Could we encourage readers to visit Standing up for Nature, and look at the issues raised by Avery in his synopsis of the case for objecting to a retrospective planning application to continue damaging upland moorland at Midhope Moor to the north west of Sheffield?
The application seeks to secure retrospective planning permission for a temporary track to a line of grouse butts. There are some 30 objections to the application, although Avery points out that there are none from any conservation organisation, why one might wonder is that? It is interesting that the applicant is supported by Natural England. See the downloadable pdf available via the planning portal.
PEAK DISTRICT MOORS SPA/SOUTH PENNINE MOORS SAC/THE DARK PEAK SSSI Application ref.: NP/S/0316/0214
Natural England write in support of the retrospective planning application for the lightweight access matting laid over the soil and vegetation along the route from Lost Lad to Mickleden Grouse Butts within the above named designated sites.
If this was a legitimate restoration activity and had discussions taken place ahead of this infrastructure being laid then one could perhaps understand Natural England’s position, but it appears that the works had been undertaken to provide access grouse butts rather than facilitate conservation management? More than one commentator questions why NE have supported retrospectively, considering they should have better advised the landowner in the first instance given the public funding relating to the site.
Note also that the Screening Opinion recognises that the application falls with Schedule 2 of the Regulations but it is not considered by the Planning Manager to have a significant impact on the environment. The creation of easy access to facilitate transport of shooters and their entourage is surely part of the plan or project, not merely the placing of matting?
One interesting aspect to note is that the PDNP make public commentators personal details available, this is clearly stated and obvious when opening consultees correspondence. It appears that different public bodies adopt different policies and there is no consistency across such matters. Another example would be that a number of Internal Drainage Boards operating in the Humberhead Levels, particularly associated with the Doncaster area have redacted some personal details from correspondence and on other occasions have published them.
Anyone wishing to make representation has until Monday 9 May to do so. That is this coming Monday, so the weekend to consider and compose some correspondence to the Peak District National Park Planning Team. The link to the page provides the array of material documents and there is a form to submit comments. Remember if you wish to object to the application then you need to ensure that you indicate (by ticking the relevant box) that your comment is an objection, in support, or simply a general comment.