MP Jonathan Reynolds has added his voice to those of numerous councillors and residents opposing development plans for Brookfields in Mossley.
Mr Reynolds, who constituency includes Mossley and Stalybridge, has submitted a letter of objection to Tameside Council against the proposal to build 21 four and five bedroomed houses on the green land.
Mossley Town Council has also submitted a letter of objection and the three Mossley councillors – Stephen and Jack Homer and Tafheen Sharif – have spoken out against the plans.
These objections are echoed by residents who do not want to lose the green open space and have concerns over access to the site, traffic issues for Carrhill Road, Mill Lane, Archer Street, Vernon Street and Spring Street, and possible flooding.
The application was first submitted in June 2019 but was opposed by councillors and referred to the planning committee (speakers’ panel) where the decision will be made.
The developer Clements Court Properties, of Southend-on-Sea, submitted an amendment to on October 8, making the access point via Stamford Road for the duration of construction work.
However, councillors and locals have still been left unimpressed so a meeting was called on Zoom video conferencing by local group Protect Our Mossley on October 26
On the call, Mr Reynolds said: “As MP, I have to try to strike a balance. Houses have to be built even if that is not always popular, but the site has got to be right.
“Everything about this does not seem a sensible proposition. There is no doubt the impact of the development would be extreme.
“It is important that people object with reasons that can be considered as material by the councillors when they make their decision. Highways and green space are a big part of that.”
Cllr Sharif, who has objected to the plans along with Cllrs Jack and Stephen Homer, since they were first submitted, insisted the fight goes on despite the amendments.
“The developer has changed the access from Mill Lane to Stamford Road but that brings a new set of problems,” she said.
“If the developer can not use Stamford Road for access, then they could go back to Mill Lane or put forward a new plan so it can keep going on and on – but we will keep fighting.
“Earnshaw Clough is a similar development which brought a lot of disruption to the town and achieved the most complaints.
“We need people power to send objections in and show we do not want something like this. I think this would be the worst thing that could happen for this part of the town.”
Frank Travis, chair of Mossley Town Council, confirmed they have submitted a “fairly lengthy’ letter of objection.
He pointed to the recent application on Greaves Street, which was refused planning permission and an appeal was also dismissed.
“The planning inspectorate felt that piece of open space was valuable public space,” he explained. “We will refer to that decision as it sets an important precedent.
“The land is privately owned by still an important open public space. It serves an important purpose as a green lung.
“There is acceptance that there is need for some developments but the impact of this one would be substantial.”
And he encouraged people to send in their objections, even after the deadline of October 29, to make their voices heard.
Residents also voiced their concerns at the meeting about the plans, highlighting the traffic, disruption and access.
One Archer Street resident commented: “I am severely epileptic more traffic and cars will hamper the access for vehicles to get through and my ability to get to hospital quickly when needed.
“It is going to affect people personally and their mental health, including mine, and I am scared about that.
“With the current Covid restrictions, we’re stuck a lot in the house and would have to put up with the disruption all the time. I know it will set my back and make my epilepsy worse.”
A Tame View resident added: “The applications keep coming up again and again. It’s causing a huge amount of stress and community reaction.
“I am scared that one day the application will creep through. We are right in the middle of Covid now and people aren’t reacting the way they would normally.
“It is atrocious. It is disrupting everybody’s lives. If it was allowed to be built, it would be disastrous for the whole of Mossley.”
A couple who live on Stamford Road commented: “We have not heard anything from the developers and were only made aware about it from a friend who saw it on Facebook.
“We have had a letter from the council but it was quite late. We’ve objecting as it would have a massive impact on our daily lives.”
And another raised concerns over traffic, having witnessed a number of accidents in the area already.
“The roads are really narrow and there isn’t very good pedestrian access or pavements,” she said.
“There would be a significant hike in the number of cars and the streets couldn’t cope. The roads are not made for the volume of traffic they get already, never mind more.”
When the application was discussed at an earlier meeting of Mossley Town Council, Dave Jones, from the Protect Our Mossley group, added his concerns.
He said: “I am staggered that anybody would try to gain access to anything in the way the developer is suggesting in this application. They want to make a new entrance in a ruthless attempt to access the land.
“I cannot believe the council is actually considering this application – it is a lovely piece of land and there are other places to build on.
“This town is already overdeveloped and there has got to be a point when we say we have had enough. It is a compliment in a way but it is destroying the town
“I hope the council consider how ruthless and insincere a development it is. We have got to be more robust as a community and a town or large chunks are going to disappear.”
And Cllr Stephen Homer commented: “It is crazy that we are looking at developing that site when we have the old Mossley Hollins site waiting to be developed, allowing us to keep the valuable open spaces we have like Brookfields.
“It would be detrimental to the town to lose this green space.”
You can submit a comment on the application:
• Online at https://tinyurl.com/y34ven7m
• Email email@example.com
• Write to Planning Department, Tameside MBC, PO Box 304, Ashton-u-Lyne, OL6 0GA including Ref: Application 19/00489/FUL.