some of the most important policy documents are in the handbook, including the Structure Plan and Local Plan - which cover policies on major issues such as conservation, housing, employment, minerals, waste disposal and transport.

Developers should also look at the Authority's Supplementary Planning Guidance documents, giving up-to-date guidelines on such high-profile issues as affordable housing, agricultural development and renewable energy.

Planning handbooks and Supplementary Planning Guidances are both free, and are available by ringing Customer Services on 01629 816361 or e-mail aldern@peakdistrict.gov.uk

The Peak District National Park Authority website, www.peakdistrict.org also has plenty of planning information, including details of the planning and policy guides. Or you could write to the Authority at Aldern House, Baslow Road, Bakewell, DE45 1AE.

This is an archived press release

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