Green fields highlighted by sunrays through heavy clouds from Curbar Edge

Peak District National Park Authority confirms removal of unauthorised works at Cressbrook Dale

This is an archived press release

Thursday 14 December 2023

A large tipi and a car parking area containing plastic matting filled with stone has been removed by the Peak District National Park Authority following failure by the landowner to comply with an enforcement notice.

The site at Cressbrook Dale is considered to be among the most sensitive in the National Park and is classed as part of the ‘natural zone’.

The Authority had recently confirmed to the landowner that authorised works would be taking place to remove a tipi and hardstanding following an unappealed enforcement notice requiring the structures to be removed and the land reinstated to its original condition.

Works to remove a series of steps set into the hillside will be undertaken at a future date when ground conditions improve.

The action follows several attempts by the National Park Authority’s planning service to engage with the landowners at the Cressbrook site, including via a formal Planning Contravention Notice (PCN).

Before issuing the enforcement notice, the Authority had repeatedly informed the landowner that some of the works they had undertaken would require planning permission, however no application has been submitted. The Authority also made the landowner aware that such permission was unlikely to be approved due to the sensitive nature of the site.

The Authority confirmed that legislation allows them to claim back the cost of the removal – and any subsequent restoration required at the site – from the landowners. The landowners also have a short period to claim any of the materials or personal items removed from the site.

Phil Mulligan, Chief Executive of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “We’re disappointed that the landowner has consistently refused to acknowledge the relevant laws relating to these works, despite our attempts to engage with them.

“As a result of non-compliance with the statutory enforcement notice and an earlier PCN, we have taken the decision to formally remove these items from one of the most popular areas in the Derbyshire Dales which sits within the natural zone.

Chair of the Authority’s Planning Committee, Patrick Brady, added: “These things take time to resolve, but I am grateful to Cressbrook residents for their determination to ensure that this precious area is looked after for the future and for highlighting the importance of an adequately resourced and effective planning enforcement service. We intend to build on this for the future."

Mr Mulligan added: “Whilst there will inevitably be some disturbance to the ground caused by the removal of the unauthorised structures, our officers have worked professionally to undertake the works as sensitively as possible, including restoration of the land to its pre-existing levels. Further visits will be made to the site to assess if additional reinstatement activities are required, however we anticipate nature will also assist us with this process.

“Any items not related to groundworks have been documented and removed in the presence of officers from our planning service and will be stored securely if the landowner wishes to reclaim them.

“We encourage the landowners to engage directly with the Authority regarding any future plans at the site.”

This is an archived press release

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