Hazel Grove Retail Experiencing Some Difficulties – The Local Plan

It won’t come as a surprise to many here in Hazel Grove that our retailers are experiencing some difficulties.

Stockport Council is preparing a new local plan at the moment – you can find out more about this at https://www.stockport.gov.uk/localplan.  The purpose of the local plan is to make Stockport and the surrounding areas as prosperous as possible in several ways including health, education, jobs, housing and infrastructure.

One of the first stages is to produce an issues document.  You can download the full issues document at https://www.stockport.gov.uk/get-involved-slp/issues-paper-sustainability-appraisal.

You can comment on the local plan issues document on the same page above.  (It is a rather fiddly system to use but if you keeping selecting next page through the report you eventually get to the questions.  You can then add comments for each question).  There will also be opportunities to comment on the full plan later.

 

Part of the report is about our retail centres with Hazel Grove identified as one of those centres experiencing some difficulties.  This is not a surprise with the main A6 through the town an ongoing problem of heavy traffic, noise and pollution – not the best combination for a busy high street.

Most people would agree that taking a lot of the through traffic off the A6 onto a bypass would help a lot – something also covered in the local plan under transport and infrastructure.  The bypass is part of the proposed next stage of the Greater Manchester SEMMMS traffic strategy – to continue the new road to the Airport over to Bredbury and the M60.  The bypass part of the scheme is a spur off this new proposed road going back to the A6 at Sainsbury’s and therefore allowing a lot of the traffic on the A6 to completely miss the centre of Hazel Grove.

A bigger vision for Stockport is to eventually pedestrianise some of the town centre but that heavily relies on major improvements to other roads and the A6 to Bredbury road, our Hazel Grove bypass, being built too.

There will also be some events where you can hear more about the local plan and give feedback.  Details should appear at https://www.stockport.gov.uk/events/?tag=stockport%20local%20plan soon.

 

Carved Tree Animals

Update – I have now included a detailed response from a senior officer below the main story.
A slightly unusual question, but a member of the public asked me if it would be possible to have carved tree animals when trees are cut down rather than leaving short stumps for ages.   They would be cut a lot taller than now to allow for the carving.  I have seen this done and they can look really good.

Example of a Carving

I have asked council officers if this is possible. There would be a cost to do it and treat them every so often but it might even be less than the cost of removing the stumps – they are very difficult to get out.   The public in any one area would need to be consulted as well as I don’t suppose they are to everyone’s taste but they certainly brighten things up and look better than short stumps.
There are lots more examples of tree stump carvings on the internet if you search for carved animal tree stumps.
What do you think? Please let us know if you would support the idea.
Update:  A council officer has responded to my question quickly and with some detail.  In summary this can be possible in some cases but it is expensive and does not solve the problem.  Tree stumps still rot from the inside even when protected on the outside and have to be removed eventually anyway.
The full response from the council:

There are a few carved tree trunks in the borough.  There aren’t more of them because:

  • We don’t fell healthy trees, leaving a long upright trunk of an unhealthy, rotten tree is a risk
  • Depending on the intricacy of the design the cost for the chainsaw artist varies but is normally within the £1500-£3000 range.
  • There is no saving on felling costs, the stumps are of unhealthy trees, they become unstable and need removing in time.
  • The trunk, connected as it is to the earth by the remains of its root system, will rot from within.
  • All felled trees are eventually replaced in line with the tree management policy.
  • As lovely as a carved trunk can be a healthy living tree is a better option.
  • We still have to do a regular inspection (as they rot further they become unstable)
  • When they eventually and inevitably have to be removed some people understandably feel it was a waste of money or object to their much loved carvings being removed.

So while it is a great idea, carved trunks can be viable in certain places, the costs are high and the maintenance/removal should still be taken into account.

 Update 2
Officers have responded with regard to how long carved animals typically last.  Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer as it depends on a lot of things including the type of tree , and therefore the kind of wood, involved.  There is a lot more information about this at:
The council argument that they should not deliberately cut down trees that are healthy is, I believe, a very strong one.   Trees that they have to cut down are normally not healthy so would not be good for carvings.
Therefore, if you did want one of these carvings in your area then you would need to seek support of your neighbours and perhaps even raise the money to do it and maintain it.

Torkington Park Duck Race

The Torkington Park Duck Race is this Sunday. (25th)

Events take place between 1pm and 4.30pm. (There is a detailed programme of events on the noticeboards in the Park)

Entry in the Duck Race costs £1. Food and Drink will be available. There will also be children’s games, duck lotto and other fun stuff.

Hazel Grove Carnival Turns 40 This July

Hazel Grove Carnival turns 40 this July & Committee Co-Chair Tara Walters wants you to celebrate like its 1977. *

The Carnival is on 15th July, with all the usual events, including the parade, dog show & stalls. It will, as ever, be in Torkington Park. Put it in your diary and come and enjoy the fun.

The Committee is revitalized with three co=chairs, Tara Walters, Claire Jarvis & Lucy Sawdon-Molloy.

The team are always looking for help, especially on the day, so if you would like to help make it happen contact Committee Secretary Paul Ankers on [email protected] and he will pass it on to the right person.

* You are encouraged to put on your 70s gladrags (and handbags), but its not essential!

Green Lane Park Improvements

Good news for residents near Green Lane/Davenport Rd as the park play area will be getting a revamp in early 2017.

Four pieces of new equipment will be put in place, including a sidewinder see saw & a rotaweb rope climbing frame. Sadly, the basketball net will make way for these improvements. There will also be much needed repairs to the path leading to the play area.

Local Campaigner Paul Ankers is a father to a one year old and uses the park regularly. “Its a popular play area with my family, but needs a refresh.”

Local Lib Dems have had to report broken glass and other problems in the park. We aim to tackle anti social behaviour in the park. There should be excellent local facilities for toddlers and teenagers alike,

Local Cllr Jon Twigge said, “Residents get concerned about this and other areas with teenagers hanging about, but government cuts mean the Council provide very little youth services.”