Saturday, September 10, 2011

Desperately want to say YES to something in Marple

The best point to emerge from the rally in Marple today against the location of a supermarket on Hibbert Lane was a positive thought for the future of our community. Hopefully it should give everyone present something to consider about the future of Marple beyond disruption and house prices. Our local MP Andrew Stunell (speaking, left) made some excellent points, and concluded by asking: "What kind of place do you want Marple to be in 10 years time, in 15 years?"

The warm response to his point was quite uplifting.  He is opposed to the plans by the College to sell their site on Hibbert Lane to a supermarket, the plans would be against planning guidance, against planning policy and in the teeth of a local action plan that the council and what passes for a local community body has signed up to. The passage of the Localism Bill, he says, will give greater emphasis to the needs of communities. He is palpably not a hypocrite for pursuing this essential reform. Marple has development needs to promote community cohesion, amenities and economic development. Hopefully everyone engaged in this very important debate can contribute to a viable plan about what those needs are and how they can be achieved.

This issue has also flushed out the local politicians. They are used to apathy and a "behind the scenes" way of doing their business. No more. Not on this issue. And I think they all need to come clean about what part they have played in consultation with the college governors - even when they were college governors.

I feel grumpy and reactionary being part of a "no" campaign. Instinctively I favour progress and new developments. But this is all wrong. It is now important that the college governors think again about pursuing a sale of land that is against the planning guidance, opposed by the council and against the overwhelming wishes of the local community. And when they have we can all get on with debating a brighter future for Marple.

Corrected on the 11th September.


Anonymous said...

Michael, it isn't against the law, it's against curent local planning policy. What would certainly be against the law would be if the college governors sold any assets for less than their maximum value.

Michael Taylor said...

I will correct that point. But the point remains that "maximum value" should be defined as within the planning regime even before you factor in the affect on the community.