As the days dwindle ahead of the 10 February deadline for objections to building plans in Whaley Bridge, a new action group has been set up. Its name: Whaley Bridge Matters. About 50 people crowded into a pub back room last week to inaugurate the group, which is born out of the ashes of the former Whaley Bridge Resident’s Action Group, successful opponents of building plans for a site between Reservoir Road and Start Lane in the 90s.
Nye Rowland, former chair of the Action Group, wished the new group well in its fight against Gladman Developments’ plan for a 107 homes estate on a greenfield site of great beauty, virtually at the backdoors of people on Macclesfield Road and nearby Linglongs Road. There is a parallel issue of the Local Plan, which High Peak Borough Council is amending after government pressure to include more building land, creating some 400 new homes a year. Residents have only until Monday 10 February to email or write objections to the Borough Council.
Chair of Whaley Bridge Matters is Kevin Worthington, 51, a solicitor. His wife Alison will be the vice chair. Secretary is Angelika Wright, assisted by Andy Brown. Treasurer is Julie Brown.
Several members have been given ‘portfolios’ for particular issues in the campaign:
¨ Education – Angela Bold
¨ Road traffic – Neil Ashton and Sheila Stubbs
¨ Environment – Peter Hill and Sheila Stubbs
¨ Infrastructure – Martin Bold.
Kevin Worthington, whose house in Macclesfield Road backs onto the greenfield site, said: “We had a great turnout to set up our new association. The overwhelming view was to petition High Peak Borough Council to change their minds and let real democracy and localism prevail.”
Members of Whaley Bridge Matters will be making door to door visits in Macclesfield Road and Linglongs Road, urging people to write or email their views to the Borough Council. People have until Monday 10 February to respond 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 full Local Plan about the end of March. There will be 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. The final version will go to the government in July.
The next group meeting is on Thursday 6th February 7.30pm at Whaley Bridge Bowling Club.
TALK THE TALK and WALK THE WALK for WHALEY BRIDGE
Whaley Bridge residents are asked to show their support for the new group by joining a walk from the rail station at 10am on Saturday 8th February. Chair Kevin Worthington said: “We want to show Whaley Bridge we think this issue matters. Come with us through the town, then along the Mid Shires Way that crosses the proposed site for an estate. The more of us walking, the stronger our message will be”.