Monday, 17 December 2012

ASDA - Extraordinary Area Committee Meeting

An extraordinary meeting is being arranged for the ASDA planning application to go before Marple Area Committee.  The meeting will take place sometime between 16th January and 27th February 2013.  SMBC will notify respondees to the planning application by post.  We will post further details as they become available.

Government Support for Street Pride

Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State at the Department for Transport has replied to our letter of 16th November regarding Street Clutter.  His letter offers welcome support to our campaign to rid Marple of Street Clutter.  He will shortly be providing a guidance leaflet for councils setting out new guidance in which the starting point will be to ask traffic engineers to start from a position of having no signs and introduce them only where they serve a clear function.
We look forward to working with Stockport MBC in the light of the new guidance.

The full text of Patrick McLoughlin's letter can be seen here  

An audit by Marple Civic Society identified approaching 100 items of street clutter.

Civic Society Response to ASDA/CAMSFC Planning Application

The Civic Society has sent a letter of objection to Stockport MBC Planning Services objecting to the ASDA planning application for a supermarket and petrol filling station on the site of the CAMSFC Hibbert Lane campus.

Our objections are associated with specific planning matters although as a civic society we are concerned with protecting our Public Realm, Heritage Assets and Streetscape.

Our objections centre on the planning sequentiality test and impact that the proposed supermarket would have on the town.

To view our response in full please see here

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Planning Application DC/050947 – 61a Cote Green Road, Marple

The society's honorary architect has made the following response to this planning application on behalf of the society:

This is an infill development which we believe may be in green belt.
Although the presumption in green belt is against development the society accepts this site could be an exception.

We do not believe that the property proposed though is appropriate to the site. The street drawing is very sketchy of the adjacent properties and the proposed seems to be out of scale from these buildings.
The design is interesting and modern in its concepts but it neither contrasts from of reflects the scale and detail of the traditional buildings adjacent to it.
Although the society on this occasion does not object to the principle of a house on this site we feel that this design is inappropriate. 

Planning Application DC/050673 – Higher Bank Cottage, Cobden Edge

The society's honorary architect has made the following response to this planning application on behalf of the society:

This property is sited on a single track road/bridleway at considerable distance from any major roads or public transport.
The site consists of old farm buildings that have been split to create dwellings.
This application is to add a major development on the site that will have considerable impact on the green belt countryside.
The application has three elements: The porch and plant room, the old stable block to become a café and the extension of the stable block to give stabling lost with the conversion of stabling to café with a further plant room.

Although this property is on a popular walking route we question the validity of a café at all, never mind one of significant size.
The highway is not suitable for customers to arrive by car and anyway no parking is shown.

The society feels that this is inappropriate development of the green belt and if allowed the café could fail and then what other use could it be put to that would comply with green belt policy? 

Planning Application DC/051071 – 60 Hibbert Lane, Marple

The society's honorary architect has made the following response to this planning application on behalf of the society:

The extent of this extension, its relationship with boundary and the adjacent properties is difficult to understand from this submission.
It would though appear that the extension will be right up to the south west boundary and increase the front elevation so it spans most of the site.
With the drawings submitted we believe this proposal will over develop the site and change the scale and character of the street scene (of which there is not a drawing) and we therefore think the scheme as submitted should be seriously questioned. 

Monday, 10 December 2012

Chadwick Street Car Park Foodstore Planning Application DC/051408 (Kirkland)

A planning application for a foodstore on Chadwick Street Care Park, was submitted by Kirkland Developments Ltd to Stockport MBC on Friday 7th December 2012. The application has been validated by the council today and will be on their website within the next 24 hours.

The application is now open for consultation. The expected timescale for the application is:
  • Consultation Period - 10th December 2012 - 3rd January 2013
  • Application before Marple Area Committee - 16th January 2013
Marple Civic Society supports this application in principle because it conforms with the SMBC Core Strategy (Local Plan) for retail development within Marple District Centre and the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Friday, 7 December 2012

PlaceCheck Workshop - Report on Findings

In October Ian Harvey from Civic Voice and David Chapman from Urban Design Skills came to Marple to run a "PlaceCheck" workshop.  A summary report of the workshop's findings can now be viewed on the "PlaceCheck" website here

Ian Harvey from Civic Voice and Society members taking part in the PlaceCheck survey

Thursday, 6 December 2012

St Martins Christmas Tree Festival

Once again we are pleased to take part in the St Martins Christmas Tree Festival.
Many thanks to members Dave and Marion Swindells for doing a splendid job in decorating the tree.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

ASDA/CAMSFC Planning Application Consultation

The CAMSFC planning application for an ASDA supermarket and petrol filling station on the Hibbert Lane College Campus and refurbishment of the Buxton Lane Campus is now open for consultation.

