Back in March I wrote about the plastic track that had been stretched across Dark Peak moorland in the Peak District without planning permission and without thought for its impact on the environment and beauty of the area. You can read the original article here.
A retrospective planning application, one of several over a period of years, had been lodged with the national park authority with a decision target date of 6th April. The application received over 180 objections from individuals and organisations, including Bradfield parish council, The BMC, Sheffield Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Peak District.
A decision on the application is still pending.
Natural England submitted a further response on 18.04.18 which can be read here
To summarise, Natural England the government body charged with advising on the protection of England’s nature and landscape, suggest that it would not object to allowing the matting to remain for a period of not more than 5 years, when the situation should be reviewed. This is to help the landowner continue with ongoing works, access for which the track was initially laid, without planning permission which was a legal requirement.
It is not clear what ongoing works entails, the estates application makes reference to “restoration”, view the letter here and a further document here specifies “reprofilling” “heather regeneration” “footpath works” and “drain blocking”. There is no time scale outlined for the restoration to be completed, the original work began several years ago, and it is unclear what the final objective is other than restoration.