Land petition handed to High Peak MP
Sunday 4th March 2018 @ 08:25 by Nigel Skinner
Community Glossop Chronicle News

The ongoing saga over land on Glossop’s George Street took another twist on Saturday as High Peak MP Ruth George was presented with a petition.

It was handed over by the Friends of George Street Woods who say the 1,400 signatories are people who want permanent access to the land.

They claim it is green space that is officially recognised as a conservation area and considered part of Glossop’s heritage.

Saturday’s action is the latest attempt by the group to prevent Steve Rimmer, who lives opposite part of the former Shepley Mill site, from acquiring it by ‘adverse possession.’

Mr Rimmer, a science teacher, claims he is legally entitled to his actions and points to an appearance at Manchester Crown Court where he was granted a possession order by a judge against 10 protesters who had occupied the land.

In a statement the group say: “Ruth George kindly accepted the petition and was keen to meet with several local councillors to discuss the matter.

“The woodland in question has the protection of a Local Green Space which gives it the status of green belt land so it can never be built upon, people just want the ugly fencing that has been erected by Mr Rimmer removed so that local people can enjoy the woods just like they have done for over 50 years.

“Despite attempts by Mr Rimmer,  the local community insists that public access be maintained, as it was going back over the many decades since the mill was demolished.

“Those that signed the petition made their feelings clear that they cherished this unique natural resource that is situated just yards from the town centre and feel passionately defensive about public access and enjoyment of a little sanctuary of natural flora and fauna and a favourite play area for many generations past and future.

“Despite claims made in the local press, the woods are not owned by any individual and there is no known owner.”

The ‘friends’ claim the land cannot be built on and as such has little monetary value, but say it is ‘highly valued by the local community, who have planted saplings and native wild flowers, keep the woods tidy by doing litter picks, engage in woodlands maintenance to ensure the well-being of the flora and fauna, have grown a healthy royal oak sapling which has been grown from an acorn donated by the royal estates, and have placed bird boxes and habitats for hedgehogs’ on the site.