Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Season's Greetings

Many thanks for your  support in 2014
we look forward to your continued support in 2015

thanks to Arthur Procter for the photo

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

ASDA Cleared to Buy Marple Coop by Competition & Markets Authority

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has cleared the ASDA purchase of the Marple Coop store.

In its judgement the CMA commented that if ASDA has more significant development plans that the Coop had "pre-merger" this does not mean that the merger will give rise to a substantial lessening of competition.  It went on to say that any development plans by ASDA may be subject to local planning law.

Finally, the CMA commented that it had seen no evidence that the merger will have a negative impact on the potential entry of another grocery retailer (Councillors please note!)

The full judgement can be seen on the CMA website HERE

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Marple Aqueduct - Conservation and Repair

Marple Aqueduct is undergoing over half a million pounds worth of repair, conservation and access improvement work as part of the Heritage Lottery funded Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy project. 
A safety fence is to be installed as part of the gateway improvements.  There are a number of safety fence options and the Canal and River Trust (CRT) would like to gather feedback on these and the other improvements.
To find out more and provide your feedback follow the link HERE to the CRT website.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Planning Application DC/057147 - Cow Hey Cottage, Glossop Road, Marple Bridge

The society's honorary architect has sent a response to Stockport MBC's Planning Department to support the refusal of planning application DC/057147 - New Dwelling at Cow Hey Cottage, Glossop Road, Marple Bridge. SK6 5NX

To view our response in full please see HERE

To view application photos and documents see SMBC planning portal HERE

Friday, 12 December 2014

Newsletter December 2014 - Edition 7

The society's December 2014 Newsletter is now available.

See front page below for details of contents.

To view the full Newsletter click HERE

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Report on Marple Area Committee Meeting 10th December 2014

A report on the Marple Area Committee meeting that took place on 10th december 2014 can be viewed HERE

Future Area Committee Meetings:

4th February 2015 
11th march 2015 
15th April 2015 
10th June 2015 
15th July 2015 
12th August 2015
30th September 2015
11th November 2015
16th December 2015
10th February 2016
16th March 2016
20th April 2016 

All meetings are held on Wednesdays at Marple Senior Citizens Hall at 6-00pm

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Marple Sixth Form College Update

Civic Society representatives met again with senior management of Marple Sixth Form College (MSFC) last week to discuss progress on their development plans, particularly in so far as they affect the community and other potential local developments.

MSFC confirmed that a contract was signed very recently to sell the college's Hibbert Lane site to a development company who plan to build domestic housing on the site.  The sale of the site will enable the college to proceed with plans to further develop their existing Buxton Lane site.

Development of the Hibbert Lane site depends on planning permissions and an application for outline planning permission is expected to be made within a few weeks. It was agreed that a meeting would be sought between the Civic Society, the development company and the college's planning consultant to ensure that community interests are considered within the housing development plans.

Work on the Buxton Lane site will start in January, building the new sports hall which is expected to be ready for use in September 2015.  Reordering of parts of the existing college buildings will be done in conjunction with plans to build a new 2/3 storey block, to absorb other functions from the Hibbert Lane site.  It is expected that the Hibbert Lane site will be vacated by the spring/summer of 2016.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Annual Audit Meeting 2014 and Activity Plan 2015

The society held its annual audit and activity planning meeting on 25th November.  This year we invited a group of members to take part in our audit and to contribute to ideas for next year.

The meeting was held to reflect on the work carried out during 2014 and plan for the year ahead.  We do this because, as a registered charity, we are obliged to work in a transparent manner and to report each year to the Charities Commission on how we have met out charitable objects.  (We must also submit annual accounts). The audit is useful as a means of telling our members what we have done in their name during the past year.  The activity plan helps us decide our priorities for next year and to allocate resources accordingly. This year, thanks to several volunteers coming forward at the planning meeting, we have decided to strengthen our planning activity and to set up a town centre sub group.  This group will meet for the first time in the New Year.

