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Glossop residents fight to save protected trees
Wednesday 14th September 2016 @ 10:53 by Adam Higgins
Community News

A staunch campaign to save one of the last natural public spaces in Glossop has been backed by more than 50 people.

Residents of Longclough Drive, in Simmondley, hope to persuade High Peak Borough Council to reject a planning application by a development company to build six new houses on the street.

The developer, Derby-based AM Developments, has applied for planning permission but their plans will require the removal of three protected trees – which needs the council’s approval to overturn a tree preservation order – as well as 12 other mature trees.

And residents are furious that they are once again fighting to save the area, following three similar applications – by the same developer – which have been refused over the last two decades.

This latest campaign – launched by the Longclough Drive Residents Association – has received support from people all around the area, much to their surprise.

Longclough Drive protected trees

Under threat: The three protected trees on Longclough Drive would be chopped down if the development goes ahead

The association’s secretary, Ray Wrynne, has lived on the street for 27 years but he is well aware they have a battle on their hands to successfully overturn the proposals this time because of recent changes to planning laws.

The retired sales director told the Chronicle: “We’ve been fighting against the same developer every 10 years and at the end it gets rejected.

“On the last occasion, the HM Government Inspector stated the land should be preserved as Public Open Space for the residents of the area.

“But we have less confidence this time because it’s a relatively small development so it may not go before the full planning committee, which makes it easier for builders to push through their plans.

“We’ve had great support from Councillor John Haken but the land is worth around £1 million and has never legally been taken up by the council, yet public places are at a premium now in Glossop.

“There are strong feelings on the road as people have lived here for a number of years. They appreciate the natural outlook as opposed to waking up to see more houses.

“There’s also a significant parking problem so extra housing would mean residents losing their access to parking.

“The local housing plan commits to building 350 new houses in Glossop which doesn’t include the ones on Longclough or those currently under construction on North Road. Very soon Glossop will be a gridlocked concrete jungle, with no way in or out.”

Mr Wrynne added the land – around two acres in size – is well looked after by residents, who have raised concerns the houses will both damage the environment and affect where youngsters can play.

He said: “The land is a natural playground for local children and a wildlife haven for badgers, foxes, bats and many other species. It’s also a flood plane for Longclough Brook and residents have told me they are worried about the flooding risks.

“We have held public meetings and are active in pressing the planning department and local councillor to halt this development at a time when public space all across Glossop is under threat and traffic congestion in the area is at breaking point.

“The residents care for this natural resource and have an annual Spring Clean.”

The Chronicle has contacted AM Developments for comment.

Longclough Drive spring clean

Getting the spades out: Ray (second right) and fellow Longclough Drive residents hold an annual Spring Clean to make sure the land is well maintained