UKBouldering.com

Future of Stanage - consultation (Read 1377 times)

shark

Offline
  • *****
  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 7304
  • Karma: +517/-13
  • insect overlord #1
Future of Stanage - consultation
February 13, 2020, 10:26:53 am
www.thebmc.co.uk/the-future-of-stanage-have-your-say

A public consultation is currently running to gather views on the future management of the North Lees Estate which contains a large section of the iconic Stanage Edge. The BMC is responding to this consultation but we are encouraging individual climbers and walkers who are passionate about this landscape to respond too. We have written this article to give some background and context for those who are not familiar with the situation the estate finds itself in.

The Peak District National Park Authority has owned and managed the North Lees Estate since the early 1970’s when the estate was all but gifted to the Authority by General Sir Hugh Beach on the understanding that public access for recreation would be maintained forever. Over the last fifteen years, with the Authority’s funding declining, the future of the Estate has repeatedly been in question.

This ongoing uncertainty resulted in our Stand up for Stanage campaign in 2013. Since then dialogue between the BMC and the Authority has been good but the long-term vision still remains unclear.

As part of the Stand up for Stanage campaign, the BMC put together a charter for the future management of the North Lees Estate, regardless of who owned or managed it. The nine points of the charter – which are as relevant today as they were in 2013 – are:

-This publicly-owned estate must be retained forever for everyone. It should never be fragmented.
North Lees Estate is on Open Access Land.
-Any commercial enterprise must not impede the spirit of access for all.
-Key stakeholders – recreational users and the local community – must be consulted before decisions are made.
-There must be transparency in decision-making.
-Caring for conservation, wildlife and landscape is paramount. There need be no conflict between this, adventure activity and quiet enjoyment.
-People value Stanage as a wild area kept free from intrusive developments. This must be safeguarded.
-The cultural and archaeological heritage of Stanage must be preserved.
-Any revenue raised from the estate should be reinvested in the landscape.
-Shooting rights should not be exercised
.

The local economy relies on preservation of these values and open access.
In the context of the current 2020 consultation, the BMC is grateful that the Authority has taken an options appraisal and consultation approach. However, the full options appraisal has not been released to the public at this time and we do have a number of concerns about the consultation:

The consultation unfortunately doesn’t consider the wider context of the whole estate, omitting key elements such as farmland, woodland and engagement opportunities. The text suggests the moorland and crags are included in the consultation but they are never mentioned in the management options. This fragmented approach does not reflect the nature of the estate which needs fully integrated approach for effective management.

The consultation pools ideas into three options, which seem unnecessarily restrictive. Depending on your perspective there could be good and bad elements within each option making it hard to pick one without accepting some undesirable elements. A better approach would be to ask for views on the different options for each element being considered.

Without projected costs and revenues for each of the options it is impossible to make an informed comparison on a financial basis. There is no consideration for wider benefits such as carbon capture, water retention, public health and wellbeing etc or the costs and benefits associated with them.
There is little information on where any funds might be coming from, other than potential expansion of parking charges. Given the current situation, where parking on the verges is both perfectly legal and beyond the Authority’s control, ‘increasing effort to promote responsible behaviour’ will not solve the ongoing parking issues, which would only be exacerbated by any such expansion.

The future of the campsite and who it is for needs to be discussed in more detail. The issue of campervans (which are a rapidly growing sector using the estate) needs considering as part of a joined-up approach across camping and parking.
The Cruck Barn could be an excellent opportunity to provide a community and educational facility and promote stewardship of the estate – something that is not offered at all on the estate currently. The report does not currently consider alternative funding options (eg grant funding) for its restoration and use.

Whilst this is only the first stage in a longer consultation, we feel that it is important that these points are made to the Authority from the outset. The nearby Eastern Moors Partnership – a collaboration between the National Trust and RSPB on the Eastern Moors estate (which includes popular crags such as Froggatt and Curbar), provides a clear contrast with the North Lees Estate. The partnership has willingly invested in their estate because of its value to them in delivering their wider objectives around recreation, involvement and sustainability.

