Farmer’s development is ‘monstrous eyesore’

Owner: Peter Denton.
Owner: Peter Denton.
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CHANGES are being proposed to an unauthorised development branded a ‘monstrous eyesore’ by neighbours under plans submitted to the Peak District national park authority.

Peter Denton, a farmer and butcher living at Fernhill Cottage, Ronksley Lane, Hollow Meadows, on the outskirts of Sheffield, excavated part of a steep hillside around his home without planning permission four years ago.

He felled trees and created an access road and garage.

Now Mr Denton, who is disabled having lost both legs in accidents, is making a planning application to the national park authority to rebuild the garage and store and to create a parking area level with the house for improved disabled access.

He has started to fill in some of the excavations but wants to keep some of the retaining walls he has built to ‘stablise the hillside’.

A deadline for public comments about the application is February 1 and the park will then consider the plans for approval in the following two weeks.

But the plans are opposed by surrounding residents who want Mr Denton to restore the hillside to its original state.

Jeanne Goulding, who lives nearby, said: “It had only a very small garden which was to the front of the cottage. The cottage, hidden behind tall trees, had no vehicular access or parking.

“The main objections to this planning application would be it would damage the landscape and valued characteristics of the Peak Park, harm wildlife in nearby woods and gardens, and increase business activity.

“The proposed development would disturb the peace and tranquillity of what is a quiet country lane.”

Another resident, Jeremy Archdale, also objected. He said: “My wife and I have just moved from Moscar Lodge to Norfolk Lodge so are now direct neighbours of the applicants.

“We have what must be the most monstrous eyesore ever achieved in the Peak Park. I am now living at the top of a cliff face already destabilised by the applicant.”

Mr Denton, who received an enforcement notice from the Peak District National Park Authority ordering him to restore the land, is applying for ‘erection of a garage and store, and change of use of woodland to residential use to create access and a parking area’.

His application states there are ‘no immediate neighbours on whom the development could have an impact’ and proposes better screening of the car parking area, partial burying of retaining walls to reduce their visual impact and restoration of some of the hillside.

Mr Denton said: “I carried out the excavations of the hillside because it had become unstable after the floods in 2007 and was putting my house at risk. I also need disabled access.”

His application replaces one which was withdrawn in 2008.