This is an archived press release
Monday 18 August 2008
18 August 2008
Approval for two new village halls in national park
The Peak District National Park planning committee has given unanimous approval for two new village halls to meet the needs of the 21st century.
Villagers of Parwich (near Ashbourne) and Over Haddon (near Bakewell), who attended the meeting, were delighted that they can now replace out-dated, inadequate facilities.
Both schemes resulted from the communities and their designers working together with planning officers to achieve modern, energy-efficient buildings which meet local needs as well as enhance the national park.
The new halls will be stone-built to harmonise with their village settings, with disabled access and limited parking. Both have won backing in principle from various funding bodies, including the Big Lottery Fund.
Over Haddon’s plans include photovoltaic roof-tiles to provide electricity, and a ground source heat pump, drawing energy from the earth.
The new hall in Parwich will improve facilities especially for the village’s schoolchildren, providing space and equipment storage for PE, and for pre-school groups to play outside.
Chair of the planning committee Hilda Gaddum paid tribute to the communities: “We very much welcome the fact that they have worked very hard with our officers to achieve schemes that not only blend with their national park setting, but benefit residents and the environment.”
National Park Authority chair Narendra Bajaria said: “We value the initiatives of local communities to provide sustainable buildings and facilities that mean people want to remain there.
“These proposals will provide modern buildings that meet the needs of the 21st century, including energy efficiency, access for disabled people, and provision for the young. They’ll contribute to vibrancy amongst these communities which we wholeheartedly support, and will be an example to other villages in terms of design, sustainability and blending with the national park setting.
“The Peak District National Park Authority must strike a balance between the concerns and needs of local residents and conserving the character of the national park. These designs do strike a good balance, and I’d like to pay tribute to our planning officers, representatives of local communities and their professional advisors for achieving a good consensus.”
Some villagers in Parwich were concerned over traffic hazards, parking problems and noise. Cllr Gaddum said: “We do sympathise with these concerns, but in view of the fact that the highways authority has no overriding objection, the planning committee must take heed of their professional advice.”
Both schemes had been subject to last-minute design amendments to better reflect traditional designs and materials, which meant they came to the committee with officers’ recommendations for approval.