Village campaign group to resurface

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A GROUP of Swanwick residents are planning to relaunch a village campaign group to fight separate crematorium and housing plans on land there.

Business owner Steve Harvey, of Lark Hill, Swanwick, is calling on villagers to come to a meeting on April 24 with the objective of reviving the Swanwick Residents Association, which last met around 15 years ago.

The call to action comes as an application by Memoria Ltd for a 7.6 acre crematorium on protected land between Sleetmoor Lane and Old Swanwick Colliery Road is being considered by borough council planning officers.

Embattled villagers have also gained more than 2,200 names on a petition to prevent land there being used as a potential building ground for 1,000 new houses under the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA).

Now Mr Harvey says the village needs to form a united front against both potential developments.

He said: “What we are keen to do is to provide a platform for residents of Swanwick to have a voice.

“In the planning process there’s a risk that any individual speaking out against such matters gets labelled as being a ‘Nimby’.

“The association would work by Swanwick residents electing about a dozen people to campaign and speak on planning matters on their behalf.”

Steve added. “If any of the current development threats went to a planning inquiry the voice of a residents’ association would carry far more weight than any individual.”

Steve has urged anyone interested in being part of a residents’ association to go to a public meeting at Swanwick Hall School on April 24 starting at 7.30pm.

Steve has arranged for other campaigning residents to be there on the night to provide updates on Memoria Ltd’s crematorium plan, and the potential housing delivery sites. Further information on the meeting can be found at www.swanwickparishcouncil.org.uk.