The expected time scale for the  planning process is as follows:

  • Consultation period - 30th November 2012 - 24th December 2012
  • Application before Marple Area Committee - 16th January 2013
  • Application will be decided by Planning and Highways Committee - 31st January 2013
Marple Civic Society is opposed to this planning application which, in our view, is contrary to local and national planning policy. We will publish our formal response in a few days.

If you object to an ASDA supermarket on Hibbert Lane College Campus it is very important that you write or email your objections to Stockport Council.

You should write to:   Planning Services,
                                    Place Directorate,
                                    Stopford House,
                                    SK1 3XE

or email to:

If you need help to compile your response please see here for a list of planning grounds for objection, and here for a template letter.

You can also respond online at the Stockport MBC planning website by clicking here

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Committee Meeting Minutes 27 November 2012

Committee Meeting Minutes for 27th November 2012 can be viewed Here

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

ASDA Planning Application

We have had several requests from members and friends asking how best to respond to the news of the application.  The council has not yet validated the application so the consultation period has not started.  Once the consultation has started we will advise how to respond.

In the meantime make sure our six local councillors know your views by writing, emailing, phoning, attending a councillor surgery or any combination of these.  Please let the Civic Society know the response you receive.  

Monday, 26 November 2012

Asda Planning Application

We understand that Asda handed a planning application to Stockport MBC on 23rd November 2012 in respect of the CAMSFC 6th Form College site on Hibbert Lane in Marple.

The application is now awaiting validation by Stockport Council to ensure that all the information required by them is contained in the application. This will be followed by a 21 day public consultation period which will include:
  • Notification of neighbours in adjacent properties
  • Notification in the local press
  • Site notices posted in the area
During the 21 day period, the public will have an opportunity to respond. At the close of the consultation period Stockport council officers will prepare a report, including recommendations, for the Marple Area Committee to consider. The report will take account of of responses received during the consultation period. The application will then go for determination to the Planning and Highways committee where the planning application will be either granted or refused.

Marple Civic Society is opposed to this planning application which, in our view, is contrary to local and national planning policy.

Monday, 19 November 2012

"Pride in Marple" Awards

Arthur Procter
Volunteer of the Year
Highly Commended

Two members of the Civic Society recently received a "Pride in Marple" award.  We are delighted that both Arthur Procter and Alan Proctor have been recognised for the incredible voluntary work they do for Marple Community.

The Awards Ceremony gave local councillors the opportunity to recognise and thank local volunteers for their hard work. They had the difficult task of choosing just 14 people out of the many nominations they received.
Alan Proctor
Environment Champion
Highly Commended


 Photos by Mike Frisbee
More photos Here:

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Government Support for Street Pride

This year's annual CPRE lecture was given by Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State at the Department for Transport.  His talk covered road sign Clutter and the importance of removing it or, better still, not putting it there in the first place!  A Daily Telegraph report on his speech can be seen here:

We have written to Mr McLoughlin to welcome his message on the importance of removing street clutter and to tell him of our experience here in Marple.

So far our experience has not been good.  At a Street pride workshop two years ago we identified over 90 items of street clutter.  So far council officers have looked at seven of them and removed three.  We have recently been told that "most of the signs are required".  How they know this without looking at them is a mystery!

Just a few reminders of our
2010 Street Pride Campaign

Meeting with Kirkland Developments re: Foodstore on Chadwick Street Car Park

Six representatives from Marple Civic Society recently met with Kirkland Developments Ltd to discuss their proposals for a foodstore on Chadwick Street car park.  Kirkland was represented by Rod Hogarth (MD), Mark Thomas (Lexington Communications) and Ian Fitton (Fairhurst Consulting Engineers).

Civic Society Position

In principle, Marple Civic Society supports retail development within the District Centre.  This is reflected in the society's positive response to the Stockport MBC Core Strategy and Allocations DPD consultations as part of the Local Development Framework.
Chadwick Street car park is the last site within the Marple District Centre available for substantial development and therefore represents the last opportunity to take a holistic approach and to look at the wider picture of how Marple functions.  It is an opportunity to look at how Marple works as a town centre, how pedestrians and vehicles move about the town and the effect of Stockport Road on the town.  It is important that the proposed development facilitates access and links to the wider retail offer, encourages access to the town's civic amenities and facilities and facilitates opportunity for civic exchange.  These are the hallmarks of modern well functioning towns and living streets.  

