Housing is an issue that seems to be met with caution and a little hostility in Bollington, and I agree. I grew up in Bollington and I have seen tremendous positive changes in the village and I have also seen some daft ones. In many ways, the influx of housing to the area simply generates more harm than good.
Why is it, that if the opportunity comes to buy land, it is seized upon for a housing development application? A key example is the Tullis Russell development (which at the time of writing has since been withdrawn). I accept that the bowling green is a cost to Tullis Russell and in this economic climate, it is best for business to sell the land. But seriously, housing? Is that the best option for that piece of land? It runs off Church Street and then heads down another quiet road not designed for much traffic. I love this area of Bollington, I grew up on Sowcar Way and my friends and I used to play in the fields at the back of this site. I remember as a child, going up to the bowling green with my Grandparents to watch them bowl. It is very peaceful and it is not hard to be seduced by the surrounding nature. It really is a hidden gem in Bollington. More houses around this area would eliminate and eviscerate all of this character and charm. This would also put a strain on the surrounding roads and impact on the local wildlife within the area, and not to mention the people that live in this quiet pocket of Bollington.
Lowerhouse developments is another ‘hot potato’ concerning the issue of housing in Bollington. Every town planning meeting I have attended, the issue of this development is one of real concern and annoyance to the Bollington community. This development, like many others brings more harm than good. The junction on Albert Road was an accident waiting to happen. Now, the Lowerhouse housing development will cause more strain on the roads down Albert Road which is already a high traffic area due to the two primary schools, fire station, paper mill and the tip. In addition, if the traffic pressure wasn’t enough to persuade one to think this is a bad idea, there is also the potential issue of flooding! I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t buy a house with a potential issue of flooding. So why should it proceed?
My next concern is actually one of national interest but also should concern the younger citizens of Bollington. We are told, there will be “affordable housing” to ensure that the people of Bollington can get on the housing ladder. Really? Like most “affordable housing”, I anticipate any affordable housing to snapped up for ‘buy-to-let’ developers before myself or any of my school friends or, indeed, your children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren can even get a look in. Furthermore only a small percentage of the new developments are dedicated for “affordable housing”.
The problem with housing in Bollington is a holistic one, because it also create problems in other areas such as parking (click here to read The Big Issues: Parking), Green Belt (click here to read The Big Issues: Green Belt), and access to Public Services.
The actual number being built in each Local Service Centre will be decided as part of the Local Plan’s Land Allocation process when each Centre is assessed early next year – David Naylor, 2014.
Like you, I am incredibly passionate on the subject of housing development in Bollington. If I was voted to represent Bollington in the Town Council, I will endeavour to express your views towards housing development to make sure you are heard.
I am certainly not hostile to the notion of people wanting to move into Bollington, but my fear and concern is that the more housing developments that are accepted, the more Bollington loses its quaint character, the more Bollington loses it’s small community feel and the more Bollington, simply loses.
I am a candidate for the Central Ward in the upcoming Bollington Town Council elections on May 7th. I am apart of Bollington First, a group of individuals with no political affiliation who put Bollington First. I believe that the solutions to the issues in Bollington should not be governed or influenced by the interests of party politics. I believe that the people who live in Bollington should govern and influence them. I want to represent your voice for the town we love, Bollington. If you agree, I implore you to vote for me in the Bollington Town Council elections on 7th May 2015. I will judge issues on their strengths and on the benefit to the people of Bollington and will not be influenced by the ideologies of party politics. I put Bollington First because I’m Bollington born and I’m Bollington bred.
Naylor, D. (2014). Lowerhouse Latest. Available: http://www.bollington-tc.gov.uk/news/post/lowerhouse-latest.