Minutes of the meeting can be viewed here and the audit and planning presentation can be viewed here.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Member Remembers Her Father in Student WW1 Interview

Students from Marple Hall School have interviewed member Selma Fielding about her recollections of her father Robert who saw military service as a Quarter Master Sergeant during WW1.  The interview was recorded on video by the students and will be shown at a WW1 commemoration event at the school next year.  

Selma showed the students some of her fathers service memorabilia including service medals and postcards.  The students were surprised to learn that in those days before modern communications he wrote a letter or card every week! 

The interview is part of the collaborative WW1 commemoration project between Marple Hall School and Marple Civic Society.  Other activities will include joint working to identify war memorials for adding to the national register of war memorials and a Civic Society event later in 2015.  The war memorials register is being created by Civic Voice in collaboration with the War Memorials Trust and is supported locally by Marple Civic Society.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Marple Lock & Aqueduct Public Open Day

Canal & River Trust are carrying out major maintenance and repair works to the Marple Aqueduct, a Grade I listed scheduled monument, and to Marple Lock No. 2 as part of the HLF funded Revealing Oldknow's Legacy project.  

A public open day has been arranged which will provide a unique opportunity to see repair works at Marple Aqueduct which carries the Peak Forest Canal ninety feet above and over the River Goyt -  the highest masonry-arch aqueduct in Britain. Nearby Lock 2 is currently drained and it will also be possible to climb down within the structure to inspect the repair works that are now underway.

The HLF funded "Revealaing Oldknow's Project" has now officially started and all officers are in post

The Public Open Day takes place on Sunday 30th November -  
9.30 - 3.30pm - no pre-booking is required

For more information see Canal & River Trust invitation here

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Committee Meeting Minutes for 25th November 2014

Committee Meeting minutes for 25th November 2014 can be viewed here

The committee meeting was followed by an audit and planning meeting for 2015, attended by the committee and 11 members.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Report on Marple Area Committee Meeting 5th November 2014

A report of the Marple Area Committee meeting that took place on
5th November 2014 can be viewed here

One matter of particular note this month is that the proposed Chadwick Street foodstore has been put "on hold" by our councillors because, allegedly, no one is interested and Asda has bought the Coop!

It is worth reflecting that if our council had gone ahead with the Kirkland proposal in January 2013 we may, by now, have had a rather fine Waitrose foodstore in Marple.

Future Area Committee Meetings:
Wednesday 10th December 2014
Wednesday 4th February 2015

Monday, 3 November 2014

Civic Voice Annual Convention 2014

This year's annual Civic Voice AGM and National Convention took place on 24th and 25th October in Canterbury.
Grif Rhys Jones
Launching the Manifesto
At the start of the Convention Grif Rhys Jones, President of Civic Voice launched the Civic Voice manifesto, a copy of which can be viewed here. The manifesto entitled "Localism for Real" calls on future governments to:
  • Make improving the quality of the public realm in our cities, towns and villages a priority
  • Give all citizens opportunities to actively shape the future of their place
  • Give local communities the powers they need to enable their town and city centres to prosper
Grif added “If the Government is serious about Localism, they have to listen to the concerns of local people and give them the powers they need to enable their town and city centres to prosper ”

A short highlights video from the manifesto launch can be viewed here.

Chairman od Trustees, Freddie Gick
opening proceedings
Marple Civic Society award
for Partnership Working
Marple Civic Society were delighted to receive one of the five Civic Day awards given in recognition of our work in promoting partnership working.

Friday, 17 October 2014

The Future of English Heritage

The Government has formally approved the restructuring of English Heritage into two organisations.  A new charity keeping the name English Heritage will run the collection of historic properties and a new body to be called Historic England will champion the wider historic environment and provide support for stakeholders in the heritage sector.

Full details of the Government announcement can be seen here and the English Heritage response here.