Civic Society Concerns

Marple Civic Society expressed concerns about the likely substantial increase in traffic, car parking, impact on houses on Chadwick Street, Walmsley and Chapel Courts and the impact of delivery vehicles. 

Kirkland Response

For Kirkland, Mr Hogarth replied that the development proposed to take advantage of the sloping site to minimise the impact of the scheme by building into the slope so that car parking on the roof of the building would be on a level with Chadwick Street.  The main entrance would face onto Trinity Street and the Market Street shopping area.  The car park would be open 24 hours with 2 hours free parking during the foodstore's hours of business.  Mr Hogarth said that they are aware of the potential traffic problem and are in discussion with SMBC who have asked for a detailed traffic census and impact assessment, a copy of which he promised to let us have when completed.

Mr Hogarth made it clear that if the ASDA/CAMSFC  proposal on Hibbert Lane were to be approved the Kirkland proposal would not proceed.

Details of the proposal can be seen on the dedicated Kirkland website:

Kirkland's press release following their public consultation can be seen here:

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Civic Society Social Evening

The Civic Society recently held its Annual Members Social Evening. It was an opportunity to meet and chat with our members in a relaxed and congenial atmosphere.

First to address the meeting was Steve Graham, Director of Civic Voice. Steve joined Civic Voice six months ago and is meeting as many civic societies as possible around the country.
Click to enlarge image of Mellor Mill
Mellor Mill

We were then treated to a fascinating talk by Ann Hearle from Mellor Archaeological Trust entitled  "From a Ditch in a Field to a Pit in a Wood." Her talk covered the twelve years of archaeological investigations in Mellor, investigations at Shaw Cairn on Mellor Moor and the current work taking place at the site of Mellor Mill at the Roman Lakes.

Click to enlarge image of Shaw Cairn
Shaw Cairn

Visit Mellor Archaeological Trust Website
for further information and photos 
Click to enlarge image of Mellor Pot
The Mellor Pot

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Civic Voice Convention and AGM

The third Civic Voice Convention and AGM was held in Coventry on 19th and 20th October attended by over 100 delegates from all parts of England.  Marple Civic Society (MCS) was represented by Gillian Postill, Alan Postill and Arthur Procter.  The two day event included tours of the city to view historic sites and more recent developments on “brownfield” sites.

At the evening reception, held in the glorious 14th century St Mary’s Guildhall, Marple Civic Society received a Civic Day award for “Innovative Community Engagement” presented by Civic Voice director Steve Graham.

The following day delegates got down to the serious business of the AGM.  In a compelling keynote speech President Grif Rhys Jones alerted delegates to the dangers inherent in the government’s new, more relaxed, National Planning Policy.  After having some fun with the definition of “sustainability” Grif made the following points:
  • there will be change - that is certain - and we should not resist change per se
  • the current economic downturn will end but there will be others in the future
  • there are many voices taking part in the economic debate including powerful commercial interests who are not concerned about the interests of local communities
  • the present government’s (short term) view is to build its way out of the recession
  • the civic movement should not be specifically interested in (or sidetracked by) short term solutions.  We should identify our priorities and make sure our voice is heard.
Besides the business matters the morning session included panel discussions on Neighbourhood Planning, the Portas Review, Heritage Open Days and “Placecheck” (a community led appraisal tool piloted by MCS for Civic Voice last week).

The afternoon session included lighthearted mock interviews with committee members of imaginary civic societies - with our own chair Gillian taking a leading role!  The mock interviews were used to introduce an assessment tool developed at a recent Civic Voice leadership course to help societies reflect on what sort of society they are.

The convention ended with presentation and discussion of proposals for major Civic Voice campaign ideas for the coming year. 

Many thanks to all at Civic Voice and Coventry Civic Society for organising a splendid convention. 

Reception at St Mary's Guildhall, Coventry

Delegates at Work!

Grif Delivering 
Keynote Address

Gillian Receiving Civic Voice Award
on Behalf of Marple Civic Society

More photos photos by 
Arthur Procter here   

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Maintenance work planned at Marple Wharf

Maintenance work is due to commence at Marple Wharf on Wednesday 17th October.
Work will concentrate on the Warehouse, outbuildings and immediate environment.

