C9: Whaley Matters’s building battle now on two fronts

Whaley Bridge campaigners, fighting to save a greenfield site from builders, are now facing a battle on two fronts.  Within hours of the vote at High Peak Borough Council last week, which plunged the Local Plan into disarray, Gladman Development submitted a planning application for 107 houses on the greenfield known as C9 in the plan.

Chairman Kevin Worthington, left, with wife Alison and neighbours Jane and Wayne Kitchen look out over C9 site

Chairman Kevin Worthington, left, with wife Alison and neighbours Jane and Wayne Kitchen look out over C9 site

C9, near Macclesfield Road, is now the focal point for the campaign group Whaley Bridge Matters.  A dramatic vote at the council meeting on a move to throw out  C9 from the local plan  failed by just one vote, 17-18.  A site in New Mills was deleted later by the casting vote of the mayor, precipitating the collapse of the local plan. The next day Gladman Devopment submitted to the council  their plan for 107 houses on the Whaley Bridge site.

Members of Whaley Bridge Matters are meeting to discuss tactics as the battle develops.  Kevin Worthington, chair of the campaign group, said:  “It was frustrating to lose by one vote last week.  The turnout of our members at the council was terrific, over 30 people.  We believe the one vote defeat can be turned round.

“Within 24 hours  of the Local Plan going back into the melting pot, Gladman took advantage of the council’s situation.  Developers look upon uncertainty all over the country as winning the lottery, a chance to make a fortune.  But we are ready with our arguments against Gladman.

“I have some sympathy with the council position.  The plan needs a complete overhaul to take into account brown field sites, particularly in Whaley Bridge.   Once a greenfield site goes, we could never get it back,”

There will be two public consultation periods, one of eight weeks for the Gladman application, and another one for the revised plan, timings of which are still to be announced.

See earlier reports on the developing story below and watch for the latest moves on this site

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