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HIGH PEAK REGENERATION STRATEGY

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					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.

				
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