The warehouse canopy is part of the listings therefore a timber survey is necessary to determine its condition before work can commence on this part of the warehouse.

Work to the cottages is due to start within the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Civic Voice Awayday Report October 2012

The report on the Civic Voice "Strategy Awayday" held in August has been published.  

The Awayday aimed:

  • to set the vision for the next three years
  • to identify the organisational values which will guide the work of Civic Voice
  • to revisit existing priorities and identify strategic objectives for the next three years
It was agreed that the current vision statement is still good: "Our vision is for everyone to live somewhere they can be proud of" 

The key values which should guide Civic Voice in its work were identified as follows.
  •  Campaigning – strong in our advocacy and promotion of the cause.
  •  Independent – unfettered in our views.
  •  Grassroots - with a bottom-up approach to everything we do.
  •  Responsive - accessible, inclusive and transparent to members, offering them the chance to   participate and recognising that they do it for fun. 
The full report can be read  here

Marple Wharf - Meeting with CRT 8th October 2012

Representatives from Marple Civic Society (MCS) met with the Canal & River Trust (CRT) Development Manager and Architect on 8th October 2012 for a briefing on Marple Wharf.

CRT reported that:

  • Pre planning application discussions have been held with Stockport MBC
  • CRT preference is for a housing led development
  • No planning application has been submitted
  • No final decision has been taken
  • Maintenance work is planned to the wharf site

MCS responded that:

  • MCS prefer a community led development
  • It is difficult to progress with a community led scheme because CRT own the site
  • MCS has put a team together consisting of MCS members, a local councillor, other volunteers and professional support to prepare a community led scheme based on the "Vision for Marple"
  • MCS would like to form a multi-disciplinary partnership between members of the Community and CRT to develop a community led scheme

CRT will now consider the MCS response to the briefing.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

PlaceCheck Workshop with Civic Voice & Urban Design Skills

Ian Harvey from Civic Voice and David Chapman from Urban Design Skills came to Marple yesterday to run a pilot "Placecheck" Workshop.

"Placecheck" is a simple tool to help civic groups improve their place by asking three questions:

What do we like about this place?
What do we dislike about it?
What do we need to work on?

Two teams surveyed the town centre including Market Street, Chadwick Street car park, Marple Wharf and Marple Memorial Park.  The teams later compared notes in a discussion led by Ian and David.

All agreed that should Chadwick Street car park be developed with a foodstore it is important that the development be integrated with the wider shopping areas and civic amenities and not create a "One Stop Shop" in the town centre.

 Ian Harvey and David Chapman with members of the  
 Civic Society taking part in Marple Placecheck


 Thanks to Arthur Procter for the photos          

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Chadwick Street Foodstore Proposal

Kirkland Developments Ltd have released proposals for a foodstore on Chadwick street car park in Marple town centre.

They will be holding a public exhibition on Friday 19th October between 2pm and 7pm and Saturday 20th October between 11am and 3pm at Marple Library in the Memorial Park.

Further details of the proposal can be viewed here

Friday, 5 October 2012

Newsletter - October 2012

The Civic Society's October newsletter is now available, see all our latest news here

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Marple Wharf-Meeting with CRT Property Developers

After two and a half years, Canal & River Trust Property Developer North has contacted the Civic Society to arrange a meeting which we understand is a catch up meeting. In order to get the best out of the meeting we have requested an agenda. The meeting will take place on 8th October and we will be reporting back on the website about what they have to say.

Many people have contacted us about the dilapidated state of the wharf and we will pass on those comments to CRT at the meeting.


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Marple & Protect Our Place Research Project

Protect Our Place is a national campaign to discover what action is being undertaken to protect and promote local places.  It is funded by English Heritage and managed by Civic Voice.  
Marple has been chosen as one of 5 case studies nationally to be included in the research. 

Project Manager, Sarah Spurrier, joined volunteers on site visits to Mellor, Mellor Mill Site, Marple Locks, Lime Kilns, Marple Aqueduct and of course Marple Wharf.  The site visit report recognises the tremendous input from volunteers in looking after the built heritage. With respect to Marple Wharf the report concludes that "If the threat to the wharf is realised, Marple will suffer a great loss, not only to the built historic environment, but also the loss of a potential community asset"

The "Protect our Place" report can be read here 
or see "Protect our Place" website here 

Marple Wharf updated timeline - the story so far - can be read here

Marple Civic Society and supporters at Marple Wharf