As a national park, the Peak District has strict planning regulations. These affect all aspects of construction from renovating properties to building new houses. The Peak District National Park authority is the planning authority landowners must inform should they wish to make changes to their property or their land.
The Peak District National Park Authority aims to ensure that all new developments are well designed in order to contribute to the natural environment of the park. This often means that new developments must be in keeping with their surroundings, as well as listed buildings being maintained. The authority aims to ensure that residents have access to affordable homes in order to benefit the local community and residents of the park.
Many residents of the park are confused as to exactly what they may need planning permission for. There are many misconceptions regarding planning and the planning process as a whole. The biggest misconceptions revolve around landowners feeling they do not need planning permission for minor changes and alterations to their property. This is however not the case with planning permission also being required for small changes. These range from the digging of ponds to the erecting of satellite dishes on the sides of the property. It is advised as well that advice is sought by anyone who wishes to contract builders, advertise on billboards or change the usage of a building.
The Park Authority offers a pre-application advice service which is available prior to the submission of an actual planning application. The service is designed for those who plan on making small changes to properties whether this is minor extensions or changes to shop fronts. Pre-application advice is given after the submission of a pre-application advice form on the park authorities official website. A planning officer will contact those who wish to make changes within 15 days. The pre-application form itself is not legally binding as residents who live in the surrounding areas must be informed of changes prior to them taking place. It is, however, a useful service as it can save landowners both money and time should their application be unlikely to succeed.
There are certain types of buildings and areas which fall under special legislation. These include conservation areas whereby the impact on the area must first be fully evaluated. Permission also has to be granted by those who intend to demolish or alter a listed building. Alterations may include anything which affects the character of the building. Land owners and residents should not however find the process daunting as over 80% of applications are approved on average.