Hazel Grove activists stand against greenbelt development as ‘space for the community’
- Man Energy proposes building 150 new homes on Mirrlees field greenbelt land
- Mirrlees has protected status but that decision can be overturned by the council
- Local action groups are standing up to save greenbelt land
An energy company wants to build 150 new homes on the 53-acre greenbelt site of Mirrlees Fields in Hazel Grove .
Man Energy want to build on 11 acres of land and turn the remaining 53 acres of greenbelt land into an ‘informal park’.
The company put forward a building proposal for the site’s brownfield land in 2010, which was granted on the condition that no further building would take place on the green spaces.
In a survey conducted by Mary Robinson, Conservative MP for Cheadle, the future of the fields is deemed uncertain.
It states: “Mirrlees Fields are currently designated as green space and as such cannot be built on. However, this status can be changed.”
The houses are currently proposed to be built on the ‘big field’ area of the green space, with the remaining land to be put into a trust for the public in perpetuity.
But the Friends of Mirrlees action group state on their website that “the loss of the ‘big field’ is unacceptable. Covid-19 has further shown the importance of this unique open space to the health and wellbeing of members of the local community as well as to local wildlife and biodiversity”.
It also states that the proposed country park is not in keeping with the community’s wishes, as features like the proposed campsite and ‘event space’ would facilitate “significant amounts of unnecessary hard landscaping” further damaging the ecosystem and encouraging “anti-social” behaviour.
Local action groups like Protect Mirrlees Fields from Development have been campaigning against the development of houses on the greenbelt land in Hazel Grove.
They organised a a petition that raised over 3,000 signatures and spreading the word through protest and fundraising.
Local artist Marion Evans was also commissioned for a painting of the fields by PMF, the proceeds of which went into furthering the campaign.
Ruth Hewitt, one of the organisers of the group,said “‘It’s like the green lung of woodsmoor, why destroy it with bricks?”
But despite the large community response to save the field the group has noticed a level of pushback in the form of online trolling and destruction of the groups posters,
“I just want to protect that space for the community,” Ruth said
“I just feel saddened by it. I’ve even thought of moving, but I think to myself why should i be pushed out, why should I move from somewhere that I’ve made my home with my children, they love it here.”