Concern over access to new Whaley Bridge homes site

The proposed development site behind Macclesfield Road, looking toward Linglongs Road in Whaley Bridge.
The proposed development site behind Macclesfield Road, looking toward Linglongs Road in Whaley Bridge.

Campaigners have branded a decision to have only one access road for a new 107-home development in Whaley Bridge as ‘bonkers’.

High Peak Borough Council’s Development Control Committee met on Monday to discuss a variation of conditions to an outline planning permission previously granted for land off Linglongs Road in 2015.

When the original plans were submitted, it was proposed the site would have two access points, one on Linglongs Road and one on Macclesfield Road.

However, a change of stance by Derbyshire County Council means the development can now be built with just one.

A letter from the highways authority stated ‘access off Macclesfield Road should be omitted from the development proposals; the sole vehicular access to and from the site being via Linglongs Road’.

Speaking after the meeting, county councillor Alison Fox said: “This is a bonkers. I have lived on Macclesfield Road for 19 years and it has always been a bottle neck, and adding in 107 more new houses with only one access route is both dangerous and stupid.”

Francesca Read, for Whaley Bridge Matters, which has actively campaigned against this proposal, told the meeting: “The council is being misled if they think they will get the option to discuss the access routes under reserved matters - this was the time to stand up for the people and the council has let down a community.”

Councillor John Pritchard said: “Proposals are being altered without proper consideration, a new outline planning application should be required.”

Simon Hartis, from applicant Barratt Homes, said: “We are slightly frustrated by the delay, we are keen to crack on.”

During the debate which followed, councillor John Kappes said he was struggling with the application as it felt very much like a jigsaw to put together.

Coun Stewart Young said: “One access is not sufficient for 107 houses - how are people going to be safe?”

Coun Caroline Howe said: “I am very concerned about the u-turn highways have made because before they originally agreed two access points would be needed.”

However, Coun Emily Thrane said: “We granted outline planning permission with no precise details of access, only potential access points.”

Coun Lance Dowson added: “The council has sought the opinion of the highways and we have to rely on that professional body, however lots of safety issues make this a difficult decision.”

The changes were passed with six votes in favour, three against and one abstention.