Battle won to save threatened greenbelt

CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating after saving greenbelt land in the Tame Valley which was under threat from industrial development.

Stockport Council’s planning committee has rejected the controversial plan to extend the Bredbury Park Industrial Estate deep into the green lung on the Stockport-Tameside border.

Initially Stockport Council had been favour of the extension with Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, admitting “the cards had been sacked against us from day one”.

Apart from the loss of part of the Tame Valley, campaigners were also worried about increase traffic flow and pollution levels from heavy goods vehicles, especially in already congested Denton town centre.

Mr Gwynne praised Russell Scott Primary, Denton, for spotlighting the potential environmental damage had the expansion gone ahead.

The Save the Tame Valley campaign group

He had been spearheading the opposition working alongside Conservative MP William Wragg who represents the Hazel Grove constituency in Stockport.

Mr Gwynne said: “This is absolutely fantastic news and a brilliant, common sense decision. It was great to see the overwhelming majority of the committee set aside their party loyalties and come together to save our Tame Valley.

“It was quite clear that the proposal to extend the industrial estate deep into the heart of the Tame Valley would have had a massively harmful impact on the openness of the valley, on traffic and air quality and on visual amenity. It would have destroyed the ambience of the adjoining Haughton Dale and Hulmes Wood Local Nature Reserves in Tameside.

“Not only was the majority view that ‘exceptional circumstances’ had not been met by the developer, the ludicrous suggestion there would be a ‘net biodiversity gain’ from the concreting-over of the Tame Valley, or that a new bridleway at the back end of an industrial estate is an acceptable inducement was resoundingly rejected by the committee.

“This has been the best example of politicians working together in the best interests of the local community. I’ve worked with my Conservative MP colleague William Wragg as well as with my Denton South Labour Councillors, George Newton, Claire Reid and Jack Naylor.

“Likewise at planning committee, some Labour, the Lib Dems, the independent and the Tory councillors all united as a bloc. I’d like to especially thank Cllr Bagnall, Cllr Corris, Cllr Meikle and Cllr Harding for the powerful cases they made.

“And let’s be clear to the developer. Appeal if you like but you’ll lose. There are no exceptional circumstances to destroy our valley. Your development is not welcome here and if you choose to, we will fight you all the way. Our Tame Valley is not up for grabs.”

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