A similar approach is needed at North Lees to ensure a bright future for this iconic landscape – but it can’t happen without a joined up, creative and smart approach across all aspects of the site. The current online consultation does not allow such an approach to be considered and the Authority needs public input to steer their decision making in the right direction. This initial consultation gives us all an opportunity to be part of that and helps ensure the North Lees Estate is in a strong position for the future, welcoming to all for responsible recreation and providing good quality habitat for wildlife.

Now is the time to make your voice heard. If you are passionate about Stanage, please make your thoughts known through the public consultation  before the 27th February 2020 (a new date, extended by two weeks following requests by BMC, Friends of the Peak and others).

If you don’t feel any of the three options presented are adequate, you can send comments rather than answer the questionnaire by emailing policy@peakdistrict.gov.uk

« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 10:32:21 am by shark »

shark

Offline
  • *****
  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 7304
  • Karma: +517/-13
  • insect overlord #1
#1 Re: Future of Stanage - consultation
February 15, 2020, 03:00:26 pm
A user was quizzing me about the survey so I said I would post my response below for reference. I’ve put ‘this’ below selected options and additional comments in red.
 
Sorry if format is bad.


Stanage North Lees Estate consultation

Stange North Lees is a 542 hectare estate in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park (PDNP) and owned by the Peak District National Park Authority.

The Authority is re-thinking how the estate is managed so that we:
* continue to care for the Estate and promote understanding in a sustainable way which respects and enhances  wildlife, heritage and landscape
* use the Estate’s assets to best economic effect
and would like your opinion on how best to do this.

The consultation is open to anybody and anonymous.   It should take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.  Before starting the survey, please read the background information at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/northleesconsultation

Responses will be published and used by Authority members to inform their decision-making.

1. With regard to the Estate as a whole, and the aims that we have for the Estate, to what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?
The Authority can best achieve these aims by managing the Estate itself.
*       Agree
*       Agree somewhat
*              Neither agree nor disagree this
*       Disagree somewhat
*       Disagree
Buildings and facilities at the estate will be used to best economic effect if they are leased to private tenants.
*       Agree
*       Agree somewhat
*       Neither agree nor disagree
This
*       Disagree somewhat
*       Disagree
The Authority should reduce the financial liability of the Estate’s buildings.
*       Agree
*       Agree somewhat
*       Neither agree nor disagree
This
*       Disagree somewhat
*       Disagree
Additional comments on the Estate as a whole.

The consultation is going about things in a narrow way rather than considering things holistically. I believe that the future of the buildings should be viewed in terms of their potential to support public recreational use and vision for the estate rather than as money making ventures. If leased to private tenants then that prevents public use. The assets with the most potential is tapping into the love that users have for the place notably in Sheffield. If the PDNPA is unable or unwilling to the intangible assets then it should consider passing ownership and management to a better funded organisation or group of organisations such as the National Trust.

2. With regard to North Lees Hall, to what extent do you agree with the following statements?
The Hall would be more attractive as a holiday let if people knew that any profit went to the National Park Authority and was used for looking after the Estate.

*       Agree
*       Agree somewhat
This
*       Neither agree nor disagree
*       Disagree somewhat
*       Disagree

The Hall is more suited to ‘Bed & Breakfast’ type accommodation than ‘holiday cottage’ type accommodation.
*       Agree
*       Agree somewhat
*       Neither agree nor disagree
This
*       Disagree somewhat
*       Disagree
The Hall is an appropriate place for a café.
*       Agree
*       Agree somewhat
This
*       Neither agree nor disagree
*       Disagree somewhat
*       Disagree
The Hall is most suitable as a private residence.
*       Agree
*       Agree somewhat
*       Neither agree nor disagree
*       Disagree somewhat
*       Disagree
This

The Hall is most suitable as holiday accommodation.
*       Agree
*       Agree somewhat
*       Neither agree nor disagree
*       Disagree somewhat
*       Disagree
This

The Hall should be open to the public
*       Agree
This
*       Agree somewhat
*       Neither agree nor disagree
*       Disagree somewhat
*       Disagree
Additional comments on North Lees Hall.

