Green fields highlighted by sunrays through heavy clouds from Curbar Edge

National Park Authority 'Meet the CEO' events kick-off with Castleton conversations

Monday 19 February 2024

Chief Executive Phil MulliganA regular series of 'Meet the CEO' events with the Peak District National Park Authority’s Phil Mulligan have got underway with residents sharing their views in Castleton (Weds 14 February).

The first of what is anticipated to be monthly sessions at venues around the Peak District saw residents bring their feedback to the village's Visitor Centre Blueberry café with a chance to speak with Mr Mulligan in person.

The next event will take place at Hartington Hall YHA on the 22 March from 3-5pm.

Among the topics discussed in Castleton were the increase in overnight and prolonged campervan stays in the area, the National Park Authority's role in supporting measures to mitigate this and potential unauthorised developments.

Local flooding, holiday homes and affordable housing, and the changing residential demographic of Peak District communities were also raised by those in attendance. The desire of local residents to see the village’s visitor centre remain open came across strongly.

Speaking after the event, Phil Mulligan said: "I would firstly like to give my sincere thanks to everyone who took the time to come along to this first 'Meet the CEO' event, which proved to be an extremely positive and engaging session.

"There were many issues raised which we are already acutely aware of as an Authority, but also some more personal and local concerns that I was pleased to be able to hear about first-hand.

"Impacts such as parking levels and campervan use are likely to involve a multi-agency approach with our colleagues in local authorities and in many cases these discussions are already ongoing. Where local and national policy allows us to relieve these pressures through the planning and development process we will aim to do so.

"I'm also pleased to say that we have uplifted the resources within our planning service by around 25%, which is enabling us to have a sharper eye and respond in a timely way to concerns of unauthorised activity. This has already seen positive results in some high profile cases which have been a recent priority.

"This increased capacity should also allow us to continue supporting affordable housing development where it is appropriate, so those families and younger generations who want to remain in the Peak District can do so.

"There is a need to change how we engage with visitors face-to-face in the National Park, and I’m pleased that work is already underway to establish how we can ensure the value of facilities like the Castleton Visitor Centre can continue in the face of ever-diminishing financial resources.

"Through these Meet the CEO events I have the opportunity to hear directly from local communities, which I very much welcome."

View the upcoming dates for Meet the CEO events and a round-up of the issues raised.

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