Civic Voice has welcomed the Government announcement and the decision to invest £90 million in the National Heritage Collection of 420 historic sites, monuments and collections.
The Civic Voice press release can be seen here.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Marple Civic Society Annual Social Evening

The Civic Society held its annual members evening on Thursday 10th October when members and friends listened to a fascinating talk about Marple Lime Kilns by Norman Redhead who is the Heritage Management Director, Greater Manchester Archaeological Advisory Service.

An archaeological investigation of the Lime Kilns is part of the £1.5m "Revealing Oldknow's Legacy Project" that will investigate the archaeology of Mellor Mill and improve access to, and stabilise, Marple aqueduct.  Norman explained that the project will concentrate on the the latter two sites but the proposed work on the Lime Kilns could lead to a more extensive project in the future. 

Preparatory work clearing vegetation, making an accurate photographic record and mapping the site with Ground Penetrating Radar has already been carried out.  Future work will include a "Community Dig" and the installation of interpretation boards.  It is envisaged that by the end of the project a "Friends" group will have been set up to help preserve and promote the Lime kilns.

At the end of the talk Fiona Turpin, Project Manager for the "Revealing Oldknow's Legacy" project gave a brief description of her role and took part in an informative question and answer session.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Civic Voice Calls for People Participation in the Planning Process

Civic Voice has appeared at fringe events at both the Labour and Conservative party conferences to publicise it’s commitment to increase public participation in the planning system.

Entitled “How can we give communities a greater say in the planning system” the events were an opportunity to tell the story of the movement, argue our case and seek to persuade members of every political party of the importance of our agenda and manifesto. 

The Civic Voice Manifesto calls on all political parties to commit to:
  • Make improving the quality of the public realm in our cities, towns and villages a priority
  • Give all citizens opportunities to actively shape the future of their place
  • Give local communities the powers they need to enable their city, town and village centres to prosper.

A panel of leading figures in the field attended the meetings including:  Max Farrell of Farrell Consultants - author of the recent Farrell report, Justin Griggs - Head of Policy Development, National Association of Local Councils and, at the Labour Party fringe meeting, Roberta Blackman-Woods - shadow Planning Minister.

Marple Civic Society was represented at the Labour fringe meeting by Alan and Gillian Postill. Gillian told the meeting that Marple faced multiple challenges including 2 new supermarkets, a substantial housing development and a wholly unacceptable road traffic scheme adopted without consultation.

Gillian asked how we in Marple could persuade our council (in Stockport) to adopt the inclusive, multi-professional approach to modern placemaking recommended by Max Farrell and others on the panel.  

Panel members urged us to consider the adoption of a neighbourhood plan and/or a parish council for Marple if the current local politicians (councillors) and Stockport council are unwilling to adopt this approach.  

Monday, 6 October 2014

Speaker Meeting - Lime Kilns - talk about recent survey work and planned community dig

The society's annual social evening will take place this Thursday, 9th October 2014 at 7.30  in Marple Library.

The speaker for the evening is Norman Redhead, Heritage Management Director (Archaeology) Greater Manchester Archaeological Advisory Service (GMAAS)

Norman is well known for his work on archaeological projects and community digs throughout the borough including those in Marple and Mellor. He returns to Marple to lead the archaeological project at the Lime Kilns as part of the HLF funded 'Revealing Oldknow's Legacy' project.

Due to an unavoidable delay in the Oldknow project getting started, it hasn't been possible to carry out a community dig this summer as hoped. Nonetheless, English Heritage funded survey works and research have been completed leading to a better understanding of this Scheduled Monument. 

Do come along to find out more about the Lime Kilns which are now getting the attention they deserve after many years of being boarded up, out of sight and prey to the elements. 

Join us for a glass of wine and what promises to be an exciting presentation and congenial evening.

