March to save Denton greenbelt

Hundreds marched in unison recently in a quest to save Denton’s greenbelt.

Three separate marches set off from Haughton Green, Woodley and Crown Point North on Sunday, July 14, walking along routes before joining together at the Arden Arms pub.

The group were protesting against plans which would see the Bredbury Park Industrial Estate expanded into the Tame Valley.

Hundreds of residents joined the march to make their feelings known and spoke of desecration of natural beauty it would cause were the estate to be extended.

Adrienne Shaw, a concerned local resident, visited Tameside Radio before the march to speak to daytime presenter Sarah Hall about the importance of making their voice heard.

“It’s going to ruin the Tame Valley, the peace and the quiet - everything that we expect when we go onto our greenbelt.” Said Adrienne.

“What were trying to do is stop the expansion because it’s going to be building on our greenbelt. There’s going to be heavy traffic and more congestion, more air and noise pollution.

“The greenbelt will be ruined and it will kill a lot of the wildlife. Their habitats will be ruined and the roads are no longer safe for children. We already don’t have enough safe place for them to play. All this will be taken away if they build this expansion.

“Hopefully if we get enough people we’re going to create mayhem. I’m sorry to the people that may affect for that afternoon but its us that are affected day in day out with the amount of traffic that may come through.”

And create mayhem they did, with hundreds taking to the streets to be part of the protest.

The walk was also attended by councillors and Denton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne. The proposed development sits on the boundary between his constituency and Stockport and he’s been a vocal opponent of the expansion since it’s announcement.

Writing in his column for the Reporter recently he called the Tame Valley “a real gem, both for our borough, and specifically for my heavily urbanised constituency”.

He said: “Forty-five years on, the river valleys are a vital green lung. They are of huge recreational importance, and of massive environmental importance too. That’s why I will always defend protecting our Tame Valley.

“But at the edges, the Valley is under threat. Nowhere more so than on the edge of Denton at Bredbury, where Stockport Council has identified land dropping down the V of the valley to the River Tame as a suitable extension for the Bredbury Industrial Estate. I’m vehemently opposed to this, and have been working with Labour Councillors in Tameside and William Wragg, my Tory MP colleague in the neighbouring Hazel Grove constituency (where Bredbury is located), to stop this proposal.”

He says the expansion will destroy the ambience of the Tame Valley - especially at Hulme’s Wood and Haughton Dale Local Nature Reserve.

One of the main points of contention for both the protestors and politicians is the low bridge at Junction 25 Bredbury. This is the closest motorway exit to the industrial estate but a low railway bridge means that HGV traffic will be forced to come off the junction before at Denton and travel through urbanised areas to reach its destination. 

Denton South councillors have also had their say, praising the spirit of the protestors. In a joint statement, councillors George Newton, Claire Reid and Jack Naylor said: “The march was a fantastic display of community spirit from across Haughton Green and Denton and we are right behind residents in opposing this development. 

“We will be looking out for the revised draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework  and look forward to continuing our work with local residents to ensure the area is protected for generations to come.”

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