Last update: 25 August 2022
Please note: Following unforeseen circumstances and at the request of the Appellant, the Public Inquiry has been adjourned from March 2022.
A revised date for the Inquiry has been confirmed as: 11-14 and 18 October 2022. Venue will be: Peak District National Park Authority, Aldern House, Baslow Road, Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1AE.
Public Notice - Public Inquiry
Notice is hereby given that an appeal has been lodged with the Planning Inspectorate by Mrs Emma Harrison (Thornbridge Hall, Ashford-in-the-Water, DE45 1NZ) against an Enforcement Notice issued by the Peak District National Park Authority for the carrying out of operational developments, consisting of the construction of driveways, construction of a car park, the laying of hardsurfacing, construction of a building, and the erection of fences, including gateways and stiles, without planning permission at Thornbridge Hall, Ashford-in-the-Water, DE45 1NZ.
Inquiry Attendance Information
The Inquiry will take place at: Peak District National Park Authority, Aldern House, Baslow Road, Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1AE.
Before deciding whether to take an active part in the Inquiry, you need to think carefully about the points you wish to make. All written submissions from the application and appeal stage will be taken into account by the Inspector and re-stating the same points will not add any additional weight to them.
You may attend the Inquiry and may, with the Inspector’s consent state your case either in person or through a representative. If you have additional mobility or access requirements or anyone you know who wants to go to the inquiry requires additional support, please contact the Authority to confirm we can make proper arrangements such as parking spaces, access, seating arrangements etc:
- If you just wish to observe the event, you should make that clear in your response to the Case Officer.
- If you wish to take an active part in the proceedings, please make clear in your response whether you wish only to appear at the Inquiry and make a statement, or whether you would also wish to ask questions on particular topics.
- If you want to take an active part but feel unable to for any reason, and/or the points you want to make are not covered in the evidence of others, consider whether someone else could raise them on your behalf
Planning Inspectorate References: APP/M9496/C/
The Planning Inspectorate
Enforcement Case Officer
Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN
Direct line number:
The Planning Inspectorate will notify the decision on the appeal only to those who ask to be notified.
Overview to this case
An enforcement notice has been issued by the Authority against the landowner at Thornbridge Hall for unauthorised works (undertaken without planning permission) at the property. These works relate to the gardens and parkland surrounding the Hall and not the Hall itself.
The enforcement case concerns the erection of a substantial wooden building (currently in use as a café) and construction of a tarmac-surfaced car park and associated driveways, fencing, gates and hardstandings, along with possible damage to trees, habitats archaeology.
The wider estate includes a number of designated heritage assets, notably several listed buildings and a registered park and garden, and the area affected by the works is in close proximity to the Main Entrance, the Monsal Trail and a public footpath. The property is also within a Conservation Area. As a result this is considered to be a particularly sensitive location.
The above works have taken place without the necessary planning permission being sought or granted prior to construction, and are considered to cause significant harm to the heritage assets referred to above. As a result of which, the Peak District National Park Authority as the local planning authority have issued an Enforcement Notice.
Dialogue with the landowner commenced in March 2021, and since March 2021 when the Authority was informed of the works correspondence has included clarification that the works required planning permission and that any continuance of construction would be at the landowner's own risk.
The Authority's planning service has continued to remain operational throughout Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions were imposed on workplaces. As a result of national restrictions response times were delayed. This was stated on the Authority’s website. Our contact centre has also remained operational throughout this period. During this period, pre-application advice has been limited to major developments and listed building consents which was also stated on our website.
- Enforcement Notice issued to the appellant
- Pre-Inquiry note from the Planning Inspectorate
- Previous press statement(s) by the Authority on this case
- Press statement issued by the Authority in March 2022, below:
Statement from the Peak District National Park Authority following notification of a Public Inquiry regarding an appeal against an Enforcement Notice issued for unauthorised works at Thornbridge Hall, 24 March 2022:
“On the basis of the case to be heard at Public Inquiry, The Peak District National Park Authority would like the Inspector to uphold the enforcement notice served on the appellant in relation to works undertaken on land at Thornbridge Hall without planning permission.
“The Authority considers that the works undertaken would not have been approved for planning permission, had this been sought prior to their commencement.
“As there was no opportunity to assess the impact on this sensitive site and location as a starting point prior to the works being undertaken, the Authority has asked that all relevant aspects of the development are removed and the land restored in accordance with the enforcement notice.
“The works are considered to be harmful to this sensitive site and remain unauthorised.”
Timeline of activity related to this case
- Authority notified of suspected unauthorised works (March 2021)
- Authority informs owner that works are in breach, recommendation to cease (March/April 2021)
- Owner completes works (April/May 2021)
- Authority issues enforcement notice (June 2021)
- Owner submits appeal (July 2021)
- Notification of Public Inquiry (October 2021)
- Public Inquiry adjourned to future date to be determined at request of appellant (April 2022)
- New Inquiry date(s) confirmed 11-14 and 18 October 2022. (03 April 2022)
FAQs related to this case
Q: Why is the Public Inquiry being held?
A: Following the issuing of an Enforcement Notice by the Authority against the landowner for unauthorised works at their property, the landowner has appealed the Enforcement Notice. This will be now be heard by the Planning Inspector.
Q: Why was an enforcement notice served?
A: The enforcement case concerns the erection of a substantial wooden building (currently in use as a café) and construction of a tarmac-surfaced car park and associated driveways and believed damage to trees, habitats and archaeology. The above works have taken place without the necessary planning permission being sought or granted prior to construction, and are considered to cause significant harm to the heritage assets at the location.
Q: Why is the site considered to be sensitive?
A: The wider estate includes a number of designated heritage assets, notably several listed buildings and registered park and garden, and the area affected by the works is in close proximity to the Main Entrance, Monsal Trail and a public footpath. The property is also within a Conservation Area. As a result this is considered to be a particularly sensitive location.
Q: Did the Authority’s planning department close as a result of Covid-19 restrictions?
In line with national Government guidance issued in March 2020 in respect of Covid-19, the Authority closed all of its office locations. The planning service remained operational throughout Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions, however during this time pre-application advice was restricted to priority applications such as major developments and listed building consents. This was clearly stated on the Authority’s website as part of wider Covid-19 advice.
Q: Why did the Authority not accept a retrospective application for the works?
We considered the works would not have been approved through formal submission of a planning application due to the sensitivity of the site, and the landowner was advised that any retrospective application would also have been unlikely to be approved.
Q: What is the Authority’s response to the appellant’s claim that the works result in public benefits that outweigh any harm caused to the heritage assets?
The Authority supports endeavours that further understanding of the National Park, its special qualities and in meeting our two primary national park purposes. In considering any application for planning permission, the Authority must have regard to policies including the Sandford Principle. This states that where a conflict exists between conservation and public enjoyment within a national park, conservation interest must take priority.
In this case, the site in question includes designated heritage assets, several listed buildings and a registered park and garden, and the area affected by the works is within a Conservation Area and in close proximity to the Monsal Trail and a public footpath. . We consider that the benefits claimed could be provided without the unauthorised development itself and do not, in any event, outweigh the harm caused to those assets.
Q: What will the landowner be required to do if the appeal against the enforcement notice is rejected?
If the appeal is dismissed and the enforcement notice is upheld without any variations, then the unauthorised developments will be required to be removed and the land restored to its former condition within 6 months. However, the inspector who determines the appeal may vary the notice requirements, including the periods for compliance.
Q: Can members of the public make representations at the Public Inquiry?
It is too late to submit written representations however, members of the public can attend the Inquiry and may, with the inspector’s consent, state their case either in person or through a representative.