Last week, the Public Inquiry into the Bredbury Expansion appeal opened. Many people will remember that last year, Stockport Council decided to reject plans which would have seen commercial property giant Quorum expand the Bredbury Industrial Estate deep into the Tame Valley.
Well, Quorum appealed that decision, and it is now being heard by the Planning Inspectorate who will weigh all the arguments in favour and against before reaching a decision.
I have opposed the Bredbury expansion for a number of years now. This development would cause untold damage to the Tame Valley, and further compound traffic and congestion which is already a problem in Denton. I believe strongly that the Planning Inspector should reject this proposal entirely. It is this belief that led me to apply to become a Rule 6 Party in the Inquiry. This means that I get to state my case to the Inspector, as well as cross examine witnesses and raise points where necessary.
We’re now in the second week of the Inquiry (which is due to close on the 15th of February), and it’s been a bit of a baptism by fire. I’ve been cross-examined by Quorum’s lawyers in painstaking detail and have given evidence at length to the Inquiry. Whilst it has been a time-consuming and difficult process, it is something that I think is totally necessary to defend our Tame Valley.
I grew up exploring the Tame Valley and know it like the back of my hand. I have countless memories of spending days with my kids in the Valley, and now make new ones regularly with my grandson. I know that my attachment to the Valley is replicated right across the local area.
Local green space is a vital commodity, and one that must be defended at all costs. Back in the 80s, the Tame Valley was specifically redeveloped due to a shortage of green space. It was decided that in a traditionally industrial area of Greater Manchester, local people needed to be given space to relax, breathe and spend time with their family. This proposal would undo that work, and we need to call it out for the regressive and damaging scheme it is.
Our Tame Valley is not for sale. It is for the people of Tameside, Stockport and Greater Manchester and should remain that way for generations to come.