Whaley Bridge Amenity Society

Registered Charity No. 500862

Welcome to Whaley Bridge Amenity Society
The local Civic Society for Whaley Bridge and Furness Vale

We are a registered charity established during the 1960s. Our aims are:

Events in 2024

Tuesday, 4th June, 2pm   AGM, Mechanics' Institute
Saturday, 15th June   Civic Voice's ‘Civic Day’ 2024

 

Next Executive Committee Meeting: Wednesday, 22nd May at 2pm

 


NEWS

Whaley Bridge Neighbourhood Plan Adopted

The Neighbourhood Plan for Whaley Bridge ('The Plan') was adopted by the two planning authorities for the parish, the Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA) and High Peak Borough Council (HPBC), on 19th and 31st January 2024, respectively. The plan has been developed by Vision4Whaley, a small group of volunteers (including some members of Whaley Bridge Amenity Society), in conjunction with Whaley Bridge Town Council. The Plan provides a strategy for the development of the neighbourhood area (the civil parish of Whaley Bridge, which includes Fernilee, Furness Vale, Taxal and Yeardsley), and a range of policies and proposals which will result in positive benefits for the local community. It covers policies on employment and housing, heritage-led regeneration and conservation, environment and climate change, and transport and movement. It also supports the housing growth strategy and associated policies of HPBC's adopted Local Plan and the growth strategy of the PDNPA's development framework, as applied to the neighbourhood area. The Plan will be used to shape planning policy until the end of 2032 (or until an updated plan is made before that date), and will be taken into account by the two planning authorities (HPBC and PDNPA) when considering planning applications. Full details of the plan may be found at https://www.vision4whaley.org.uk.

WBAS Club Room Sold

We have been concerned, for some time now, about the future of the Club Room, and we have continued to explore all available options. Following discussions with numerous community and charitable organisations, it has been reluctantly decided that our only realistic option is to offer it for sale on the open market, and to this effect the Club Room was placed in an auction on 15th March 2023, with Botham’s of Chesterfield. The monies raised from the sale will be used to fund projects which align with the charitable objects of the Society, within the Society's area of benefit, i.e. the civil parish of Whaley Bridge.

Club Room Side View (Click on the image to open a larger view in a separate window / tab.)

Review of the High Peak Local Plan

High Peak Borough Council has embarked on a review of its Local Plan, which was adopted in 2016, to cover planning matters in the borough outside the Peak District National Park, in the period until 2031. Circumstances have changed and it has been determined that the Local Plan needs to be updated. The new Plan will cover the period to 2041, with a target date for adoption in mid-2026. The development of the Plan will take place in several stages; the current stage, Early Engagement, in which the public is invited to comment, ended on 3rd March. There will be at least two further public consultation stages: an options consultation in the third quarter of 2023 and a preferred options consultation in mid-2024.

Railway Bridge BEJ42

This Grade II listed bridge crosses Buxton Road close to the town centre and the conservation area. Listed building consent for its partial reconstruction was granted to Network Rail by High Peak Borough Council on 22nd December 2022. Prior approval for the design and external appearance of the new sections of the bridge was granted on the same date.

The resulting works are somewhat controversial, requiring the closure of Buxton Road to traffic for some 11 weeks, from January to March. Information is available on the Network Rail website.

BEJ42 Southern Elevation 2023-02-11 BEJ42 Northern Elevation 2023-02-11 BEJ42 Underside 2023-02-11 BEJ42 Northern Elevation 1 2023-02-19 BEJ42 Northern Elevation 2 2023-02-19
View from the south, of the section to be retained, after painting, 11/02/2023. View from the north, 11/02/2023. The facing section and the section behind it are to be replaced. View from the underside, looking southwards, 11/02/2023. The section to be retained has been painted. View from the north, 19/02/2023. The deck is being removed. View from the north, 19/02/2023. Daylight! The inner structure is revealed, arches ("troughs") based on girders, in-filled with concrete.
BEJ42 Lifting 4 Deck Sections 2023-02-21 BEJ42 Woops! 2023-02-21 BEJ42 Debris 2023-02-21 BEJ42 Smaller Deck Section 2023-02-21 BEJ42 3rd Arch Removed 2023-02-22
View from the north, 21/02/2023. Lifting 4 deck sections. View from the north, 21/02/2023. Woops! View from the north, 21/02/2023. The debris. View from the north, 21/02/2023. Lifting a smaller deck section. View from the north, 22/02/2023. The third arch rib has been removed intact.
BEJ42 new steelwork 2023-02-23 BEJ42 first new arch 2023-02-23 BEJ42 last new arch 2023-02-23 BEJ42 new deck 2023-02-23 BEJ42 with parapet cladding 2023-02-28
Buxton Road, 23/02/2023. The new steelwork has arrived. View from the north, 23/02/2023. The first new arch rib is being lowered into place. Note the bracing (cast-iron?), freshly painted, on the retained cast-iron arch rib - probably the 1896 repair. View from the north, 23/02/2023. The final new arch rib is about to be lowered into place. View from the north, 25/02/2023. The deck (in 14 sections) has been installed. The painting represents the original LNWR colours. View from the north, 28/02/2023. The parapet cladding and safety rail have been installed.
BEJ42 2023-06-27_north BEJ42 2023-06-27_south (Click on an image to open a larger view in a separate window / tab.)
View of the finished bridge from the north, 27/06/2023. View of the finished bridge from the south, 27/06/2023.

