Plastic track at Midhope Moor

30th July 2020

On Midhope Moor at the head of Mickleden Valley an unauthorised new track of plastic matting cuts a broad swathe of what looks like a garden lawn through the blanket bog and heather moorland.

It was refused retrospective planning permission two years ago by the National Park Authority which then issued an enforcement notice for its removal. The applicant appealed the notice and a public inquiry is to be heard in the late summer.

We have written in fill support of the enforcement notice. This track is unnecessary and harms what makes the National Park so special here – its relative wildness and freedom from human intrusions. The conservation work it was intended to facilitate is finished and any potential future restoration was still under discussion with Natural England at the time of the planning application.

Even if such future work is necessary it can be done using alternative techniques and access, as Moors for the Future has repeatedly shown when conserving thousands of hectares of blanket bog.

Midhope Moor landowners are appealing against an Enforcement Notice issued by the Peak District National Park Authority to remove the track.

We are objecting to their appeal because this is an unauthorised development of a new 2m-wide plastic matting track which is more than 670mwith associated groundworks. Previously access that severely damaged the moor had been made along/alongside this route but there was no defined track. Retrospective planning permission was refused by the PDNPA planning committee on 15 June 2018 and an enforcement notice requiring the removal of all the materials used in the track’s construction was issued on 21 September 2018. The appeal appears based on the nullity of the notice and on negating the justification for the notice. We believe that the enforcement notice is not a nullity – it tells the recipient fairly what they have done wrong and what they must do to remedy it2 – and that it is justified. Therefore the appeal should be dismissed.

Read our full objection here.

Quernmore landscape