Venue : Marple Library - upstairs meeting room - lift available
         Date: Thursday 9th October 2014 - 7.30 - 9.30pm

All speaker meetings are open to members of the public and are free of charge  
bring your friends, neighbours and relatives - they will be most welcome.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Committee Meeting Minutes for 30th September 2014

Committee Meeting minutes for 30th September 2014 can be viewed here

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Report on Marple Area Committee Meeting 24th September 2014

A report on the Marple Area Committee Meeting that took place on 24th September 2014 can be viewed here

Two matters are worthy of special note this month:

At the Area Committee Meeting of 12th March 2014 Cllr Candler, then Chair of the Area Committee, gave an undertaking that there would be a progress report on the proposed foodstore development on Chadwick Street at every Area Committee Meeting. The undertaking followed pressure from many quarters including the Civic Society who felt that the council's sacking of Kirkland as the preferred developer for Chadwick Street would lead to delay if not abandonment of the project.  Our worst fears seem to be coming to pass.  Rumours abound but hard information from the council is difficult to obtain.  Is it too much to ask that our elected representatives level with us and let us know what is happening?

The other matter of note is that a planning application for the garage site at the Church Lane end of Marple Wharf came up for consideration.  A planning consent was given in 2004 for three houses.  The developer now feels that he needs to build five houses to make the project viable and has sbmitted a planning application to change the design to the anonymous block of five houses pictured below.

This is the development that Cllrs Alexander, Candler and Abell
could not make a decision on!
The Civic Society strongly opposed the application on the grounds of overdevelopment (amongst others). Sadly, only Cllr Ingham was prepared to refuse the application.  Cllrs Alexander, Candler and Abell voted to send the application to the SMBC Planning and Highways Committee without a recommendation.  This means that a group of Stockport councillors with little knowledge of Marple or its heritage will make a decision on the development of this important site without any guidance from our local councillors.
Cllr Bispham could not speak due to a conflict of interest and Cllr Dowling is committee chairman and made no comment.

See our full Area Committee report here and our full response to the planning application here

Future Area Committee Meetings
Wednesday 5th November 2014
Wednesday 10th December 2014

Friday, 8 August 2014

Report on Marple Area Committee Meeting 6th August 2014

A report of the Marple Area Committee meeting that took place on 6th August 2014 can be viewed here

Future Area Committee Meetings
    Wednesday 24th September 2014
    Wednesday 5th November 2014
    Wednesday 10th December 2014

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Committee Meeting Minutes for 29th July 2014

Committee meeting minutes for the 29th July 2014 can be viewed here

The committee meeting was followed by a presentation by Planning Policy Officer, Steve Johnson, speaking on the subject of "Planning in Relation to Marple Development".  See report below for details. 

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Speaker Meeting Report - Planning in Relation to Marple Development -Tuesday 29th July 2014

A well attended and lively speaker meeting held on 29th July heard Planning Policy Officer, Steve Johnson, speak on the subject of "Planning in Relation to Marple Development".  

Steve described changes in planning law over recent years, the stage that Stockport MBC are at in implementing the new legislation - the Local Development Framework (LDF) - and how Neighbourhood Plans could be applied in Marple.  

He explained that the LDF borough strategy document - the Core Strategy - had been implemented but the LDF local plans have not  been implemented.

Main points to arise from the questions and discussion during the meeting are:
  • The implementation of the Allocations DPD (the local plan for Marple under the new LDF legislation) is at least 12-18 months away. 
  • There was keen interest amongst those present to learn more about Neighbourhood Plans particularly in the absence of a local Marple plan to guide the many challenges that face Marple centre.  
  • Steve confirmed that in the absence of an LDF local plan, the Unitary Development Plan from the old planning system is used and also the national strategy planning document - the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Neither are sensitive to Marple's current needs in planning terms.
  • Deep concern was expressed amongst those present regarding the traffic scheme associated with the Chadwick Street car park. Steve confirmed that planning consent is in place and the traffic scheme could be implemented at any time.   
It was noted that the agenda for the next Area Committee meeting on Wednesday 6th August 2014 contains an item (item number 8) listed as "Neighbourhood Action Plans". We can confirm that this is not connected with Neighbourhood Plans as discussed at the meeting.

