Have your say on the future of Stanage/North Lees Estate
This consultation will run from Thursday 30th January to Wednesday 4th March 2020 (extended from 13th February 2020).
What is the Stanage/North Lees Estate?
The 542 hectare Estate is 1.5 miles north of Hathersage and 9.5 miles west of Sheffield in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park (PDNP). Set within wildlife-rich moorland, woodland and farmland the Estate contains:
- the iconic Stanage Edge
- grade II* listed North Lees Hall and Cruck Barn
- estate cottages and farm
- campsite and car parks
Map of estate
Click map to view in more details
Why is there a consultation?
The Estate is owned by the Peak District National Park Authority. But we need a long-term, sustainable plan so that we:
- continue to care for the Estate and promote understanding in a sustainable way which respects and enhances wildlife, heritage and landscape
- use the Estate’s assets to best economic effect
At the moment we have temporary arrangements in place for occupancy of the hall/farmhouse and a vacant property (Cattisside Cottage) that is in need of significant investment to make it habitable. There is an urgent need to develop a long-term plan for the built assets on the estate.
In order to progress quickly on the development of financially-viable options that will also contribute to the purposes of the National Park we employed specialist consultants to carry out an options appraisal of the whole estate. From that appraisal we have grouped the options that we believe meet both of those needs into 3 packages, for consultation only at this stage.
Who is being consulted?
This consultation is open to anybody. The responses will be published and used by Authority members to inform their decision-making.
A detailed financial appraisal will be required before any of the options can be taken forward. This will include identifying potential sources of grant funding, but we need to know the preferred direction of travel before this can be started.
What do I need to do?
Please consider the three management options below then click on the survey and let us know what you think. It should take about 10-15 minutes.
Please note the following aspects are NOT part of the current consultation:
1. Management of the farmland and woods
Why? The land is unproductive as farmland and currently has limited potential to produce income other than from the Basic Payment Scheme and Countryside Stewardship Scheme. The options appraisal identified the best outcome for the farm would be to find a tenant who farms a separate unit and could utilise their own facilities. Whilst the appraisal was underway, this is exactly what we have done. The new tenant has now taken over management of the farm on a 5 year tenancy agreement.
The options appraisal did not identify any options for change to the management of our woodlands. They are covered by a management plan until June 2033 and it is recommended that this plan be reviewed every 5 years.
2. Engagement opportunities on the Estate
Why? Engagement opportunities can be developed to fit the preferred options. This level of detail will be considered at a later stage of planning.
3. Disposal of the entire estate
Why? The Stanage Forum Steering Group suggested some principles for the options appraisal. These included the following "The Estate was acquired with public money and is publicly owned, and should remain so in perpetuity."
- Refurbish the hall to serve as holiday accommodation and let throughout the year reserving up to 6 weeks pa for the building to be open to the public for Heritage Open Days or other engagement activities. Letting mechanism to be determined.
- Refurbish Cattisside Cottage for use as either holiday accommodation aimed at outdoor enthusiasts with discounted periods open to under-represented groups OR as residential accommodation depending on demand for accommodation at the Hall.
- Improve the existing facilities on the campsite by upgrading washrooms. Improve marketing to encourage longer stays (in line with industry standards).
- Utilise the former Ranger Briefing Centre for interpretation about the estate and as a meeting point for engagement activities led by PDNPA or partner organisations.
- Convert cruck barn for use for public engagement activities and interpretation, and/or as a camping barn.
- Regularise parking charges by introducing charging at all estate car parks to maximise income for reinvestment and to fund the above investment. Increase efforts to promote permit and responsible behaviour.
Arm's-length Management Option
- Let the Hall under Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements to private tenants. There would be an opportunity for those tenants to diversify in to provision of bed and breakfast accommodation or refreshments, increasing income potential for Estate.
- Lease the campsite to a private operator to achieve a significant reduction in management costs.
- Long-term agreement with housing association to utilise Catisside Cottage as affordable local housing. There is an identified need in the Hathersage area that is proving difficult to meet.
- Let the Cruck Barn on a long-term improvement lease. This would secure the future use and maintenance of the building at little financial cost to the Estate as the cost of conversion and maintenance would be met by the tenant. Income to the estate from this source would be very low due to the tenants investment required.
- Regularise parking charges by introducing charging at all estate car parks to maximise income for reinvestment and to fund the investment needed to bring properties up to a satisfactory standard. Increase effort to promote permit and responsible behaviour.
Reduce Liabilities Option
- Let the Hall under Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements to private tenants. There would be an opportunity for those tenants to diversify in to provision of holiday accommodation or refreshments, increasing income potential for Estate as in option 2.
- Lease the campsite to a private operator to achieve a significant reduction in management costs, as in option 2.
- Permanent disposal of Catisside Cottage by sale to generate capital to partially fund investment needed to bring the remaining properties up to a satisfactory standard.
- Continue current car park arrangements with a mix of pay and display and free parking to maintain income at its current level. Continue to promote permit and responsible behaviour.
- Carry out essential maintenance only to the Cruck Barn to bring the building up to a satisfactory condition and prevent further deterioration.
- Carry out essential maintenance only to the toilets and former Ranger Briefing Centre at Hollin Bank.
Please go to https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/Stanage-North-Lees-consultation/ to have your say about the future of Stanage/North Lees estate.
Want to put my views across but not just in an online survey?
- call 01629 816200 and ask to speak to Clare Wilkins
- email firstname.lastname@example.org
- write to us at the below address:
Peak District National Park Authority
North Lees campsite main building
North Lees Campsite camping pods
North Lees Hall
North Lees Public Toilets