New battle to save to greenbelt in Tame Valley

THE battle lines have been redrawn to save precious greenbelt land in the Tame Valley after Quorum Estates launched a new bid to expand the Bredbury Park Industrial Estate.

Quorum have submitted an appeal following the decision by Stockport Council’s planning committee in March to reject the controversial application which would have seen the industrial estate extended deep into the Tame Valley on the Stockport-Tameside border.

In response, Denton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne and Hazel Grove MP William Wragg have written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick to request clarification on the application process.

The Save the Tame Valley campaign group

They said: “For the past four years, the residents of Bredbury, Woodley, Haughton Green and Denton have been concerned about the impact an extension to the Bredbury industrial estate will have on their communities.

“The appeal has now left the communities we represent concerned for the future.”

The local MPs have requested Mr Jenrick to ‘set out the statutory process for how this appeal will now be processed in line with planning legislation’.

Mr Gwynne said: “It is within the rights of Quorum to appeal the decision. However, local residents are understandably concerned about how this appeal will be heard.

“That is why I’ve decided to work with William Wragg and write to the Secretary of State to ask him to outline the appeals process.

“It is for the Secretary of State to make the decision of the evidence presented to him, but residents deserve to know how the appeal will be conducted.”

The appeal was submitted one-and-a-half months after campaigners celebrated the decision by Stockport Council to reject the controversial plan to expand the industrial estate into the green lung.

Initially Stockport Council had been favour of the extension with Mr Gwynne 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.

The Tame Valley

Mr Gwynne, responding to the rejection in late March, 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.

“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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