Developer blasted over biodiversity claim

POLITICAL rivals Andrew Gwynne and William Wragg have both reacted angrily to the latest claims from the prospective developers of the Bredbury Industrial Estate that plans for an expansion would lead to a “net gain in biodiversity”.

Andrew Gwynne and William Wragg at the protest

Mr Gwynne, Labour MP for Denton and Reddish, and Mr Wragg, Conservative MP for Hazel Grove, were responding to information developer Quorum was asked by Stockport Council to provide to support their proposal to convert several acres of greenbelt in the Tame Valley into industrial sheds.Their analysis has now been submitted to Stockport Council for assessment and public consultation.

One of the ‘mitigation’ proposals leading to the ‘net gain’ claim is for the developer to plant a hedge around the Reddish Vale Country Park car park at Tiviot Dale, Portwood, three miles away from the development site.

Because the land is currently protected, the proposed development can only be granted planning permission if the developer can demonstrate ‘very special circumstances’.

There is considerable opposition to the proposals from people living in Denton, Haughton Green, Woodley and Bredbury. The proposals would see industrial units built right up to the River Tame in the v of the valley, creating a terracing effect.

It is also feared it would damage the ambience of both the Hulme’s Wood and Haughton Dale Local Nature Reserves on the opposite side of the River Tame in Tameside.
Tameside Council has also formally objected to the plans.

The land under threat

Mr Wragg said: “To talk of a ‘net gain’ to the environment by massively building over greenbelt land is barmy. We are being treated as fools and I trust this proposal will be rejected.”

Mr Gwynne added: “I’m incredulous. The developer could at least have the decency to say, we screw the environment but are trying to create jobs. That would be an honest appraisal and it then hangs in the balance which of the two is more important.

“But to dress this up as an environmentally-friendly proposal and to even go as far as saying there’ll be a net biodiversity gain from sheds, concrete, noise and air pollution insults my intelligence and that of my constituents.”

Both MPs added: “When will these chancers learn that our precious Tame Valley is not for sale?”

The public can comment to Stockport Council on the latest information submitted by the developer, which can be read online: https://planning.stockport.gov.uk/ (using reference number DC/074399).

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