This is an archived press release
Friday 13 February 2015
A proposal to redevelop a former cheese factory site at Hartington has been turned down for the second time by the Peak District National Park planning committee.
The scheme from developers Cathelco of Chesterfield was for 26 houses including 20 three-to-five-bedroomed houses for the open market, four affordable homes and two conversions of existing barns.
There were 15 speakers at the meeting: 11 objected to the scheme. Hartington Parish Council and local residents were supported by Friends of the Peak District, in their objections.
Derbyshire Dales District Council and the Peak District Rural Housing Association spoke in support of the scheme because it would have helped provide much needed affordable housing in the area.
After hearing all the representations and debating the evidence, members refused the application because the public benefits were insufficient to outweigh the exceptional circumstances needed to justify a development of this scale in the national park.
Paul Ancell, who chairs the Peak District National Park planning committee, said: "We want what's best for the national park and for Hartington and unfortunately this scheme is not it. The size and scale, design, siting, layout and landscaping for the proposed development, were not in keeping with local building traditions, and would be insensitive to the distinctive character of its landscape setting and the settlement's overall pattern of development.
"The Dove Dairy Site does need developing – we're all agreed on that – and it is suitable for housing development, but we were not convinced that this is the best scheme we can get for this historic village and its community.
"We need to see a development that enhances the Dove Valley's historic landscape and the existing village, and brings benefits to the local community."
The absence of any energy saving measures or use of renewable energy sources was also part of the decision to refuse the scheme.
Cathelco's earlier application for 39 houses, business units, a sports pitch, playground, allotments and car park was refused in 2012 because the development was considered too large for the site. This decision was upheld at appeal in 2013.
The Dove Dairy Site has been disused since 2009. Hartington cheese factory opened in 1876 and at its height employed 200 people. It closed in 2009 after owners Dairy Crest sold it to rivals Long Clawson, which then moved its cheese production outside the national park.