Policy SE 15: Peak District National Park Fringe
- Within the Peak District National Park Fringe footnote 81 development that would affect the setting of the Peak District National Park will be resisted where it compromises the statutory designation and purposes of the National Park.
- Development will be considered on its individual merits having particular regard to the type, scale and location taking account of the Peak District National Park Landscape guidelines and characteristics of the South West Peak and the adjoining areas of the Cheshire Plain.
The Peak District National Park is an asset of national, regional, and local importance. It was the first of 15 national parks in the United Kingdom to be designated for their spectacular landscapes, cultural heritage and wildlife, and for people to enjoy.
13.164 The Environment Act (1995) establishes the statutory purposes of national park designation, as:
- to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the national parks; and
- to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities [of the parks] by the public.
13.165 Section 62 of the Act places a general duty on all relevant authorities, statutory undertakers and other public bodies, to have regard to these purposes.
13.166 Special Qualities define what is distinctive and significant about the Peak District compared with other parts of the country. Understanding these qualities helps us to plan effectively and manage the national park in order to protect them.
13.167 In the Peak District National Park Core Strategy, they are described as valued characteristics and include:
- Natural beauty, natural heritage, landscape character and landscapes.
- Sense of wildness and remoteness.
- Clean air, earth and water.Importance of wildlife and the area’s unique biodiversity.
- Thousands of years of human influence which can be traced through the landscape.
- Distinctive character of hamlets, villages and towns.
- Trees, woodlands, hedgerows, stone walls, field barns and other landscape features.
- Significant geological features.
- Wealth of historic buildings, parks and gardens.
- Opportunities to experience tranquillity and quiet enjoyment.
- Easy access for visitors and surrounding urban areas.
- Opportunities to experience dark night skies.
- Vibrancy and a sense of community.
- Cultural heritage of history, archaeology, customs, traditions, legends, arts, and literary associations.
- Opportunities for outdoor recreation and adventure.
- Environmentally friendly methods of farming and working the land.Craft and cottage industries.
- Opportunities to improve physical and emotional well-being.
- Special values attached to the national park by surrounding urban communities.
- The flow of landscape character across and beyond the national park boundary.
13.168 The Peak District National Park is a complex tapestry of different landscapes in which there are three distinct areas. The South West Peak sits along the boundary of the Peak Park Fringe but also includes parts of this area in order to reflect the flow of landscape character (a feature which is reflected in the list of special qualities above). It is particularly characterised by its sloping valleys with woodlands which are described within the Peak District National Park Landscape strategy as: 'a pastoral landscape with a varied undulating topography of steep slopes, low ridges and incised valleys. Blocks of woodland are a characteristic feature of this landscape, together with patches of acid grassland and bracken on steeper slopes and higher ground. This is an area of traditional dispersed settlement with probable ancient origins. Views to lower ground are framed by woodlands and valley sides. This landscape covers extensive tracts of the western slopes of the South West Peak, in the landscapes rising above Macclesfield and Leek.'
13.169 In places, the boundaries of the Peak District National Park follow administrative rather than landscape boundaries. Through consultation, the council will seek to work with the Peak District National Park to ensure that all new developments within the Peak District National Park Fringe will not have an adverse impact upon the purposes of the Peak District National Park and its valued characteristics, having particular regard to the type and scale of the development and the Peak District National Park Landscape Assessment and Strategy.
- Environment Act 1995 (Sections 61 & 62)
- Peak District National Park Core Strategy
- Peak District National Park Management Plan
- The Peak District National Park Landscape Strategy and Action Plan 2009-2019
(Footnote 81) As identified within the Local Landscape Designation Document (May 2013) as the 'Peak Park Fringe' and shown in Figure 13.5.
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