Residents of Macclesfield Road, who face the prospect of a new housing estate at their backdoors, were out in force at a meeting in the Mechanics’ Institute where the latest consultation about future building plans in Whaley Bridge was top of the agenda.
On 18th December High Peak Borough Council voted to add this site (C9) back into the Local Plan, and the following day Gladman Developments announced a pre-planning consultation over its plan to build a 107 homes estate on the greenfield triangle between Macclesfield Road and Linglongs Road (a larger site than that in the Local plan). There is growing concern from people living near the site, and a growing realisation that there is less than a month to make any objections to the plan.
Whaley Bridge Town Council will discuss the plan at its next meeting, 7.30pm on Thursday 16 January. There will be a 15 minute slot at the commencement of the meeting where members of the public can have their say on any topic. Comments on the Mac Road site, and the request for a public meeting to discuss the building proposal are expected to dominate the discussion.
Forty members of the public jammed the meeting room at the Mechanics’ in an updating session on the Local plan and the wider issue of consultation on planning across the High Peak. Cllr Martin Thomas chaired the meeting. Besides the Macc Road site, he identified that an additional site (C15) at Shire Croft, on Reservoir Road has been added. The Town Centre boundary is also being redrawn to exclude between Bridge Street and the Canal.There were calls for more publicity about the issues.
The meeting voted unanimously for the Town Council to call a public meeting and to leaflet people across the Town. The five Town Councillors present supported this resolution (Cllrs Lomas, Pritchard, Taylor, Thomas and Winter). With support received later from Cllr Goldfinch, away on business, this meeting looks a nigh-on certainty. The date for the Public Meeting will be announced as soon as possible. Watch this site for details.
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 housing target of 6,000 widely criticised in 2009, is now a target of 7,090 because of the new legislation and the National population growth. The Borough is under great pressure to get the Local Plan in place as without it applications have to be considered for building on what many would feel are totally unsuited plots. 800 homes are planned in Chapel as a result of this.
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.
Cllr Thomas made this statement: “Nobody wants homes built behind their houses, blocking their views. If people in Whaley Bridge have strong feelings about these developments, it essential they say why. What is it about this landscape with its tress, stream fauna, and views which matters to them? What are your concerns about access, safety and traffic. The more specific you can be, the greater the chance you may be heard”.
After this current consultation, the borough council will produce its final draft of the full Local Plan. By law there will be a formal consultation on that final draft and every household in the borough, as well as a wider range of interested parties, will receive notice of this. However, practically speaking, the reasons for any changes have to be identified in the coming few weeks.
The plan will then be submitted to an independent planning inspector for verification. Among other things, the inspector will examine the evidence which supports the housing target and the process of consultation.