Mission Statement

Mission Statement

  • Our mission is to protect & preserve our local environment & the interests of local residents.
  • Aims & objectives
    To promote and further the preservation of the local environment & the protection of our greenbelt
  • To monitor all planning applications & to take appropriate action, where the proposed developments are considered generally detrimental to residents, wildlife, nature & public rights if way or in any way contravenes existing  greenbelt guidelines
  • To cooperate with any external agencies who support the objectives of the group
  • To watch over legislative matters which shall affect the interest of the group
  • To create and raise awareness of any proposed planning applications which are deemed detrimental to the objectives of the group
  • To explore all alternatives made available in order to preserve our greenfield/ belt sites.


Any objection or as the spatial framework call it ‘Comments’ must be submitted by the 23rd December. It is vital that we get as many people to submit their objections to the government as possible.

It is only by mass action that we stand any hope of stopping at least some of these developments. Any comment or Objection becomes a public document.

In light of this anyone who has objected please tell your neighbours and friends and ask them to submit a similar objection I will list them here as people submit them to our website.

The following is a nice example submitted by Prudence Ramsdon of the Tameside Ramblers Association please feel free to copy edit and submit your own to the framework.

Email Direct : gmsf@agma.gov.uk

Greater Manchester Spatial Framework;  Comments and Views.      28/11/2016

I am writing to state my objections to the proposed massive building project within Greater Manchester and particularly the area in which I live, Tameside.

I will bullet point my objections but firstly I would like to make the point that I am totally against the wholesale rape of our green belt areas  which have for many years have saved our communities from the massive industrial pollution caused by the manufacturing industry which is Manchester’s heritage and on which its wealth was built.


  • As stated, the mass building on our green belt sites; which are vital to the health of society as a whole. Walking, cycling, horse riding, running, playing etc. improve the health of a nation. We are urged to take more exercise in the great outdoors i.e. in our green spaces.  These MUST be preserved.  Parks are not an option.  Our ancient footpaths and bridleways must be preserved for the enjoyment of everyone.
  • The destruction of trees; climate change is a huge issue; trees are essential to combat pollution and they soak up one fifth of carbon emissions caused by humans. In Tameside there has been a big tree planting scheme, what was the point of that if we now face the prospect of them and many more being bulldozed?
  • Flooding; recent events show how flooding devastates communities and costs many thousands of pounds to clear up. Green fields, trees and open spaces are an absolute essential to soak up the water.  More houses will increase flooding and increase cost to the local authority, quite apart from the effect on peoples’ lives.
  • Congestion on the roads; which are gridlocked in all areas of Manchester and not only in ‘rush hour’. Of course more traffic leads to more pollution and as pointed out in the previous paragraph we will have even less trees to help deal with the problem.
  • Health; pollution also causes damage to lungs and increases respiratory problems and many other health issues which in turn places extra strain on the NHS.

These are just a few of my objections, however it is true people have to live somewhere.

I would question the validity of the projected number of houses required and to say it must be affordable housing is nonsense.


  • There are at present over 650 three bedroomed houses for sale in Tameside and many hundreds of two bedroomed houses for sale. If this is replicated throughout Manchester there must be thousands of houses available. These are much cheaper than any new build houses could ever be and make good first time house buys. There is also a substantial number of empty properties in Tameside presumably owned by private landlords. These should not be allowed to remain empty for more than maybe three months as there is a need on several levels to have these occupied i.e. the obvious need to house people, the bad impression empty homes give to a neighbourhood, the crime they attract to an area, the loss of revenue to the local authority. 


  • Manchester was the heart of the industrial revolution. If we don’t have Brownfield sites aplenty where the factories of the past once stood then nowhere in the country does!
  • I do not know how the figures for each area have been arrived at due to complete lack of publicity surrounding this whole issue, however if Manchester has decided it needs housing for the future then the all the Brownfield sites should be identified and used first, regardless of where they are and what state they are in.  If cleaning of a site is required then so be it and the building developers should have to pay for that.  ALL the Brownfield sites should be used first and if that requires a better infrastructure, new roads, schools, medical services, then they should be provided in that area.
  • If and when the Brownfield sites have been used there should be a reassessment of housing and requirements. We are an ageing population and more housing may not be necessary.


As I said at the beginning of this email the area in which I live, Godley in Tameside, is precious to me.  Over the last thirty years we have seen one building development after another take over our green spaces.  There are many things we love about living here and the beautiful countryside on our doorstep is a main attraction.  Sentiment does not win over hard hearts as far as development is concerned, however I urge you to rethink the scale of development and seriously question the provision of so many houses and industrial premises on so much green belt land. 

Apethorn Objection

Myself and another resident have submitted objections to the plans the following is a first draft but contains all the main objection points. Such as wildlife, traffic and the joining of separate areas ie Woodley / Gee Cross into one single area.

This can be copied and pasted from this page. Please amend to suit your own objections.

