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Members of the ex-MIA contact group met with College representatives to gather information about their plans for the future and in particular for the Hibbert Lane site.

The following notes on this meeting have been agreed with the College.

The College are proposing to put the land out to tender in April to national house builders who operate in the North West, with a view to selecting a preferred developer in May. There will follow the submission of a planning application to SMBC and the usual 13 week process and a public consultation in autumn. 

Any residential development will have to comply with local and national planning policy and be a mix of accommodation, with an agreed percentage of affordable housing to be determined by Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, whose planning guidance aims for up to 30%. 

The plans for Buxton Lane have not been addressed yet. The plans will be heavily modified from those previously submitted, with more emphasis on classroom accommodation to meet EFA approval. The College has applied to EFA for a £1.5m grant for a 10 room Maths & Science block on Buxton Lane as a Phase 1 development and is awaiting a decision. 

The College is currently recruiting student and parent governors. The College Board of Governors includes a contingent of parent, student and professionals within their field of practice. If you would like to express an interest in joining the College Board of Governors then please contact the Clerk to the Governors for an application form.

Marple residents should notice that the College are currently recruiting new members to the Board of Governors. There is little direct representation of the Marple community on the Board, and this would seem to be an ideal opportunity for parents, students or any member of the community with an interest in the College's future and its role in Marple, to contact the College. The ex-MIA contact group will meet with the College again in a few months time, and relay any information that we gather from the meeting to the Marple community via this web site.


MARPLE COLLEGE STATEMENT – former members of Marple in Action met up with Edward Vitalis, Finance Director at Marple College, to share thoughts on where the College is now going with the Hibbert Lane site. He is awaiting a report from his planning consultants before any announcements can be made but he was happy for us to release the following statements:

“The College has officially parted from its contract with ASDA.

Hibbert Lane needs to be disposed of in order to reinvest the capital receipt in the development of the Buxton Lane site for continued provision of sixth form education in Marple.

A logical option is that the Hibbert Lane site could be sold for housing development.

The College is committed to full and frank consultation with the community about any plans.”


The ballot has now closed for the distribution of the remaining £447.05 in Marple in Action's bank account.

The votes were cast as follows:




Friends of Marple Memorial Park 99 36.00% £160.94
New Horizons 73 26.55% £118.67
Marple Cancer Charities 81 29.45% £131.68
Marple Civic Society 22 8.00% £35.76

We shall be arranging to pay these splendid local organisations in the near future.

Please note: A number of other worthy causes were nominated and received a very small number of votes. However, they were subsequently excluded due to the administrative difficultly of distributing tiny amounts.


ASDA DEADLINE PASSES! Click here to read the Final Newsletter

Marple in Action was formed solely to fight the planning application for a supermarket on Hibbert Lane. As this has been successfully achieved, it has been decided that its’ activities should cease and its’ remaining cash be distributed to local charities. MiA still have over £400 to distribute even after some last minute expenses, so please vote to let us know which local charity/cause you want to get the biggest share. Funds will be distributed in accordance with the public vote on The Marple Website Forum, Facebook and on our stall at Marple Food and Drink Festival tomorrow.

The four local charities / causes nominated to receive a share of the fund are (in alphabetical order):

  • Friends of Marple Memorial Park

  • Marple Cancer Charities

  • Marple Civic Society

  • New Horizons

The closing date for the ballot is 30 September 2013, after which the money will be shared amongst these organisations in proportion to the votes that they receive. The online votes will be incorporated with the votes collected on Saturday at the Food and Drink Festival.


Sir Andrew Stunell MP spoke on the subject of "ill-conceived" planning applications in the House of Commons on the 19th June, and commended the work of “campaign group Marple in Action, which worked hard to make it clear that the community felt the ( Asda ) proposal to be ill-conceived”. Sir Andrew, who got his knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours, has been a strong supporter of Marple in Action throughout the two year campaign against the proposal for a supermarket on Hibbert Lane.

Marple in Action would also like to acknowledge the strong support received from the Marple Councillors, Sue Ingham, Shan Alexander, Andrew Bispham, Martin Candler, Kevin Dowling, and Craig Wright.

Mainly though, the success of the campaign was down to the people of Marple, who put up posters, signed petitions, wrote letters, marched and demonstrated that they didn't want Asda to ruin our town by building a supermarket on the College site.


( Stockport Express 5th June 2013)

Stockport Express - "Supermarket giant ASDA has pulled out of a controversial bid to build a new store in Marple"

ASDA - "Whilst our plans received significant support from the "silent majority" in the town, we believe now is not the time to proceed with our aspirations"

CAMSFC - "The college has been considering a number of options on how to proceed and would very much like to work with the Marple community to explore a way forward".

Councillor Sue Ingham - "a really fantastic result for Marple and a great example of the council and the local community working together for a common goal - what`s best for Marple"

Marple in Action - " a victory for common sense and people power!"

5 June 2013 - Marple in Action statement for the Stockport Express:

David Hoyle, chairman of Marple in Action, said:

“The decision by ASDA and the college to abandon their bid to build a supermarket on the Hibbert Lane site is a victory for common sense and people power.

