You may well have heard me wax lyrical about the delights of the Tame Valley. For those of you who haven’t experienced it yourselves, it’s a beautiful bit of green space running right through my constituency (and beyond from the moors in Saddleworth down to the Mersey at Stockport).
The Tame Valley is a great place for a walk and is a vital bit of green space for people in both south Tameside and northern Stockport, but unfortunately it is at risk from developers.
Last week, an application was put in at Stockport Council for a massive expansion of the industrial park at Bredbury into precious green belt on the Stockport side of the river, adjoining the Haughton Dale and Hulme’s Woods Local Nature Reserves in Denton.
It’s clear to me that these proposals represent a real threat to the lovely green spaces along the Tame Valley, ruining the area not just for the thousands of people who enjoy it every year but also for the wildlife that thrives there. That’s why I’ve been campaigning against this planned landgrab for well over a year now.
Adding insult to injury, there is actually an oversupply of land for new industrial development in Greater Manchester. There is absolutely no need to encroach on precious greenbelt!
It’s not just me who feels strongly about this. A few months ago, I joined hundreds of other people to march against the plans and the message from local residents couldn’t have been clearer – our Tame Valley is not up for grabs!
You might be wondering why I’m telling you all of this, given that this new development is planned for Stockport, rather than Tameside. Well, in addition to the fact that it’s space that the two boroughs share, it will also add extra heavy traffic in both boroughs – potentially 2,000 extra HGVs through Denton every month alone.
What’s more, because this is happening in Stockport, there hasn’t been proper consultation with people in Tameside or their elected representatives. Luckily the three wonderful councillors in Denton South – George Newton, Claire Reid and Jack Naylor – have been campaigning hard to get local residents’ voices heard.
But now you have an opportunity to give your opinions on the plans directly and I strongly recommend that you do so, so that we can make sure that the Tame Valley remains green.
To object, you’ll need to submit your comments formally to Stockport Council by Monday 21 October either by post or through their website quoting the reference number DC/074399. You can find out more information on my website: www.andrewgwynne.co.uk/bredbury.