Campaigners march against proposed development at Buxton’s Hogshaw

Almost 200 people marched through Buxton this week in a demonstration over proposals to sell a much valued green space in the town for housing.

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 9:09 am

The demonstration took place on Monday August, 30 with 180 people leaving Hogshaw recreational ground at midday, walking across Fairfield Common, down Fairfield Road and through the centre of Buxton to the town hall.

Jax Palmer from the Friends of Hogshaw group, which organised the march said: “It was great so many people turned up which just shows how important the area is to the community and why losing it is making people feel so angry.”

The protesters stopped traffic with their demonstration but Jax said it was important to highlight that if a housing development at Hogshaw goes ahead, there will be more cars on Fairfield Road than there is now and the traffic problems will continue.

Campaigners at Buxton Town Hall. Photo - David Dukesell

High Peak Borough Council has allocated Hogshaw as well as land near Granby Road on the other side of the A6 as part of its local plan to meet Government house building targets.

Access to both sites - delivering 675 new homes - will be served by a £2 million roundabout together with access roads at Fairfield Common.

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11 photos showing campaigners marching through Buxton as fight to save Hogshaw f...

However, crucially, Hogshaw’s two-acre recreation ground – located on the former tip – was not included in High Peak Borough Council’s 2016 Adopted Local Plan for housing development.

But the council has since confirmed it intends to sell Hogshaw rec as part of housing plans for the area.

Buxton-born naturalist and writer Mark Cocker, an advocate for Hogshaw, made a speech at the town hall.

He said: “If lockdown has taught us anything it’s that we need areas around us that don’t include humans.”

He spoke about how the country has the eighth worst pollution in the world but strangely the old tip of Buxton has become a fantastic area for wildlife which would be lost if houses were to be built on the site.

Peter Phillipson, chair of Buxton Civic Association, also addressed the crowds.

He said: “This site is crucially important for wildlife in the town.

"It is a hub which connects five different wildlife corridors in the area and if that hub disappears and those corridors break, the wildlife can’t flourish.

"It is also a critically important space for local people especially young people. It is also a great place for people to let off steam and is a safety valve for the town – it is far, far too valuable to lose.”

The Buxton Advertiser asked High Peak Borough Council for an update on the sale of Hogshaw.

Council Leader, Councillor Anthony Mckeown, said: "The council is considering the sale of land at Hogshaw to provide housing to meet local plan requirements, and a target agreed with Government within the funding bid for the Fairfield Roundabout.

"If approved, the sale of the land will include conditions on the submission and approval of a planning application. That application must consist of new and improved open space and play facilities and developer contributions towards necessary infrastructure improvements in line with Local Plan policies.

"At this time, no sale has been approved, and officers are working to consider various issues before the council's executive can make any final decision."

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