Derbyshire village campaigners join national grassroots bid to protect green fields

A group of campaigners fighting development in a Derbyshire village have joined forces with counterparts across the country.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 2:26 pm
Campaigners from Glapwell hand over their petition to Bolsover District Council.

The Park Avenue Avengers are protesting about a plan to build new homes on land off Park Avenue, Glapwell, which they say will destroy trees and ‘stretch their amenities to breaking point’.

The avengers are now one of 400 campaign groups to have joined the Community Planning Alliance’s grassroots map.

Group members have also now handed over a petition, signed by more than 1,100 people and calling for a halt on development, to Bolsover District Council (BDC).

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They believe this should now allow the plans for Park Avenue to be debated by full council.

The founders of the Community Planning Alliance are based across the country, from Manchester and Sheffield, to Essex and Hampshire and the alliance now has members in every county.

A spokesperson said: “We are all seasoned campaigners. We have all seen how the planning system is stacked against communities and residents.

"However, what we have also seen is that when campaigners, residents groups and parish councils come together, it is possible to create better outcomes.

"We set up the map to see how many campaigns like ours there are and were astonished to see it fill up with 400 campaign groups so fast.

"We are being inundated with messages from people asking how people could work together. The map is shocking – it is a very visual picture of the threats to our natural environment and a demonstration of how local authorities and government policy so often works against residents. The ‘build, build, build’ agenda is threatening landscapes and communities everywhere."

The campaign members are to stop the sale of a piece of land off Park Avenue ‘until covenants can be added to the land to keep it as a green, open public space respecting its status as a Bolsover District community asset’.

Park Avenue Avengers; spokesperson Sarah Bister said: “We hope this will get a motion raised at full council of BDC, so the more support we can get behind it, the better chance we have of succeeding.”

Businessman Stuart Hill has secured planning permission to build the 62 homes – which he says will benefit Glapwell – but access to the site is dependent on sale of the strip of land.

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