Given the historical connection to the Brontes I think more imaginative uses can be incorporated as well perhaps in addition to using it as a cafe if this agreeable with the Stanage Forum

3. With regard to the Campsite, to what extent do you agree with the following statements?
The Campsite should be leased to a private operator.
*       Agree
*       Agree somewhat
*       Neither agree nor disagree
*       Disagree somewhat
This
*       Disagree
The Campsite should have high quality facilities and be promoted more widely.
*       Agree
*       Agree somewhat
*       Neither agree nor disagree
*       Disagree somewhat
This
*       Disagree
Additional comments on the Campsite

High quality facilities suggests higher prices. This is fine so long as plentiful cheap basic camping is also provided for those with shallower pockets and/or those who enjoy a simpler outdoor experience

4. With regard to Cattiside Cottage, to what extent do you agree with the following statements?
It should be sold on the open market as a private dwelling
*       Agree
*       Agree somewhat
*       Neither agree nor disagree
*       Disagree somewhat
This
*       Disagree
It should be refurbished and used as a holiday let
*       Agree
*       Agree somewhat
*       Neither agree nor disagree
*       Disagree somewhat
*       Disagree
This
It should be refurbished and leased as a private dwelling
*       Agree
*       Agree somewhat
*       Neither agree nor disagree
*       Disagree somewhat
*       Disagree
This
It should be leased to a housing association as a local needs dwelling
*       Agree
*       Agree somewhat
*       Neither agree nor disagree
This
*       Disagree somewhat
*       Disagree
Additional comments on Cattiside Cottage

No options have been presented for public recreational use. If proceeds are put back into estate then a sale may be appropriate.

5. With regard to the Cruck Barn, to what extent do you agree with the following statements?
It should be converted to residential accommodation
*       Agree
*       Agree somewhat
*       Neither agree nor disagree
*       Disagree somewhat
*       Disagree
This

It should be converted to accessible holiday cottages
*       Agree
*       Agree somewhat
*       Neither agree nor disagree
*       Disagree somewhat
This
*       Disagree
It should be leased long-term to a private individual who would be allowed to convert it to residential accommodation
*       Agree
*       Agree somewhat
*       Neither agree nor disagree
*       Disagree somewhat
*       Disagree
This

Although it is unsuitable for modern farm machinery, it should still be kept as a barn
*       Agree
*       Agree somewhat
*       Neither agree nor disagree
This
*       Disagree somewhat
*       Disagree
Additional comments on the Cruck Barn

6. What other uses do you think might be suitable for the Cruck Barn, bearing in mind the very limited car parking?

A sheltered convening area for outdoor groups such as DOE teams


7. With regard to the Car Parks, to what extent do you agree with the following statement, bearing in mind that current car park income is a vital part of the Estate’s annual budget?
 
It is fair to expect a charge to be made for car parking, and this should be consistent across all the estate car parks.
*       Agree
*       Agree somewhat
*       Neither agree nor disagree
*       Disagree somewhat
*       Disagree
This
Additional comments on the Car Parks.

I think a primary aim should be to maintain free parking to encourage recreational use and discourage inappropriate parking on the verge

8. What is your vision for the Estate?

Minimise interference and take a lead from users and interested organisations such as the Stanage Forums on suitable custodianship


9. What in your view is the distinctive character and role of the Estate?

A beautiful place to walk and climb that is easily accessible

10. What do you currently value about the Estate that you would like to see retained?

Accessible world class rock climbing. Accessibility includes free parking


11. What would you like to change or improve?

Keep the bracken down. Take down the obtrusive signage about car parking. Follow the plan put together by the Stanage Forum

