Buxton householders in protest against Hogshaw housing plans

Nearly 80 people from Hogshaw in Buxton protested at the recreation ground on Sunday opposing council plans to sell off the land for housing.
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Couples with young children, elderly dog walkers and teenagers who use the priceless 17-hectare green space stood in the freezing conditions to try and stop the development.

Placards could be seen everywhere with messages reading “save Hogshaw rec, don’t deprive the kids” and “I play with my friends here”.

The socially-distanced demonstration came after it was announced that the land - known simply as Hogshaw - is up for sale to build 124 homes.

Flo Harris, 11Flo Harris, 11
Flo Harris, 11

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 housebuilding targets.

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

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 now confirmed it intends to sell Hogshaw rec as part of housing plans for the area.

Martha Harris, 14Martha Harris, 14
Martha Harris, 14

Jacky Palmer, 54, founder of Friends of Hogshaw campaign group, told how those attending wanted to “show their concern” that the council were “selling off” the recreation ground “despite this area of land not being detailed or included in the 2016 local plan”.

Councillor Anthony McKeown, leader of High Peak Borough Council says if the land sale is approved it will be depend on a planning application which “must include information on suitable replacement open space and play facilities.”

Speaking about the protest – during which people dropped off placards, took photographs and then left the site – Jacky described at as “lovely” seeing “lots of family and kids who care so much” about the field.

She said: “There’s a huge strength of feeling and I would hope the council will see this as a really important family space - I would hope they will listen to the community.”

Hogshaw residents Mr and Mrs HeatonHogshaw residents Mr and Mrs Heaton
Hogshaw residents Mr and Mrs Heaton

Many of those living around Hogshaw Villas Road whose homes border the site - also known as Hogshaw Nature Reserve - have no gardens and dread losing the community resource and the access to the outdoors it provides.

Read More
Buxton residents battle to save green space from being sold off for housing

GP receptionist Jacky added: “You couldn’t have something like this anywhere else because it’s so central to our community.”

Mum-of-one Jackie said Hogshaw - bordered by allotments, homes and the railway - was like “a little oasis”

She described how for generations the “close-knit” community has been centred around the field, adding “if there’s ever any trouble we deal with it as a community”.

“If this is allowed to happen it’s going to change the place so much - that green space is so important because none of us really have gardens,” said Jacky.

Speaking about Sunday’s protest she said: “It felt like this was a really valuable way of raising awareness.

“A lot of people didn’t know anything about this so we made it more visible and engaged people who use it daily.

“I’m hoping now people will put their objections to the council - it would be the loss of accessible space for children and the elderly.”

Buxton Civic Association, urging people to oppose the housing plans, say Hogshaw is “a great example of nature recovery”.

Much of the old disused industrial site has regenerated to scrub and secondary woodland and is now home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.

Council Leader, Councillor Anthony Mckeown, said: "In 2018 the previous administration of the council was successful in gaining funding from the Government's Housing Infrastructure Fund.

"This funding intends to open up sites at Hogshaw to the north of the A6 and Granby Road to the south by building a new roundabout and access roads.

"To secure this funding - in line with the housing numbers in the local plan and targets within the funding bid to Government - the council has to enable the building of new housing at these sites.

"To put these proposals into action the council is now consulting people on its intention to sell this land to meet these requirements.

“I understand people will have comments about the proposed sale and you can share your views by completing a short online form on our website or by emailing or writing to the council.”

You can comment on the council’s plans at www.highpeak.gov.uk/LandHogshaw.

A petition set up to fight the land sell-off has now gathered over 2,700 signatures and can be accessed at www.change.org/p/high-peak-borough-council-save-hogshaw-green-space.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.