People power stopped the Nestle pipeline and the ‘horrifying’ effect it would have had on traffic and businesses in the town, it was claimed this week.
Buxton Group Chairman Trevor Gilman started the wave of protest with a letter to the Advertiser on December 2, warning High Peak Borough Council planners that the proposal could cost the town millions in lost business.
“It first started in the letters columns of the Buxton Advertiser,” said Mr Gilman. “There has been a huge public protest and members of the Buxton Group have submitted an alternative route to the planning department.
“It’s people power.”
Leader of the Labour Group on High Peak Borough Council and a Fairfield councillor, Cllr Caitlin Bisknell added: “I am delighted that Nestle has decided to investigate alternative routes.
“However, I am a little surprised that, given the obvious implications for the town that the plans got this far – we all know the chaos and delays that are caused by even the briefest obstruction on Fairfield Road such as a taxi stopping to drop someone off.
“I am sure all Buxton residents and businesses will have been horrified by the prospect of Fairfield Road becoming a construction site for several months. I was particularly concerned about the access in to and out of Fairfield, for residents on a daily basis but especially for the fire, police and ambulance services in the case of an emergency.”
The Leader of High Peak Borough Council also welcomed Nestle’s decision to withdraw the application to relocate its Buxton Water supply pipe along Fairfield Road.
Councillor Tony Ashton said: “I am delighted to hear that Nestle has responded in such a positive way to the concerns expressed by the Council and by local residents about the potential disruption.
“My councillor colleagues and I have been working with our officer team to explain to Nestle just how serious a problem this could have been, not just in terms of simple inconvenience but also the inevitable financial impact on traders in the immediate area. We all know just how bad the traffic situation becomes in Buxton even when a delivery van pulls up for five minutes on Fairfield Road. The effect of two to three months of road works can barely be imagined!
“The senior management of Nestle understand our concerns and have shown they are prepared to listen and work with us for the good of the local area. I am very pleased with this outcome and thank them for their co-operation.
“The local ward councillors all expressed their concerns to me as soon as the plan was announced, and this has been reinforced by the many contacts they have had from the people they represent.
“It was clear something needed to be done, and the outcome proves the value of establishing good working relationships with key local employers.”
• Tesco has already announced its intention to build a new superstore on the existing Buxton Water factory at Station Road, should the move to Waterswallows go ahead.