#Community Sustainability
Hight Peak Borough Council
United Kingdom

The Derbyshire dales are famous as being the area in which the industrial revolution started. The ramifications of this were pretty huge and the costs and benefits make themselves more and more apparent as time passes. We are hoping to mimic the spread and impact of that revolution with one of our own starting in Buxton.

Sadly though, this time Derbyshire is not the origin, for what we are proposing is nothing revolutionary but simply methods which enabled mankind to survive since day one in a huge range of environments so successfully. This technique is ‘common sense’ or, in modern parlance: ‘Permaculture’.

What is ‘Permaculture’?

‘Permaculture’ is simply the utilisation of ones environment to maximum efficiency whilst ensuring long term sustainability and is surprisingly simple. Buxton is a transition town. Pursuing a sustainability agenda and educating the community about environmental concerns is central to this. Any action that can enrich our lives, reduce our burden on the world, improve our environment and increase local levels of education and income should be taken
In Buxton there is currently a site that is unused. During WWII the site was utilised during the ‘dig for victory’ campaign to produce food for the local populace. Since then, the site has been used to grow plants for display at the Pavilion Gardens. The site is now dilapidated, the accompanying beautiful 19th century building – which fronts onto ‘Serpentine Walks’, a grade ii* listed area - condemned purely for the council’s convenience.

From our current interaction with the council, it seems that the site has been surveyed with a view to being developed into housing. Maybe this accounts for the veil of secrecy around the council plans for the site and the buck passing every time we make enquiries.

On September 1st, we offered a proposal to the council for the site. We have talked to local groups, most of whom have expressed their support for our proposal. Still no response has been forthcoming. Recently we have been told that Tony Kemp (High Peak Economic Regeneration Executive) has a house adjoining the site he plans to put on the market and would stand to gain from the site being developed into housing. Whether this is true or not, the stalling by the council, our unease at the possibility of the site being ransacked for profit and the relentless progression of the seasons has forced our hand.

We are working the site. We are starting to carry out our proposal, hoping that with this we will win support from the community and also the attention of the council. We are happy to enter negotiations for working the site including leasing. We can’t allow ourselves to stand by inactive as schemes trudge behind the scenes to make more money out of our town in a manner that does not benefit the community.

We the undersigned are in support of Serpentine Buxton. We request that High Peak Borough Council let Serpentine Buxton lease or buy the site for the environmental and educational purposes stated in the proposal that was sent to High Peak Borough Council and Staffordshire Moorland District Council on August 28th 2010.

Buxton is a Transition town and we feel that our council should be supporting grassroots campaigns in accordance with the sustainable communities initiative.

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The Support Serpentine Buxton petition to Hight Peak Borough Council was written by sarah ford-kidd and is in the category Culture at GoPetition.