Protest over planned travellers’ camp
Friday 30th May 2014 @ 11:32 by Lisa B

A bid to build a travellers’ camp on the fringes of Glossop Golf Club has led to a storm of protest.

DERELICT: The old waterworks building

DERELICT: The old waterworks building

Scores of people have emailed objections to the Peak District National Park planners who will make the decision.

A meeting has been arranged at the golf club for 7pm next Tuesday.

Margaret Martin who called the meeting said: “Spaces are limited to 250, so it’s a case of first come, first served.”

Cllr George Wharmby, who has been asked to chair the discussion, said: “I will, subject to me checking with the (High Peak Council) legal department.”

The application, listed under Aztec Planning of Oldham, is to demolish a former waterworks building at the top of an access road that cuts through the golf club land and build on the site.

The applicants are looking to provide six plots, plus a utility building, with showers and toilets. The building, known as the Hurst Treatment Plant, was decommissioned 25 years ago.

Applications to turn it into a house  have failed, because they say, the borough council claim it has ‘non-traditional form and design.’

Local people have been calling the Chronicle with objections.

One man, who asked not to be named, said: “The application is for six units, how long before many more move in?”

In a statement to the planners, the applicants say the site is for travellers who work and travel through Derbyshire.

PROTEST: Glossop Golf Club's greens and fairways

PROTEST: Glossop Golf Club’s greens and fairways

They say it ‘meets all the requirements’ set out in the national policy for travellers’ sites. They promise boundary hedges, hard standing areas and that it will be well supervised.

Their statement spoke of a need ‘to give gypsies and travellers a right to pursue their way of life.’

And that travellers have the poorest lifestyle of any ethnic group in the UK and face widespread discrimination.

They also allege a 2008 Derbyshire Gypsy and Travellers’ Accommodation Assessment spoke of a shortage of sites. Seven pitches were needed in High Peak, but none had been established.

In a statement Glossop Golf Club said: “Glossop Golf Club had its regular members’ forum which is used to discuss all golf club issues with members and receive feed back on a variety of issues.

“At the end of the forum there was a question asked regarding the recent planning application regarding the old waterworks, on land adjacent to the club.

“Hon secretary Graham Dodd replied that the golf club was gathering all relevant information and the Club Council was meeting on Thursday, May 29 (today), to discuss a matter which could have a significant impact on the club.

“He advised the members that the club would be responding to the application within the allotted time. He also said that members were entitled to make their own comments on the issue and advised them to log onto the Peak Park planning site.

“The golf club hopes to be in a position to issue its own statement within a week of the council meeting.”

by David Jones