As Whaley Bridge campaigners intensify their fight against proposed house building on a green field near their homes, it has been revealed that the site has historical links going back to the 12th century.
Father Jamie MacLeod from Whaley Hall, who has researched the history of the threatened site near Macclesfield Road, joined residents at their most recent meeting. He said documents about the field – now known as C9 in proposals to go into High Peak Borough Council’s Local Plan – go back to 1102. The land was then owned by William Peveril, ‘Lord of the High Peak’, who lived at Peveril Castle at Castleton. Part of the Whaley Bridge lands were farmed by monks from Lenton Abbey in Nottinghamshire. At about the same time, William Peveril granted permission for a market at Buxton. Father Jamie protested to the borough council recently over a suggestion that Buxton Market was to be ended.
Kevin Worthington, chairman of the local residents’ group Whaley Bridge Matters, discussed the historical links with Father Jamie.
Mr Worthington said later: “This link adds to our reasons for urging the council to remove this site from the Local Plan. If the plan goes through, it would allow building there, possibly in the very near future.
“The Greenfield site is special in many ways:
• it is the beautiful entrance to the Goyt Valley, used by many walkers;
• the Midshires Way crosses the site;
• it is an area used by wildlife, deer, badgers, and all sorts of birds and insects;
• it is an area where children have been playing over the years;
• it is so close to the boundary of the Peak District national park, that housing development would spoil views from the park;
• any development would reduce Whaley Bridge’s hopes of having a future economy based on tourism.
“There are other reasons why this site is unacceptable – the congestion and danger that extra traffic would bring to Macclesfield Road and the pressure on our already full primary schools.”
Members of Whaley Bridge Matters plan to lobby members of High Peak Borough Council who vote in March on the Local Plan. They have attended two recent committee meetings and plan to demonstrate outside the next meeting of the council in late February.