Andrew Gwynne, the Member of Parliament for Denton, Audenshaw and Dukinfield, has welcomed an indication from Tameside Council that they are unlikely to proceed with Cemetery Road, Audenshaw, as the ‘confirmed site’ for the proposed Tameside Aquatics Centre.
Andrew has been working alongside Audenshaw resident and Labour’s Council Candidate, Oliver Ryan and Denton North East Labour Councillor, Vincent Ricci (as well as the other Denton and Audenshaw Labour Councillors) to ensure the valid concerns of local residents were heard at the very highest levels.
In his role as the area’s Member of Parliament, Andrew even raised his own concern over the loss of protected open space on the floor of the House of Commons. Shepley Wood Park is designated as Green Belt Land in Tameside’s Local Development Plan.
The Tameside Aquatics Centre proposal is intended to be a replacement for the existing Denton and Dukinfield Pools, which Tameside Council claim have both reached the end of their life. But the Cemetery Road site had proved extremely controversial to a large number of people from across Denton and Dukinfield, as well as residents local to the Cemetery Road area of Audenshaw.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“I want to see investment in good quality sports facilities in Tameside, and certainly, my constituency is massively under-provided for in this respect.
“The closure of Denton and Dukinfield Pools will make us even worse off than we are now, so I remain determined that Tameside Council focuses any new investment specifically on this part of the borough.”
“But apart from it being equidistant between Denton and Dukinfield, the Cemetery Road site was thoroughly unsuitable for this end use. Not only is it next to a residential area, it is in the designated green belt, and it is next to a public cemetery. This site pleased few in Denton, Dukinfield or indeed, in the vicinity of Cemetery Road, Audenshaw.
“Worse, both Cemetery Road, Audenshaw, and Sandbrook Way, Denton, are already problematic traffic rat-runs. This site is completely wrong for an Aquatics Centre, a gym and a 75 space car park and I made my views known in the Council’s ‘Big Conversation’ consultation process back in December.
“I’m pleased it appears the Council are now saying that Cemetery Road will not be the ‘confirmed site’ – although they have not yet made a public decision on this. However, I remain adamant the Council needs to look at better available sites in the area I represent, where there is a real need for greatly improved public leisure facilities, and we have got excellent motorway access too.
“I hope the Council will now work positively with me, as the MP for the area, and the local Councillors, to ensure a much more suitable site is now found.
“Alternatives, such as the proper refurbishment of the existing facilities should also be properly examined. The bottom line is this part of Tameside cannot be left worse off than now, with even poorer access to vital leisure facilities.”
OLIVER’S CAMPAIGN: GREEN FLAG PARK BID FOR SHEPLEY WOOD
Labour’s Oliver Ryan added:
“We’ve listened to the concerns of local residents, who rightly had worries about traffic, noise and the loss of some valued open space. Now I’m leading the charge to get Shepley Wood Park made even better. I want it to be in a position to be awarded the Green Flag, like Audenshaw’s Ryecroft Hall Grounds have. I’ll be working with my Ward Colleagues, Teresa Smith and Maria Bailey to make that happen.”
How the news was reported to residents:
Andrew Gwynne MP’s submission to the Big Conversation: