Store plan fury for group

The land in the distance at Landgate Bryn set for development
The land in the distance at Landgate Bryn set for development

A STANDING-room-only protest meeting delivered a defiant “hands off” message to developers.

Bryn Against Development (BAD) member Vic Greenwood said that residents “were mad...but now they are BAD” and determined to stop the giant homes, employment and supermarket project south of Land Gate Lane.

The group heard repeated warnings that such a large increase in families would overwhelm roads and medical infrastructure.

While the size of the proposed supermarket which will anchor the scheme - now increased and larger than the current Sainsbury’s site less than a mile away - will leave the area with 11 superstores within a four-mile radius.

Four ward councillors, who attended the meeting alongside 100-plus residents, felt their wrath and were repeatedly heckled by BAD supporters for allegedly failing to speak out against the project.

The farm land being targeted is on the perifery of the former Garswood Hall colliery complex - applicant Dave Baybutt’s Greenbank Partnership specialises in former Coal Board land - up to its closure in 1945.

Bryn Independent Coun Gary Wilkes pledged at the meeting to fight it “tooth and nail.” Coun Wilkes said: “This development has more bad points than good. I’m seriously concerned about the loss of amenities like Bryn recreation ground which has been in public ownership since 1946.

“I’m also worried about the delays in traffic on the A49 which is a drivers nightmare at present this development will only add more misery to public transport delays on already congested artery route from Ashton and Bryn.”

Labour Coun Nigel Ash said that there were “a lot of positives” in the scheme including “much needed affordable housing” plus job opportunities and improved leisure facilities.

But he remained concerned about extra traffic generation.

He said: “The council will publish a traffic survey within the next few weeks at which time I will be meeting with council officials to discuss the traffic impact on Ashton.

Michael Moulding, chairman of Ashton Residents Association, said services would not be able to cope with this proposed development.

He said: “The vast development will rip the heart and lungs out of the area, causing immense noise and disturbance.”