Families fight to save Congleton fields from homes plan
CAMPAIGNERS are forming a united front to protect their green spaces from housing developments.
The call to arms comes after residents living close to Priesty Fields in Congleton learned of proposals to build 14 homes on the historic site, just off Stony Lane.
They say allowing the development will set a precedent for others, and the green belt that exists around the town will be "swallowed up".
Victoria Marchant, who lives in Waggs Road, said: "The number of houses planned may not seem like a lot but these applications keep rearing their heads. If one goes through, it just paves the way for several more.
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"Eventually, they'll all join up and the countryside that is so valued by everyone in the town, and is home to so much wildlife, will disappear."
Victoria, a self-employed PA, said an action group called SLATE – Stony Lane Action Team – had been set up to oppose the plans in just two-and-a-half weeks.
She said: "We're already working with another group because we can't sit back and let developers lead the way and take up our green fields.
"The infrastructure is already struggling to cope as it is, adding more houses to the area is going to cause even more chaos."
SLATE is working with other groups, including CRASH – Congleton Residents Against Seddon Homes. A Facebook page, Protect Congleton, has been set up.
Victoria added: "The main problem is the absence of a town plan. This means that the developers are leading the way and residents are suffering."
Sharon Simpson, of SLATE, said: "It's not a case of not wanting it in my back garden, it's a case of there is no infrastructure to support this development. We are all coming together to urge the council to get a plan together that ensures new houses are built where they are needed."
Stuart Bennett, aged 53, a care worker and poet who lives just off the site, said: "This is a precious site of historic value. It has a special place in so many hearts.
"It is, in every sense, like a village green."
A planning application is yet to be submitted but a campaign meeting for all Congleton residents will take place on September 25 at Trinity Methodist Church, Wagg Street, at 8pm.