Toddbrook Reservoir

Construction work has begun on the new spillway for the reservoir. The associated planning application is here.

ToddDam_2023-02-11_from_below_200x150.jpg ToddDam_2023-02-11_from_above (Click on an image to open a larger view in a separate window / tab.)
View from below the dam, 11/02/2023. View from above the dam, 11/02/2023.

Taxal Edge Public Planning Inquiry

The public inquiry into the site off Macclesfield Road was held in November 2022. Of the two appeals which were considered in the inquiry the first (demolition of the existing building known as “Taxal Edge” and the detached garage building and the erection of 7 no. dwellings) was dismissed (i.e. disallowed) and the second (the alteration of a building ("the classroom block")) was allowed.

Public Right of Way from Station Road, Furness Vale, to the Peak Forest Canal Towpath via Calico Lane

This claimed right of way has been confirmed with modifications and designated as Whaley Bridge footpath No. 115. It is now indicated on Ordnance Survey maps.


 

National Planning Policy Framework - Consultation Response

The Society responded to the consultation on a new planning system for the UK. 

Civic Voice

Following the demise of The Civic Trust in 2009, we joined the new civic society movement Civic Voice in 2010, as a founder member.

Mersey Basin Campaign

We actively supported the Mersey Basin Campaign (‘legacy’ website) during the 25 year campaign (1985–2010). At the start, the Mersey and its tributaries were commonly regarded by many as the most polluted river estuary in Europe. It is now cleaner than at any time since the Industrial Revolution; its restoration is one of the UK’s biggest environmental success stories. It was internationally recognised as having pioneered effective partnership working, and in 1999 became the inaugural winner of the International Thiess Riverprize for best river system clean up.

One of our members served as Chairman of the Mersey Basin Trust — the arm of the Campaign established as a charitable trust to support voluntary groups undertaking environmental actions at local level. During Mersey Basin Weekends in October, we arranged walks, talks and litter picks. Two of our members were awarded the coveted Kingfisher Award in recognition of their contributions to the making of a weir in the River Goyt.

For many years, another of our members was Chairman of Action Etherow Goyt, one of 20 Action Partnerships, working closely with volunteers, schools, businesses, local authorities, regulators and politicians on a wide range of improvement projects. It acted as a catalyst to bring local improvements. These have included picnic tables, bat and bird boxes, repairs at the Horse Tunnel (a Grade 2 Listed Building), the resurfacing of the Peak Forest Canal Towpath (to Derbyshire County Council ‘Greenway’ standard), and two interpretation boards.

Public Rights of Way (PROW)

We campaign to develop, and protect the integrity of, the local Public Rights of Way (PROW) network, and have helped secure a number of new paths.

Information relating to Greenways and Rights of Way may be found at Derbyshire County Council’s website.

Litter Picks

We have carried out dozens of litter picks over more than 40 years.

Planning

We comment as appropriate on planning applications and have contributed to planning strategy consultation documents, such as those concerning the Whaley Bridge Conservation Area (and the Whaley Bridge Conservation Area Character Assessments) and the successor High Peak Local Plan adopted in April 2016.

 

More Details:

Here are links to our Constitution, and Chairman’s Reports for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, Vice-Chair’s Report for 2017, 2018, 2019 and Executive Committee's report for 2022

Membership:

We welcome new members (annual subscription £8, unwaged £4). Please contact one of our Officers:

Chairman

TBA

Vice-Chairman

Joy Brown

01663-719386

Hon. Secretary

Andrew Slater

07843 873932

Email the Secretary

Hon. Treasurer

Mr M. L. Thomas
Foxhill
Start Lane
Whaley Bridge
High Peak
SK23 7BR

01663-732530

Other Local Websites

Whaley Bridge Community Site (supported by the town council)


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