Fes­ti­val will help green­belt plan fight

Middleton Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - AN­DREW BARD­S­LEY

AMUSIC fes­ti­val will be held to raise aware­ness about con­tro­ver­sial plans to build on the green belt across Greater Manchester.

The first Green­belt Groove fes­ti­val will take place at the Hop­wood Arms pub in Mid­dle­ton on Satur­day, July 15.

Or­gan­is­ers say all prof­its from the event, which will fea­ture nearly a dozen live acts, will go to­wards a campaign es­tab­lished to fight the con­tentious Greater Manchester Spa­tial Frame­work.

A num­ber of protests have been held across the re­gion against the pro­pos­als, which could see 225,000 new homes built over the next 20 years, many on green belt land.

Ear­lier this year al­most 1,500 protesters gath­ered in Al­bert Square in Manchester dur­ing an event or­gan­ised by the Save Greater Manchester’s Green­belt group.

Those be­hind the plan say house build­ing tar­gets will not be able to be met with­out redrawing the green belt bound­ary.

Fes­ti­val or­gan­iser Kal­lum Nolan, from Mid­dle­ton, says the idea is to raise aware­ness of the campaign with mu­sic fans.

Cam­paign­ers are call­ing on brown­field land to be used for housing be­fore any green­belt sites are con­sid­ered for de­vel­op­ment.

Kal­lum said: “I have been fol­low­ing the plans any­way but then I came across a mate in the pub who was telling me about it.

“But you speak to a lot of peo­ple and they don’t have any idea about it.

“When they find out a bit more about it they are of­ten shocked.

“There’s a real sense of so­cial in­jus­tice about it.

“I thought at least in Mid­dle­ton we can raise aware­ness of it with a bit of an all dayer.”

The fes­ti­val has been or­gan­ised with lo­cal campaign group Save Our Slat­tocks, which is part of the over­ar­ch­ing Greater Manchester group.

The group is cam­paign­ing against the plan in Rochdale and Mid­dle­ton and in par­tic­u­lar the Slat­tocks area near to the Hop­wood Arms.

Up and com­ing Mid­dle­ton group Scut­tlers will head­line the fes­ti­val, with per­for­mances from other lo­cal bands in­clud­ing Son Primo, Beg­gar’s Be­lief, Twin Gates and The Recre­ation.

Prof­its from the event will go to the Save Greater Manchester’s Green­belt group.

Af­ter be­ing elected, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burn­ham pledged to ‘rad­i­cally re­write’ the con­tro­ver­sial plan.

He has tasked Mayor of Sal­ford Paul Den­nett with over­see­ing the re­write.

Tick­ets for the fes­ti­val are avail­able on Skid­dle priced at £7.

Mid­dle­ton band Scut­tlers, who are head­lin­ing the Green­belt Groove fes­ti­val

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