This is an archived press release
Thursday 15 August 2013
The Government’s chief planner Steve Quartermain with special responsibility for links to national parks visited the Peak District today to meet national park planning officials and discuss planning issues.
Mr Quartermain met the Peak District National Park Authority’s chair and deputy chair of planning committee and officers in Bakewell to talk about issues such as affordable housing, economic growth and planning reforms.
He said: “It is important for me to be familiar with national park planning issues and see what’s happening on the ground.
“National parks have special functions to conserve the landscape and are protected by legislation, but there is always a balance to be struck in making sure there are houses for residents, places for businesses to work and looking after the environment.”
Lesley Roberts, chair of the authority’s planning committee said: “We were pleased to welcome Mr Quartermain to the Peak District National Park and speak directly to him on a range of planning issues. We look forward to continuing the local/national dialogue.”
The national park is a special place and planning has an important role in guiding development at the same time as safeguarding the natural environment and protecting the character of historic buildings and traditional villages.
John Scott, the authority’s director of planning, said: “The authority is not here to stop development, but to make sure we have the right development in the right place.”
Last year, the authority approved 88% of planning applications.
Mr Scott added: “The national park landscape and villages are our main asset so looking after them is crucial to our local economy, to the success of our businesses and the satisfaction of our communities.
“We are working hard to make our planning service as user-friendly as possible and to explain why we’ve reached decisions.”
For planning advice in the national park call 01629 816200 or go to www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/planning.