A PROTEST group battling plans for major housing developments along the Picknall Valley are set to officially launch a petition today.
And the first signature on the Picknall Valley Preservation Group’s (PVPG) document will be Hugh Montgomery, the mayor of Uttoxeter.
However, Councillor Montgomery has stipulated he will be pledging his support as an individual rather than as town mayor.
He said: “I can’t sign the petition in my capacity as mayor unless the issue is raised at a town council meeting and my fellow councillors give their permission for me to act.
“But, as far as I’m concern, I support the group’s cause completely.
“I think the Picknall Valley needs to be preserved and looked after properly.
“To much of our countryside is being laid to waste and we need to protect the beautiful parts of our country.
“While I generally support development within Uttoxeter as a whole, when it has an adverse impact on what’s already there, then I don’t think it’s a good idea at all.”
Councillor Montgomery will be signing the petition outside Uttoxeter Town Hall at 10am today.
He will combine the signing with collecting poppies for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal and is encouraging shoppers to ‘give generously’.
The PVPG has reformed after successfully defeating plans to build houses at Roycroft Farm in 1989.
The group now hopes to repeat its 25-year-old heroics as a proposal to erect 140 homes on the same site.
Group member Graham Paskett said: “We hope the petition will focus the thoughts of East Staffordshire Borough Council and other planning authorities on the massive damage to the town’s environment that would result from building on the Picknall Valley.
“This is a natural, green thoroughfair that has protected Uttoxeter’s town boundary since the town was founded.
“It provides local people using the Bramshall Road park and walking along the brook with a unique benefit that must be protected for the future.
“Another key issue that the petition addresses is the major impact the development would have on the already-congested Bramshall, Stone and Holly roads.
“This would not only give a huge disadvantage to residents but a real potential danger for users of the Bramshall Road park, many of whom are children.”
It was reported recently that the group expressed its concern that development along the valley could ‘extend Uttoxeter into Bramshall’.
Another group member, former Uttoxeter MP Janet Dean, said she was concerned for the surrounding environment and villagers in Bramshall.
She said: “Once the first housing is allowed within the valley that will be the end of this beautiful area of farm land that provides a complete haven for wildlife and a natural boundary for the town. We will end up being built up to Bramshall village and beyond.”
Land now touted for development by county council bosses is currently listed as being earmarked for educational use
Group members have stated the petition, which will be presented to MP Andrew Griffiths and the county and borough councils, also highlights any additional development in Uttoxeter, would exacerbate ‘horrendous and dangerous’ levels of traffic in Bramshall, Stone and Holly roads.