During World War II, RAF Sharpitor was established on Peek Hill, featuring a mast and buildings. In 1956, the station granted permission to be reconstructed for the "Gee" radio navigation system and intended to be occupied for a decade. However, delays occurred and the proposal came to nothing.

Subsequently, Devon & Cornwall Police and Plymouth Corporation attempted to gain permission to build a reform school at Sharpitor. A public inquiry in June 1973, attended by Lady Sylvia Sayer representing the DPA, resulted in the refusal of development on the site.

Later, the DPA successfully campaigned against South West Water constructing a reservoir at Swincombe. In celebration of the victory, Sylvia Sayer approached SWW to purchase the rocky outcrop of Sharpitor. The DPA acquired 32 acres of land in February 1984.

There are currently no ongoing projects on the land, but its vast ruggedness, often visited by ponies and cattle, remains a characteristic icon of the Dartmoor skyline thanks, in part, to the work of the DPA.