Ref: Land south west of Apethorn Lane ( 230 houses ) and land east of the A560 at Bowlacre Farm. (380 houses)

I feel that the proposed Apethorn development does not conform to the principle of the green belt policy as the development extends to the Woodley boundary and consequently fails to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas.

The development also fails to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one and fails to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment preserving the setting and special character of historic towns.

Apethorn Lane and the Grade II* Apethorn Farm date back to the early 1500s and a housing development of this scale ( 230 homes at a density of 30 houses/hectare ) would be totally out of character with the semi-rural nature of the lane and would not conserve and enhance the historic environment and heritage assets.

In addition I feel that the green belt pasture that adjoins the SBI at Pole Bank and is include within the allocation forms an intrinsic part of the ecosystem linking with the Tame Valley Nature Reserve and forms a continuous green wildlife corridor with Werneth Low Country Park. The result of overbuilding this site would have a massive negative effect on the local wildlife.

I am concerned about the effect that this development will have on the road infrastructure and traffic flow should it go ahead. The A560 and A627 junction at the top of Apethorn Lane is already gridlocked in all directions at peak times; an additional 610 houses will place an unacceptable burden on the limited road capacity.

No provision has been made to increase school and health care, again an unacceptable burden on limited and overstretched capacity.

In conclusion the draft plan to remove this site from the green belt before an outline plan

( never mind a masterplan ) has been presented is both reckless and unnecessary as the precedent was set by the planning application to develop Stockport Road College site which was passed whilst the site was in green belt with some brown field areas.

This is exactly the same situation it seems to me as the Pear Tree Farm buildings which have been unoccupied for many years and the surrounding green belt pasture.

The negative synergy of this proposal is great and I hope that it is rejected and alternative sites are sought to replace the allocation shortfall preferably on brown field sites and infilling abandoned and derelict sites.

Many of these sites would be small scale but I think this would be more acceptable to existing Tameside residents, distribute traffic flow more favourably and not overwhelm towns


I’ve taken a couple of photos from the lane just passed my house at the top end of Lord Derby Rd. They show all the greenbelt fields involved in the Bowlacre Farm/road, West Park and Lord Derby Rd area. The Apethorn Lane area of GREENBELT continues on the other side of Stockport Rd.


Looking over Woodley towards the Airport from Lord Derby Road. All the green area is part of this plan.


Middle section taken from Lord Derby Rd towards Bowlacre Farm and Stockport Rd.
All this green area is part of the plan.


Looking left across the fields at the rear of West Park and The Dingle. All this land is included in the plan.
You can just see the new houses being built on the old college site off Stockport Rd.

I have lived on Lord Derby Rd for 30 years and these views and lanes are what brought our family to live here. We also have fields going up behind us to the top of Werneth Low across from the Hare & Hounds.
Beautiful but these steep sloping fields have springs, culverts and streams running down and under them.
Around 15 years ago we discovered how an unscrupulous builder knew of these springs/culverts and built our house over the top of one. This did not show on our deeds or on any maps of the area.
One night after very heavy rainfall we were watching TV when we noticed something out of the corner of our eyes. Water was flowing under our Patio doors and spreading across our dining room. Being open plan we grabbed as many towels as we could and tried to stop the tide.
We looked in the back and there was a huge geysher type expulsion of water going about 10 foot in the air. Then it was coming down the tiered garden to the patio and then through our house.
We had to call the fire brigade who pumped the water away through our garage, which was flooded too.
Next day we discovered the culvert that the builder had built over had burst and become visible where the soil was washed away.
We repaired what we could, had a new grid installed and crossed our fingers when it rained. Luckily our insurance paid for new carpets and furniture.
A few years later it did it again, twice in a very short period of time. By now, 3 carpets later we were told we would become uninsurable if we didn’t get it sorted.
I did some research and found there were approx 15 houses around Gee Cross that had this same problem, one of them was Councillor John Bell. I found out that the council owns all the land involved and had diverted the culvert at the side of Mr Bells house on Arnold Road.
So I contacted him and asked for his help. Eventually the council paid for a 20 foot deep soak away to be built in the field behind our house. They built a manhole and laid a 3 or 4 inch pipe to our boundary fence. We then had to pay £1300 to have the pipe extended to our patio, where the builder had laid a pipe ( unbeknown to us) under our patio, a manhole was built and joined the pipe that then went under our house and down the front garden. We never have found out where this pipe goes to after that, as there are no plans for it.
So from personal experience I know that all the surface water off the Low rolls over all these fields, which eventually soak it up, as do the trees in Bowlacre Clough. These trees have Tree Preservation Orders on them too.
So what will happen if they build around 600 5 bed detached houses in the fields in the photos? Will they all suffer flooding as we do and as some houses on the newer Orchard Rise do?

