Littleborough Civic Trust are working closely with Save Littleborough and Smithybridge Greenbelt Group, as we both have a common interest in retaining Littleborough’s heritage etc., (and surrounding areas of course).
This ‘Save our Greenbelt’ page can be accessed by the group for them to further the cause. You can also visit their Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/groups/341662970016941/?ref=share
Thank you for taking an interest in our page, our group works closely with both Littleborough Civic Trust and The Littleborough Flood Resilience group. They very kindly gave us this section of their website. We are currently working on a standalone website of our own (watch this space!).
As a group we work hard to protect our green spaces from housing development. The Smithybridge and Littleborough Save the Greenbelt group is a community action group that formed in 2019 as a response to the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF). This 20 year plan identifies areas of land in Greater Manchester as potential building sites for new housing and industrial units. Many areas of green belt land in and around Greater Manchester are included in this plan, and this is also the case in our area.
Two sites locally are highlighted in the GMSF Land North of Smithy Bridge (the farmland opposite Hollingworth lake, on Lake Bank) where 300 houses are proposed.
And Roch Valley (land off Smithy Bridge road) where 210 houses are earmarked.
As you can see from the map to the right. 174 houses are also proposed on the former Akzo Nobel chemical site too (this is outside of the GMSF).
Added to those, work has already begun on 110 houses at New St Dearnley. This site was originally in the early drafts of the GMSF, but has already been developed outside of the plan. Makes you question what the point of the plan is, if land can be removed early and developed?
These plans are disastrous for the infrastructure in our area. Our roads are already full to capacity. As a group we also have major concerns about noise and air pollution. Added to that our doctors surgeries, schools and dentists are already oversubscribed.
Why is Greenbelt important?
Greenbelt is essential not just for physical and mental health, especially at a time when access to outside spaces is essential due to Covid lockdowns, but they serve important purposes, they act as a sponge soaking up millions of gallons of water. We are sure many of you will remember that on Boxing Day 2015 Littleborough and Smithybridge suffered extensive flooding. It was a called a 'once in a lifetime’ event. Consider what would happen if we add hundreds of houses, with bricks, tarmac, concrete, these soak away fields will be much reduced, this 'once in a lifetime’ flood could well become more common.
Greenbelt also prevents the unrestricted sprawl of large built up areas, it safeguards the countryside from encroachment, it assists in urban regeneration by encouraging the use of brownfield sites, it prevents neighbouring towns and cities from merging into one, and it helps to preserve special characteristics of historic towns.
We need your help!
In the coming days we will be putting together a guide on how to lobby your local councillors. As a community we must unite in a response.
In the meantime you can join our Facebook Group, follow us on Twitter, and sign our petition.