The Society keeps an eye on current planning applications to ensure that they meet both the legal requirements and aesthetic considerations, remembering that much of Mellor lies within the Green Belt. However, when the Parish Field was sold for building purposes, the plot lay outside the Green Belt, and no objection could be raised on that score. The Society felt that five houses – which the original scheme proposed – were too many, and the number was reduced to four.
A recent major concern has been the application to build 21 apartments in three blocks on the site of the disused Cataract Bridge Mill. Accessibility for traffic, potential numbers of cars, height of the buildings and the possibility of overlooking nearby properties are matters which have exercised local residents. The Local Area Committee of SMBC considered the application on 27 October 2004, when both the applicant and one resident were allowed to present their respective cases. We now know that the application has been approved, but the roofline of the apartment blocks has been lowered, and more parking spaces have been provided. However, no development is evident at present.
Another matter for concern has been the proposed erection of mobile phone masts in various locations around the village. One application for a mast on Cobden Edge was withdrawn by the landowner, but permission has now been granted for a mast on Low Lea Road. The Society notified residents likely to be affected by the mast, and they were able to attend the planning meeting. Despite their objections, the application was granted. The Society continues to monitor the planning register, and will notify residents of any further such proposals.
The War Memorial and Park
The setting of the Memorial had become rather shabby, and the Park behind the cross was very neglected. In 2002, the Society suggested alterations in the general layout, and held site meetings with SMBC officials. Work has now started on these improvements to the Park. In addition to the efforts of the local authority, the Society has organised several working parties of Mellor residents to assist in the re-planting of the flower beds. The Society funded the purchase of plants and seeds for this task, and now the park has taken on an entirely new look. It is well worth a visit! Now the Society has been awarded a grant to fund the purchase of two benches (which have been installed), and there are hopes that a further grant for the purchase of more plants may be in the offing.
These activities have led to the formation of a sub-group of the Mellor Society: Friends of Mellor Parks, which will keep a watch on the management of both the Memorial Park and the Recreation Ground. A questionnaire is to be circulated asking residents what play equipment they would like to see on the Rec, especially for older children.
There are many problems associated with the roads in Mellor – potholes, parking, speeding, flooding, lighting . . . the list goes on and on! The Society is active in drawing the attention of Stockport MBC to these matters, and has had some recent successes. A current concern is the speed of a few drivers on Longhurst Lane, and a temporary speed warning camera was set up and the data recorded.
Some years ago, an economy drive forced the closure of several public toilets in our area, including the ones adjoining the Recreation Ground. Bearing in mind the great number of walkers who frequent the local footpaths, and the need for such a facility near to a children’s play area, the closure caused the Society great concern. Continual pressure was placed on the Council to reinstate the toilets, and the toilets were officially opened on Thursday 5 December 2002. Two planters have now been purchased by the Society, and these have been installed near the toilets.
To celebrate the Millennium, three oak saplings and thousands of daffodils were planted on the Recreation Ground. Two of the oaks did not survive, but have now been replaced, and the daffodils appear in greater numbers every spring.
The public notice board on the Recreation Ground was badly sited, and the Society has been successful in having it moved to a position where it can be read more easily.