TOWN HALL DECISION: MP vows to fight developer’s ‘absurd’ appeal
An MP has vowed to fight a developer’s ‘absurd’ appeal against a town hall decision to refuse plans for extending an industrial estate into the green belt.
Quorum is hoping the planning inspectorate will overturn Stockport council’s decision to reject its proposals to expand Bredbury Park Industrial Estate into the Tame Valley.
The firm argues there is an ‘overwhelming need’ for large scale industrial and warehouse buildings in Stockport – which would generate hundreds of much-needed jobs.
Council officers had recommended approving the scheme in March on the grounds its ‘significant economic benefits’ would ‘clearly outweigh the considerable harm caused to the green belt’.
This was despite nearly 750 letters of objection from members of the public.
But the planning commitee voted down the scheme in March, with a majority of councillors agreeing the ‘very special circumstances’ needed to justify building in the green belt were not proven.
It followed a huge row over the site between Tameside and Stockport councils, prior to the latter pulling out of the GMSF regional development plan.
Andrew Gwynne, Labour MP for Denton and Reddish, joined forces with Will Wragg, Tory MP for Hazel Grove to denounce the proposals for ‘giant warehouses’ that ‘ would destroy our green belt and ruin the Tame Valley.
Now Mr Gwynne has renewed his attack on the plans in light of the new appeal – which is ultimately decided by the Secretary of State.
In a statement released after learning of the development he said: “The news of this appeal is not surprising. It is within the rights of Quorum to appeal the decision made by Stockport Council, but the concerns of residents across Bredbury, Woodley, Haughton Green and Denton have not disappeared.
“An expansion to the Bredbury Parkway Industrial Estate would be extremely detrimental to the local environment, and to the communities of Haughton Green and Denton. Our concerns at the time of the initial planning application were detailed and clear.”
This seven-strong list included a heightened risk of flooding, damaging air quality, and ‘robbing local residents in Denton, Haughton Green, Bredbury, Brinnington and Woodley of vital green open space’
Noise pollution and increased HGV traffic in Denton were also cited by objectors, who claim the scheme is contrary to Greater Manchester-specific planning policies.
Mr Gwynne added: “It is abundantly clear that just one of these concerns would warrant a rejection of the Bredbury expansion, but all seven expose this appeal as totally absurd. I would strongly urge residents to contact the planning inspectorate with their concerns.”
He continued: “We will not give up the fight for our Tame Valley. I have said many times that it is not up for grabs, and I mean it wholeheartedly.”
“The ‘exceptional circumstances’ required for Quorum to be granted permission for the expansion have not and will not be met.
“This proposed expansion has united politicians of all stripes, and we will continue to fight tooth and nail against it.”
The scheme was previously reduced by a third following the row between Stockport and neighbouring Tameside.
But after Stockport pulled out of the GMSF developer Quorum revised its proposals once again – tabling a much bigger two-part ‘hybrid’ application.
The firm sought full planning permission for two industrial units on a 40,000, sq m site as well as the widening of Bredbury Park Way and the relocation of its junction with Ashton Road.
And it also wanted ‘outline permission’ for a 53,000 sq m ‘commercial/industrial development’. This also includes plans for a new car park to seven Stockport Sports Village.
Quorum has been contacted for comment.
Anyone who wants to comment on the appeal – either in favour or against – can do so by visiting https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk, registering an account and entering the reference number 3279967.
Words: Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporter
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