I attended the meeting last night and I am completely opposed to a retail development on the hibbert lane campus. I live on hibbert lane opposite the existing college car park.
I have written a personal letter to the college explaining my lack of support for their actions and I urge every other resident to do the same.
The big issue for me is the sale of the land. Once sold I believe, as someone pointed out at last nights meeting, that it will only be a matter of time before something is built or the site becomes derelict and an eyesore.
The weak point is the college. They thought that we wouldnt bat an eyelid at what they propose to do. It is them who hold the cards at this time. There is still time to persuade the board of governors to "do the right thing" and opt for a different sales ethic.
As I see it we have until October to make a real impact with the college. They are clearly thinking with their hands in their pockets rather than with their heads.
Below is a copy of my letter to the governors, write you own. Hand deliever it, send it to each of the governors and put the ball in their court. Remember a pro forma letter or template letter gets a proforma/template response.
Hopefully they will see sense, they clearly are prepared for any confrontation from members of the public (in the form of legitimate demonstration), as demonstrated by MIA's meeting with them yesterday.
Ridge Danyers College
I am Michael Whittaker and I am a local resident living on Hibbert lane, Marple. I live opposite the Hibbert Lane campus of Ridge Danyers College.
I am aware that you are currently in negotiations with third parties, specifically supermarket businesses, in regards to the sale of the Hibbert lane Campus. I understand that this sale is to fund the expansion and development of the Buxton Lane Campus. I understand at this time that this is the only option you are looking at to get the monies you require for the expansion project.
I understand the necessity for the development of the educational facilities that you supply, as I was a student of yours some 10 years ago now, but I am deeply disappointed by the way in which you are willing to get the funds.
I believe that ethically and morally the sale of this land, for the reason stated, would not be in keeping with why you were given the land in the first place. I believe this land was given to you to use as a resource for something beneficial for Marple. It was given to you in good faith on the premise of it being used for education.
In selling it to a supermarket chain I believe you are acting in an unethical and immoral way, which will be to your material gain and to the detriment of Marple.
I am completely opposed to the Hibbert lane site becoming a Supermarket or retail site. I feel that this would be detrimental to Marple in a lot of ways. Examples of this include effects on local residents, local businesses and traffic.
To be more specific, I believe that a supermarket will mean increased traffic in the Marple area and Hibbert lane in its immediacy. This will have a direct effect on commuters and I include my wife and myself in that as we commute to Stretford and Didsbury through peak times when the proposed development would be open. I believe that this would be dangerous to the residents of Marple and your own students. It wasn’t that long ago that one of your students was knocked down outside my house by a car. It is already a busy road.
I have two young children under 4 years old. It is already dangerous for them to cross the road. We do not need the extra traffic.
I am also concerned that our volunteer emergency services personnel will be massively hindered in “turning out” to emergency calls from members of the public. If you were not already aware Marple Fire station is staffed by retained fire-fighters on nights and weekends. This dedicated group of people live within our community. Some on or around Hibbert lane, all of them within a Marple boundary set to enable them to attend the station in the case of an emergency within a set period of time. A retail outlet would directly effect this as the peak time for any retail establishment will be at nights and weekends. I can tell you as an ex fire fighter, it is already hard enough work getting to the station in the event of an emergency at these times, it will only be made worse by the inclusion of retail consumer traffic. Literally lives could be put at risk.
I believe that a supermarket, the likes of Tescos, Asda, Sainsburys etc would be detrimental to the already struggling local businesses within the town centre. I believe it will have a direct effect on them including closure of many of them as a supermarket will offer the same or similar products for cheaper prices. This will decay Marple town centre and ruin what is a community business area.
In my case, as a resident, I will be disturbed by HGV movements in relation to deliveries to the proposed site, increased traffic and noise. I will be disturbed by the environmental lighting used to light the premises or car park. I will be upset by the site of a large supermarket on my front door step. I do not want a supermarket on my front door step.
I fully understand the need to develop the Buxton Lane campus but implore you to see sense and look to sell to the likes of a property developer or similar. Marple does not need a supermarket but it does need housing. I can accept this. The community will accept this. I understand that you may not get the same amount of money from this avenue, but you would retain both my wifes support and mine.
As it stands should your board meet in October as planned and move to agree to this sale I regret you will have lost our support.
I will oppose the plans for retail development should you continue to support this. I will do this by erecting a large sign outside my house, on my land to voice this. I recognise that other residents will also be doing this also. I will also support Marple In Action.
I will oppose your planning application in respect of your expansion of the Buxton Lane campus. I will do this by continuing to follow the planning application process and voicing my views at area committee meetings.
I will support the Marple Hall Academy bid in an effort to increase competition for your college.
I will ensure that my two children do not attend your college, as I did, and instead go to another college\Marple Hall Academy.
I will ensure that given any issue arising from either the expansion of your Buxton lane campus or your students themselves I will be reporting to the relevant authorities. I have previously tolerated littering, abuse, poor driving, illegal parking and damage to my property.
I will personally make life as difficult as possible for Ridge Danyers in respect of any support that you may require in the future.
You need to know that these feelings are echoed by many other residents in Marple. On Wednesday 27th July 2011 an area committee meeting was held at 1800hrs in Marple Memorial Park. So strong was the support, that the venue was not big enough and council committee members were forced to take unprecedented action in speaking on the war memorial to a crowd of around 200 residents of all ages.
I do not believe that this is a lost cause and again implore you to see sense and do the right thing. You still have the chance to vote no to this course of action in the Board meeting. You still have time to explore other avenues to fund your project.
You alone have the power to keep Marple the community spirited village it has grown into. You alone can take our interests on board and look to fund your new project ethically and with our support.
I wish to remain in Marple as it is a beautiful place to live, it is a great community. You need to realise that you are part of this community and should you choose to do something detrimental then you may find yourself without the community behind you.
I am willing to meet with you to discuss this further if you deem it necessary. I would like a reply/acknowledgement of my letter in a timely fashion.