Access plan approved for controversial Whaley Bridge housing development

The proposed development site behind Macclesfield Road, looking toward Linglongs Road Whaley Bridge
The proposed development site behind Macclesfield Road, looking toward Linglongs Road Whaley Bridge

Outline plans for access to a proposed housing development in Whaley Bridge have been approved by councillors.

High Peak Borough Council’s Development Control Committee approved the plans for the site on Linglongs Road at a meeting on Monday.

All other matters including layout, appearance, landscaping and scale are reserved for a later date.

A large number of local residents who have been campaigning against plans to build 107 homes on the site attended the meeting.

Addressing councillors, Francesca Read said: “Your job today is to decide on the future of an idyllic site where the environmental and social impacts of development are overwhelmingly negative and clearly outweigh any short-term economic benefits.

“You are being asked to consider revised access proposals after the highways authority deemed the original proposals to be unsuitable. The revised plans are clearly still unsuitable. It is only a matter of time before the first child is injured or killed.

“To approve this planning application would be irrational and procedurally improper.”

But Mr Dawber, of the applicants Gladman Developments, said: “You have heard various reasons why you should refuse the application but these have all been addressed within the report to committee and found not valid.

“This site will deliver £11.8 million to the local construction industry. It will provide 47 full-time equivalent jobs and increase spending within Whaley Bridge by £420,000 a year.”

Local ward councillor David Lomax, addressing the committee, said: “The local plan identified sites that could be developed in the High Peak. If you approve this plan you will undermine what we have spent the last two years doing. This site is not in that plan because we did not think it was suitable for development.”

He added: “Linglongs Road is a dangerous junction with many accidents. The new access half way down Manchester Road does not improve things.”

Cllr Linda Leather said: “We as a council are well aware of the difficult decisions we have to make. But I’m sorry, we should not on this occasion lie down, roll over and do as we are told.”

And Cllr Graham Oakley added: “I don’t think we should be building on this beautiful greenfield site. I also don’t believe the benefits outweigh the disadvantages of building on this site. However, unless one of the councillors can come up with good planning reasons then it is very difficult for us to actually turn this down.”