Then there is the access problem. Lord Derby Rd goes down to one lane at the top and there is a big drop and stream where it starts so widening of the road isn’t an option.
Bowlacre road is narrow at the end where these house will be. No scope to widen it. So if the access is from Stockport Rd, will it be through the new houses on the college site or another main entrance nearby. As you will know, the traffic on this road is already at capacity most of the day. The road is always dug up in Bredbury so it takes ages to get to the M60 that way. If you go the other way via Hyde the M67 is always at a standstill and if you go towards Hattersley they plan on building the Garden Village along the road from Alder school to the train line before Hattersley starts. All chocca block now.
Then the doctors, dentists, schools and Hospital are all full and it’s hard for the existing residents to be seen.

As well as all these points, what will happen to all the wildlife when all these trees have been felled and all the fields have been built on. There won’t be any green fields stopping urban sprawl between the Stockport borough of Woodley right through Gee Cross to Hattersley. Both Tameside borough. Except for Werneth Country Park land.

I do appreciate that new houses need to be built but not large, luxury detached houses that are the plan in our area. Those are not going to help young people get on the housing ladder and are too expensive for most local people. The only winners there are the builders.

Hope this helps,
Carol Horsfield.

Photo Gallery

If you have any pictures of Your area which is going to be built on please send me a copy to p_stanyer1@hotmail.com. At least we will always have a pictures of our green spaces to look back on.

[supsystic-gallery id=’1′]



Sidebottom Fold covers an area just of Mottram Old Road in Stalybridge.  Sidebottom Fold Farm still stands and its outbuildings were sympathetically restored in the last couple of years.  The road up to the farm leads out to managed moorland and offers spectacular views.

The area is teeming with wildlife with hares, foxes, deer and badgers living in the natural habitat provided by the fields, trees and streams.

The proposed area for development is used for grazing horses, sheep and cattle and the biodiversity of the area means that it is a haven for a whole range of birds and smaller wildlife making it an area of special scientific interest.

There are a whole host of birds in the area from small meadow pippets through to huge birds of prey, owls and bats.

Development in this area will have a huge impact on wildlife in the area and will dramatically reduce access to green space for future generation

Mel Price


Speaking to one of the residents of Apethorn Lane this week he proudly handed me a full list of animals he had seen on the fields on Apethorn Lane in the past year.

Birds 2016

Gold Crest
House Sparrows
Tree Creeper
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Coal Tit
Long Tail Tit
Spotted Flycatcher
Grey Wagtail
Black Cap
Greater Spotted WoodPecker
Wood Pigeons

Along with these he has also spotted The obvious predatory Sparrow Hawk, Buzard and Kestrals. Tawny Owls and on two occasions Barn Owls.

In addition a few odd Duck, Canadian Geese and swan which he thinks arrive from the nearby canals and Rivers.

Badgers are regular visitors and the occasional hedgehog which seem to have declined in numbers over the past few years. Numerous mangy looking foxes. Twice this year small roe deer have been spotted which seem to always be in the lower field near the area backing onto Polebank hall. They obviously can follow the river and railway lines.

This year he was very excited as he has seen an otter on the field across near the lower stream. When he crossed the field the otter appeared to have been making a meal of frogs in the central march area in the field.

This is a selection of wild life which will be obliterated by any development on this site. We simply cannot stand by whilst this happens.

Apethorn Lane

Apethorn Lane( Pear tree Farm)

Apethorn lane dates back to the 1500 and has several very old barns and buildings. It is a quiet country lane leading down to the Peak Forest Canal and the River Tame. This is an area of quiet countryside criss crossed with bridleway and small footpaths. With the trans pennine trail running straight across it.

Being in a rural area but surrounded by towns and citys means than the road has the benefit of feeling in the country but only 7 miles from the city centre.

Apethorn Lane is on the lower reaches of Werneth Low our highest point with views across Manchester. Recently houses have been built in this location at the Gerrards on Stockport Road and a new development on the old Tameside college which was a brown field site with green field situated at the front. These house on built on a council owned site are all over £ 500,000 each. Hardly suitable for first time buyers or social housing.

The proposed field is surround on all sides by woodland and areas of special scientific interest and areas of special Biological Interest. These areas allow wildlife to migrate along the waterways streams and woodlands.

A list of wildlife found in this area Includes Deer, Badgers, hares including a couple of sightings of mountain hares which seem to have found their way over from the Kinder area. Assorted Geese and migratory birds feed on the field in the spring and autumn. Foxes.

Whilst Bird spotting on the edges of the field over 30 species of birds were identified.

Sparrow Hawk, Buzzard, Bullfinch , Red start, Goldfinch, Nuthatch, Gold Crest, all species of Tit, Wren Woodpecker and Green Finch.

Barn owls and Brown Owls in abundance along with many bats.

Last year on two occasions a dog otter was picked up on CCTV on the field. These were spotted in the pond/swamp area of the field and were eating Frogs or toads. Mink have also been spotted in the lower field.

Development on this field will destroy this wonderful habitat for future generations. This field typifies why greenbelt was set up as it separates Woodley from Gee Cross. removing it will in effect make the two areas one large area.

Fighting against destruction