HIGH PEAK REGENERATION STRATEGY Dear Mr Larner The following are my views on the draft Strategy, as requested:- Item 2 – Linking with other Strategies The Mersey Basin Campaign has recently produced an excellent River Valley Management Plan for Glossop Brook on behalf of Glossop Vision (I am a member of the Board). The success of this depends to a large extent on the co-operation of the planners at High Peak Borough Council. Item 3 – Issues Recent housing developments in Glossop are having the effect of forcing house prices up beyond the reach of local people. Every available space is being filled, not with just one house but with multiple buildings, blocks of flats etc. I welcome the moratorium on new builds, and plead with HPBC enforce this in Glossop, where the quota for new housing has been more than met. Traffic in Glossop is increasingly causing problems. Each new dwelling equals at least one more car on the roads – and on the pavements! Any new housing development should include designated parking spaces, however this does not always happen, as the developers cram more and more houses onto one small plot of land. A recent phenomenon in my area of Glossop is the sudden influx of young families with more than one car who are now buying the larger terraced houses which do not come with a parking space. This has led to rows of cars on each side of a street, all part- parked on the pavements to avoid losing their mirrors to passing traffic. As a mobility scooter user, I am constantly obstructed by cars parked on the pavements, and have been forced onto the road on several occasions in order to navigate round parked cars on my way to the shops – this on an electric powered vehicle with neither lights nor brakes, which travels at 4 miles per hour! I am putting my life at risk, not my wing mirror. On average, ten percent of the population is disabled. Add to that the numbers of elderly infirm and young parents with prams, and you have a significant number of people who are affected in the same way. The loss of traffic wardens in the High Peak means that motorists can get away with murder, and they are taking full advantage of this. I would like to see stricter speed limit enforcement in built-up areas, and more designated parking spaces overall. I understand that 65 apartments have now been approved in the Howard Town Mill development, but I cannot see room for 65 parking spaces PLUS enough parking for customers wishing to access the retail development in that area, including a new library. Item 4 – The Future Weaknesses and Threats There appears to be little consideration given to the type of businesses which are granted approval in Glossop. Too many businesses offering the same service are allowed to start up at the same time, with the result that many fail. There are always a number of empty premises on Glossop High Street due to this. The current trend of nail bars and financial advisers/mortgage lenders is a case in point. A couple of years ago, it was mobile phone outlets, most of which have now gone. There are areas of Glossop which have 3 or 4 of the same type of business within 100 metres; card shops (one has just closed) takeaways (which are only open at night, and serve the young late night revellers) estate agents (another one opening on High Street West) and now nail bars. What a waste of space and resources! Another important point is that the refurbishment of premises does not require by law adherence to the DDA, with the result that there are no improvements in access to these premises for disabled people. Item 5 – Achievements It is noticeable that Glossop receives significantly less funding from HPBC than other areas of the High Peak. I would be interested to know how the percentage of investment per capita compares with Buxton. Glossop is a market town, yet the markets here have been dwindling rapidly over the past few years. There was a Farmers Market in Glossop, briefly, when the foot and mouth epidemic forced restrictions on travel. It didn’t last long, though there are thriving Farmers Markets in other areas of the High Peak. The Bank Holiday Markets are now a shadow of the ones I visited not many years ago. Are there any plans to redress this? There was a suggestion, during the Glossop Vision Town Plan period of consultation, that the car park and market stalls in the Town Hall grounds should change places, so that cars were parked on the cobbled area and the market stalls were on tarmac, making them available to all, including wheel-chairs and motorised scooters. I for one would endorse this, and suggest that it could only increase business. Item 6 – Objectives I welcome the commitment to increased investment, quality and choice, opportunities, and sustainable transport for all. Except the disabled, it seems. Sorry – yes, the last line of this section does read ‘Increased access to jobs and services for those with special needs and the disabled’. This is the ONLY reference to the disabled in the whole document, and there is no clue as to how it is intended to achieve this. Will the sustainable transport be required to provide disabled access? Will the new businesses be required to provide opportunities for the disabled. Will the increased quality and choice of local employment benefit the disabled? Item 8 – Targets How about adding just that; ‘ Work towards the inclusion and equality of the disabled population of the Borough’. Because there is a long way to go before we achieve it! Item 9 – Action Plan The amount of money which HPBC has committed to the Action Plan for Glossop and Gamesley seems very small compared to that of Buxton (eg £105,000 to provide tourist information in Buxton against a grant of £15,000 to support the provision of same in Glossop). The resources for the regeneration of Glossop and Gamesley appear to be coming from elsewhere. Although my comments are necessarily confined to Glossop (being disabled means being very limited in my ability to travel,) I am confident they can be applied to other areas. Indeed, as a member of Access Glossop and Access High Peak, and the Derbyshire Forum of Access Groups, as well as DCIL, I know I am reflecting the views of many in my concern that the regeneration of the High Peak should result in a better life-style for all.