All photos by Arthur Procter            More photos here   

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Speaker Meeting - Planning in Relation to Marple Development -Tuesday 29th July 2014

The society's next speaker meeting will take place on Tuesday 29th July from 4pm - 5pm in Marple Library. A Planning Officer from the Stockport MBC Planning Policy Department is the speaker who will talk about planning and how it relates to Marple.

This is a pertinent subject given the many challenges that face Marple: ASDA taking over the Co-op store, a potential Chadwick Street development with a new traffic scheme, a substantial housing development planned for the Hibbert Lane College site, the possibility of residential use in Goyt Mill and a planning application due for the Marple Wharf site.

But what do we have in our planning armoury to guide these multiple planning decisions? Do we have a 5 year housing allocation? What plans are in place to ensure a positive regeneration scheme for Marple centre and do we have an up to date local plan that is sensitive to Marple's current needs? 

Here is an opportunity to hear what the Planning Policy Officer has to say about these and other issues relating to Marple, and to have the opportunity to ask questions and voice your views. 

Do join us if you can at 3.40pm for light refreshments before the meeting starts at 4.00pm - 5.00pm on Tuesday 29th July in Marple Library - a lift is available.

This is an open meeting and all members of the public are welcome so bring your family, friends and neighbours - there is no charge for this meeting.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Newsletter July 2014 - Edition 6

The society's July 2014 Newsletter is now available.

See front page below with newsletter content listed

To view the full newsletter click here then select NEWSLETTER JULY 2014

Saturday, 19 July 2014

First Marple Listing of Asset of Community Value - Windlehurst Park

Windlehurst Park is the first successful listing of an Asset of Community Value in the Marple Area. Friends of Windlehurst Park, who made the nomination, are a relatively new group set up as a result of park equipment being removed from the park by Stockport MBC.

This is the first of many nominations suggested by local groups and Marple residents. The Civic Society is co-ordinating a community project which will see up to 36 nominations submitted to Stockport MBC for listing.

We are working with the council to coordinate the submission of nominations with the aim of all  listings being made before the end of 2014.

Congratulations to Friends of Windlehurst Park for successfully listing Windlehurst Park as an Asset of Community Value.

Friday, 18 July 2014

The start of 'Revealing Oldknow's Legacy' project is imminent

Although it was announced last year that the £1.5m bid for HLF  funding for the Revealing Oldknow's Legacy had been successful, the start date has been delayed because of contractual issues dealing with the lease on the land at the Mellor Mill site. 

However, the formalities are now complete and permission given to start the project. Very soon the project officer, Fiona Turpin, will be officially in post and we can expect to see the start of community activity by September of this year.

The society contacted Fiona Turpin today and this is what she had to say:

"After making so many discoveries and developing so many ideas in our prolonged development phase it is very exciting to at last be on the verge of beginning to deliver this project which will celebrate Samuel Oldknow, a significant figure of the early textile industry. The project will offer a glimpse of the industrial revolution in the North West of England and its effect upon the region and nation's social, economic and political history: from mechanisation and how people earned their living to international trade and war. The stories will be brought to life in Mellor and Marple's picturesque landscape setting using the Aqueduct, Canal, Lime Kilns and Mill sites in particular to show how it was modelled to accommodate the activities of the day and how Oldknow's legacy still very much exists. The project will offer many avenues for everyone to get involved, learn skills or have fun whilst gaining an understanding of our shared heritage and learning more about the area's history and the next three years looks set to create some great activity in the area and leave its own mark for visitors and locals alike for some time after that".

Due to the delay in the start of the project a community archaeological dig at the Lime Kilns is unlikely to take place this year. Nontheless, work has commenced with vegetation being removed earlier in the year and survey work carried out funded by English Heritage (EH). This important structure is on the EH 'Heritage at Risk' register and after many years of little work or maintenance the Lime Kilns are now getting the attention they deserve. A topographic survey and geophysical survey have been carried out which will provide a greater understanding of the site and inform a programme of community activity. The survey findings and results will be presented at the Civic Society Social Evening on Thursday 9th October this year.