This latest application at Haytop is for something called a CLOPUD – a lawful Certificate for a proposed use or development. Essentially the developer wants to legalise his claim that he can put 30 double unit parkhomes on the site for permanent residency and another 30 for year round holiday use. Without any further planning permissions. That’s 60 big double unit lodges where previously there were only small trailer type vans and some single unit statics.
If he gets the certificate he can essentially do what he wants with the site. It is very important that objections are made to Amber Valley Planning to put the case against the application.
What objections or comments can be made?
Well, this is not a planning application so the list of objections which may be relevant is not what you might expect.
The following points may be taken into account.
Would it be lawful to have park homes on the site now? Is the proposed use of the 60 doubleunit lodges in line with what was allowed by the 2 existing planning permissions?
The two existing planning permissions (granted 1952 and 1966) do not specifically state that anyone can live on the site permanently – as a place of residence. The 1952 permission allows 30 trailer type vans and doesn’t specifically say they can’t be lived in all the time. But neither does it say they can’t. However the intention is clear that the site was to be used by touring caravans. The 1966 permission allows for another 30 making a total of 60. The extra 30 are specifically limited to seasonal use (April to September on the site license).
So for the developer to put 60 double unit park homes on site for the uses he intends would appear to be not lawful.
2. Would there be an effective change of use – which should therefore require planning permission?
Since Haytop was originally granted permission as a touring / holiday site, to change it into a type of housing estate would seem to be a change of use. Don’t forget, in the 1966 permission it states in the reasons ‘(b) that this consent is granted, having regard to the acknowledged demand, for holiday and weekend caravan sites in this area. It is remote from any major settlement and is not therefore felt to be suitable as a permanent residential caravan site.’ To use it as such, planning permission would be required.
3. What has been the historical use of the site?
It has been a caravan site since 1952. It was never intended to be a park home site. No one has lived there using it as a permanent address, paid council tax, or received post, etc. Indeed the old Haytop Country Park website (under the ownership of Mr Henry George) states ‘…Haytop Country Park is run and maintained by the Park owner as a weekend and holiday caravan park…’ The applicant would have us believe otherwise, and therefore claim they can lawfully put park homes for residential use on it. His assertion is false and he has not produced acceptable evidence to support it.
4. Does it matter that the site is within a Conservation area?
Amber Valley Planning have a duty to preserve and enhance the appearance of conservation areas. Haytop is in the Alderwasley Conservation area and so the wholesale destruction and reworking of the landscape should not be allowed. Granting this certificate would go against that duty.
Where any development would harm the character, appearance or setting of a Conservation area it would not normally be permitted.
5. Application form inaccuracy. Designed to mislead?
Section 6 of the Application form (document 939166) the applicant says the site cannot be seen from any public road, bridleway, footpath or other public land. This is clearly wrong. Has the applicant done this deliberately in order to mislead? In any case it is untrue.
The next few points might be worth mentioning even though they probably would not be formally taken into account when making the decision.
The applicant claims that the visual impact of lodges is no greater than that of trailer caravans. This is simply not true.
Looking at doc. 939167, the illustrative masterplan, it is difficult to see how 60 double unit park homes could be positioned within the site boundary, certainly without further tree loss and opening up of the site to general view, both day and night.
The applicant asserts that there would be no effect on neighbouring uses and the locality. Clearly this is nonsense. A short visit to the area would reveal what an impact the changes are already having, which would only get worse if more units are added. Visitors and residents will (and already have) notice(d) a massive change . Compared to the visual impact of the site as it was prior to the takeover by the applicant (see wacag.info website for photos) the current and possible future situation demonstrates a huge change to visual amenity (landscape impact) in the area. At night light pollution would also be significant, where previously there was virtually none. Road traffic too would increase. Vehicle movements were low when the site was in casual use but will be daily and regular if the site was to become effectively a residential area with associated comings and goings. There may be the same number of caravans but they are certainly not of the same type or being used for the same purpose. With many trees now gone (illegally felled) their physical presence and all of the associated infrastructure that goes with them is hard to miss.
Possible consequences of granting the Certificate.
If this application gets through there could be further significant loss of the remaining trees at the lower end of the site. Even though they all have Tree Preservation Orders on them.
The site would become even more visible within the Derwent Valley landscape which has Conservation and Heritage status and great scenic value. (Next to a SSSI – Shining Cliff Wood.)
There is significant risk of pollutants entering the Derwent either directly from run-off or via Pendleton Brook. Chemicals used for car washing for example, petrochemical run off, failures in the sewage handling system, etc.
Further detrimental effects are likely to the local environment and its remaining wildlife.