Whaley Bridge residents, shocked by the possibility of a 107 homes estate, proposed by Gladman Developments, being built on a Greenfield site near Macclesfield Road, will have a chance to make their final protests at 7pm on Tuesday 28 January in the Uniting Church. There is good parking, with access for people with mobility problems.
Whaley Bridge town councillors agreed to the public meeting at their own monthly meeting last Thursday Six members of the public used the traditional ‘citizens’ slot’ at the start of council meetings to air their questions and views. This was extended from the usual quarter of an hour to nearly an hour, with some councillors responding.
The 28 Jan meeting is less than a fortnight before the deadline for responses to reach High Peak Borough Council on their revised building site plan, drawn up after government pressure to increase the number of houses built each year.
Points made by protesters included:
Kevin Worthington – “Gladman are causing havoc throughout the country – if they fail to get planning permission, they just appeal to the Secretary of State. Tourism is the future for Whaley Bridge- a new estate will not be helping at all.”
Neil Ashton – “If the estate goes ahead there should be one entry and one exit (not the join entry/exit proposed for Linglongs Road).”
Matthew Pickles – “There has to be some benefit for Whaley Bridge. If it’s going to happen can’t we do it better?”
Jack Regan – “Lower Macclesfield Road pavements are so narrow, it is very difficult with a buggy and baby or a wheelchair. The area is not suitable for new houses, with maybe 200 extra cars, maybe 600 when the kids grow up.”
Martin Thomas, chair of the town council, added: “It’s not the strength of public feeling that matters; it’s the strength of the arguments that will count.”
It was revealed at Thursday’s meeting that an important document on the impact of housing on the High Peak landscape, commissioned last summer, had only been published the day before. The report has been prepared by Wardell Armstrong to assess the impact of possible development on areas around the principal settlements of the High Peak. The public were urged to read it on the Borough Council’s web-site at:
Click on ‘landscape studies’ (the fifth bullet point), scroll down to the documents at the bottom of the page and choose the top one. Whaley Bridge references are on pages 34-35, 65-68, 70 items P14 (Macclesfield Road C9 site), P15 and P16, page 73, page 88 (land north of Bridgemont roundabout), and page 92.
This study includes an evaluation of the landscape impact of alternative sites around Whaley Bridge, both in and outside the Green Belt. It identifies on page 92 an area between Reservoir Road, Whaley Lane and Start Lane which it recommends be added to the Green Belt.
Government pressure on all local councils has forced High Peak Borough to look again at the Local Plan and to increase the number of new homes to be built each year. The updated consultation document is available on the website http://highpeak-consult.objective.co.uk/portal or at Buxton Town Hall, Glossop Municipal Buildings and any of the borough’s libraries.
People have until Monday 10 February to respond online via the link above, by email to LDF@highpeak.gov.uk or in writing to Regeneration, High Peak Borough Council, Town Hall, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6EL. After this current consultation, the council will produce its final draft of the Local Plan. There will be consultation on the final draft.