Fight against office plan

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THE Peak Park Authority is set to fight Government plans to allow offices to be converted into housing without planning permission.

The Department for Communities and Local Government announced last month that it would give permission for office space to be turned into housing without planning consent from this Spring.

It gave authorities until next Friday, February 22, to apply for exemptions. Peak planning committee members decided to apply for an exemption for the whole National Park, as it believes it would harm the area’s economy, while not helping its shortage of affordable housing.

There are office parks in Bakewell and villages such as Hathersage and Youlgreave which could be affected.

The authority is also concerned about the impact of a further proposal to allow farm buildings to be converted without permission to other uses such as shops and offices, but not housing.