12. Thinking of each of the 3 options as a whole, which one do you feel is the best way to achieve both of these 2 aims:
* To use the Estate’s assets to best economic effect
* To care for the Estate and promote understanding in a sustainable way which respects and enhances wildlife, heritage and landscape for everyone, forever
Option 1 - Investment
* Refurbish North Lees Hall for holiday accommodation
* Refurbish Cattiside Cottage for use as either holiday or residential accommodation
* upgrade Campsite washrooms & more marketing
* Convert Cruck Barn to either accessible holiday cottages or residential accommodation
* Use Ranger Briefing Centre for interpretation about the estate and as a meeting point
* Charging at all estate car parks
Option 2 - Arm’s-length management
* Let North Lees Hall to private tenant
* Let Cattiside Cottage to a Housing Association
* Let Campsite to private operator
* Let Cruck Barn on a long-term residential improvement lease
* Undertake essential maintenance only at Ranger Briefing Centre
* Charging at all estate car parks
Option 3 - Reduce liabilities
* Let North Lees Hall to private tenant
* Sell Cattiside Cottage
* Let Campsite to private operator
* Undertake essential maintenance only at Cruck Barn and  Ranger Briefing Centre
* Mix of charged and free car parks
*       Option 1 - Investment
*       Option 2 - Arm's length management
*       Option 3 - Reduce liabilities
Additional comments on the Options as a whole

I do not want to tick any of these but the survey does not allow any other options as the mix is wrong. I ticked option 1 but want it disregarded


reeve

Offline
  • ***
  • obsessive maniac
  • Posts: 323
  • Karma: +50/-1
#2 Re: Future of Stanage - consultation
February 15, 2020, 10:41:23 pm
Nice one for spelling these out Simon.

Just in case anyone wants to complete the online consultation form, none of the fields are mandatory (I submitted a totally blank form to test this earlier today). So don't feel constrained by the narrow and leading questions.

mrjonathanr

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 3659
  • Karma: +151/-5
  • Getting fatter, not fitter.
#3 Re: Future of Stanage - consultation
February 15, 2020, 11:38:46 pm
Yes I left the last option (of the three packaged choices) blank

monkey boy

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 1057
  • Karma: +60/-0
#4 Re: Future of Stanage - consultation
February 16, 2020, 07:51:54 am
Nice one for spelling these out Simon.

Just in case anyone wants to complete the online consultation form, none of the fields are mandatory (I submitted a totally blank form to test this earlier today). So don't feel constrained by the narrow and leading questions.

That's annoying I didn't realise this. I ticked option 1 for the last question but commented below that I was only doing so because I thought I had to tick a box and that none of the options were satisfactory.

reeve

Offline
  • ***
  • obsessive maniac
  • Posts: 323
  • Karma: +50/-1
#5 Re: Future of Stanage - consultation
February 16, 2020, 09:50:37 am
Nice one for spelling these out Simon.

Just in case anyone wants to complete the online consultation form, none of the fields are mandatory (I submitted a totally blank form to test this earlier today). So don't feel constrained by the narrow and leading questions.

That's annoying I didn't realise this. I ticked option 1 for the last question but commented below that I was only doing so because I thought I had to tick a box and that none of the options were satisfactory.

The form is worded in a way which leads you into doing just that. I'm drafting the official BMC response today so I'll include that a tick in a box shouldn't necessarily be interpreted as being in favour of that option.

Thanks for completing the consultation - the more people who do the stronger the voice!

Fiend

Online
  • *
  • _
  • forum hero
  • Abominable sex magick practitioner and climbing heathen
  • Posts: 10613
  • Karma: +474/-64
  • Whut
#6 Re: Future of Stanage - consultation
February 16, 2020, 09:56:05 am
Done.

iain

Offline
  • ****
  • forum abuser
  • Posts: 610
  • Karma: +23/-0
#7 Re: Future of Stanage - consultation
February 18, 2020, 05:10:30 pm
Done. Thanks for posting, wouldn't have known about it otherwise.

reeve

Offline
  • ***
  • obsessive maniac
  • Posts: 323
  • Karma: +50/-1
#8 Re: Future of Stanage - consultation
February 29, 2020, 01:08:56 pm
Just in case this has slipped off anyone's radar - the closing date for the consultation is Wednesday 4th March - so you've still got time! Having a large response by climbers to consultations like this one makes a real difference to discussions between your local access reps when they are meeting with the PDNPA.

Cheers, Andy
BMC Peak Area Chair

 

SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2020, SimplePortal