A COUNCILLOR described the proposal to create the Tame Valley Country Park as a smokescreen to build 200 homes on the site of Hartshead Power Station and Millbrook Sidings.
Cllr Clive Patrick, who represents Stalybridge South ward, criticised construction firm The Casey Group at a meeting of Stalybridge Town Council.
He said: “There are reservoirs and moors all around us, and I don’t believe we need a country park and it is a complete and utter scam.
“The country park is a way of browbeating us and cover to build homes.”
Cllr Patrick added the development would increase traffic on Huddersfield Road and the congestion would “kill Stalybridge”.
Chris Peacock, from Newington on behalf of The Casey Group, attended the town council to discuss the results of the public consultation at Stayley Cricket Club, Millbrook, in July.
Mr Peacock explained to create and maintain a country park – The Casey Group intends to leave an endowment for its maintenance – they needed to build homes.
He pointed out 238 people attended the exhibition at the cricket club and 131 feedback forms were received that was “positive”.
He added the company is keen to retain the goods shed and conveyer, two historic structures, on the proviso it is safe to do so.
But residents were unhappy with the questions asked at the consultation, claiming they were “loaded” in favour of the developer.
Residents expressed concerns that included the valley being “concreted over”, extra traffic being generated and the need for a cross-valley road and fear that development would contribute to Stalybridge and Mossley merging.
Gillian Jarvis, from the Churchfields Residents Community Group, said residents are worried about extra traffic passing through their estate.
She said: “There are 200 units – they like to call them that – so that will generate up to 400 cars.
“Already 29 houses have been passed in another development so that’s 60 more cars and potentially 460 cars passing through our estate to Huddersfield Road.”
Mrs Jarvis also raised the question of who will maintain the country park when the cash from the endowment is used.
View the consultation results at: tamevalleycountrypark.co.uk