Whaley Bridge made its feelings clear when the views of nearly 500 people, collected by campaigners against building on Greenfield sites, were delivered to the offices of High Peak Borough Council in Buxton town hall.
Jean Dusgate and Jane Kitchen carefully carried two boxes of signed letters from 375 people, and handed them in to the council’s regeneration department. Additionally, there were more than 100 signings to a petition, mostly collected during a protest walk on Saturday 8 February.
Said Jean: “Considering our organisation was only set up at the end of January, that is an amazing response.”
Campaigners from the organisation Whaley Bridge Matters will now lobby borough councillors involved in a series of meetings, culminating in a full meeting of the borough council on Monday 24 February. They plan to stand outside the meeting, in he Pavilion Gardens, from 6.45pm, displaying their new banners to arriving councillors.
Whaley Bridge Matters was set up on Friday 31 January, to become a focal point for the concerns of neighbours in Macclesfield Road and Linglongs Road over a plan to build a 107 home estate on the Greenfield site near the two roads.
Running concurrently with the house building proposal was the borough council’s reassessment of its Local Plan. Under government pressure to build more houses, the council proposes to include the Macclesfield Road site (C9) in the plan. This has met with fierce, and well organised, opposition from Whaley Bridge Matters.
Whaley Bridge Town Council gave a boost to the campaigners when it announced that it is “strongly opposed to the proposal to develop land off Linglongs Road, due to the adverse impact on the landscape.” It subsequently filed a three page note of objections – see here.
Dai Larner, executive director for regeneration at the borough council told a public meeting that the revised Local Plan will be completed by the end of March, with a further opportunity for consultation. The final Plan goes to the government in July.