HOUSES: the challenge facing Whaley Bridge

ON SITE: members of Whaley Bridge Town Council visit the area near start of the Shallcross Incline (greenway) and Scout hut, suggested as a building site. L to r: Jon Goldfinch, Martin Thomas, Barrie Taylor, David Lomax, John Pritchard, with Anne Winter, Chair of the Town Council

One of the hottest issues for years has crept up rapidly on Whaley Bridge:  what do people think about plans for up to 280 houses to be built here within the next 16 years?

There are only a few weeks left to make your feelings known  – against or for  – to something that could change the face of Whaley Bridge for ever. Thursday 25 October is when the consultation period ends.

As Cllr Jon Goldfinch, an independent member of the Town Council, says on this website’s Forum pages:  “If you do not respond to the consultation process, then it will almost certainly be viewed as tacit acceptance of the proposals.” He also says: “The only way you can make a difference is by actually filling in the consultation questionnaire form.”

Local politicians are drumming up awareness of the implications in the long-term plans – up to 2028 – for housing sites.  Cllr Goldfinch has listed the proposals:

–    20 houses in the  Wharf Road area of  Whaley Bridge

–    83 houses behind Macclesfield Road

–    178 houses between Elnor Lane, New Road and Long Hill (here there are two sites listed)

Cllr David Lomax is a member of the Town Council and one of the Lib Dem Councillors on High Peak borough Council.  At a recent meeting of the borough council (the planning authority in this area) discussing a target of 300 new houses a year across High Peak, he said: “Time and again the people of Whaley Bridge tell me they don’t want massive new housing developments eating into our countryside.”

Alerts in the website Forum page and a Town Council Newsletter delivered door-to-door leaflet will urge people to attend  the drop-in consultation meetings  in Whaley Bridge or neighbouring places during October, as well as the planned public meeting.  Plans will be on view with planning officers present.

DROP-IN DATES:

Whaley Bridge, Uniting Church, Tuesday 9 October, 6.30-8.30pm

New Mills, Volunteer Centre,Thursday 11 October, 6.30-8.30pm

Other dates in the area: Tue 2 Oct, Bradbury House, Glossop;

Wed 17 Oct, Town Hall, Chapel-en-le-Frith; Thur 18 Oct, Women’s Institute Building, Chinley

PUBLIC MEETING:

Whaley Bridge, Uniting Church, Buxton Road:  Tue 16 Oct, 7.30-9.30pm.

A senior planning officer from the Borough Council, Perry Wardle, will be present to outline the planning and consultation process and answer questions. This meeting, arranged by the Town Council, is only a week before the consultation closes.

To respond to the consultations, whether you agree or disagree, you need to go to the following site and give your views on the questions asked:

Consultation link

The site shows you where houses are proposed, tells you why they are proposed and asks you for your views. Note: Whaley Bridge is in the Central Area, so respond initially to the Central Area consultation

Local Plan Consultation documents link

For those not on the internet, or who cannot get to the link above, questionnaires can be collected from the local library, and the council offices (Buxton,Glossop).

Cllr Goldfinch says:  “The consultation process closes on 25 October. Then the developments could eventually become a reality. The proposals could have a huge impact on Whaley Bridge. Responses are counted individually, so for maximum effect, respond individually.”

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