"The tremendous weight of public opposition in Marple to the plan - and the professional and determined campaign mounted against it - completely took ASDA by surprise. They had totally under-estimated the Marple community's resolve to scupper this ill-conceived scheme.

"Marple In Action is absolutely delighted that ASDA have finally bowed to the wishes of the people of Marple. Following the hundreds of letters of opposition, petitions, and protest marches, ASDA and the college are now legally severing their contract by mutual consent.

"We welcome the new college management's statement that they are keen to involve the people of Marple in deciding the future of the college site. Marple In Action has supported this approach from the start and it will be a tremendous opportunity to bring new homes and 21st century college development to Marple.”

Make sure you get the next edition of the Stockport Express!

31 MAY 2013 - Official Update from Cheadle & Marple Sixth Form College

The College this afternoon released the following statement:

"Following the refusal of planning permission at the planning and highways committee, both the College and ASDA have been carefully considering their position and contractual obligations. Both parties have been in discussions with each other and their respective Boards about their appetite to proceed and the prospect of an appeal. Both parties have indicated a preference to withdraw from the contract by mutual consent and have instructed solicitors to draft an agreement in this respect.

The College has been considering a number of options of how to proceed and would very much like to work with the Marple Community to explore a way forward. It is our intent to collaborate and consult with key stakeholders in this respect."

Edward Vitalis (Director of Finance & Resources) Cheadle & Marple Sixth Form College.


We have been told that the College wish to end the deal to sell the Hibbert Lane site to ASDA and that the supermarket group will not stand in their way. However the agreements and legal documents will take take several weeks to complete and there has been no official announcements from ASDA, or from the College who simply say they are “reviewing their options”. Both parties apparently have to agree to end what is a binding contract.

Marple in Action won't be celebrating until we get confirmation by way of a public statement from the College and/or ASDA but we hope to get this within the next few days.

Our official policy now is to keep our fingers crossed!


Unfortunately not as ASDA have 6 months, from the 1st March, to lodge an appeal against Stockport Council's refusal to grant planning permission for a supermarket on Hibbert Lane.

If they do appeal, we may be in for many more months of blight whilst the appeal system runs its course. In the meantime:

  • new and existing Marple businesses hold back on investment in their businesses

  • householders affected by the proposed development cannot sell their houses

  • the authorities cannot plan improvements to our town.


MARPLE IN ACTION have been keeping in close touch with our MP, Andrew Stunell, the Marple Councillors and the Planning Officials in Stockport and opposition to a supermarket on Hibbert Lane is as strong as ever.

THE COLLEGE: ASDA's partner in the planning application is, of course, Cheadle and Marple Sixth Form College. We understand that the principal, Christina Cassidy, is off on long term sick and her responsibilities are being undertaken by the Assistant Principal, Jenny Singleton. Mr Hubert, has been replaced as Finance Director by Edward Vitalis. The new management team must, in view of the unsatisfactory Ofsted report and the failure of the Hibbert Lane project, be considering their options. Alternative capital funding schemes for colleges have been announced by the Government and MIA is seeking to meet the College to offer our help and to clarify, if possible, what is going on. The College have indicated that they wish to improve their relationship with the Marple community - this is their opportunity to begin that process. WATCH THIS SPACE!


New supermarket "could well push the town centre over the edge!"

PLANNING APPEAL REFUSED in Basingstoke –a major supermarket group had applied to build an out of centre store, the council refused it, and now the Planning Inspector has rejected their appeal. He refused the proposal because it would affect nearby shops and added that the Government’s new planning rules - The National Planning Policy Framework – justified the decision. He said:

“There would be a significant adverse impact on the vitality and viability of the nearby Brighton Hill District Centre. In such a circumstance paragraph 27 of the Framework indicates that the proposal should be refused.”  He also added that the plans “ failed the sequential test for retail applications that are not in existing centres or in accordance with up to date local plans”.

This time it was TESCO, and amazingly ASDA, who have a supermarket in Brighton Hill, said a new TESCO "could well push the centre over the edge". It's a pity they don't apply such concerns to Marple centre!

It's obvious now that ASDA will lose an appeal and it's time for them to announce that they will not be appealing against the refusal on their Hibbert Lane application and allow the residents and businesses to move on.


Its not just us that thinks that! Marple was rated 9th in the UK in last weeks 'Sunday Times Best Places to Live'`. It's a special place and ASDA mustn't be allowed to ruin it by building a supermarket on Hibbert Lane.

And a Daily Mail Online survey has reported that Stockport is second in the UK for 'resident contentment' and illustrated the piece with a picture of Marple's Memorial Park. If you want to save that, see this Council consultation regarding huge cuts to park funding - and HAVE YOUR SAY!


WILL ASDA APPEAL? – they have six months from the 1st March 2013 to do so.

IF THEY DO, WILL THEY WIN? – Unlikely if the evidence from Todmorden is considered.


ASDA took over a planning application from Sainsburys to build a supermarket on the out of centre, Halifax Road site.

This was refused by the Town Council, an appeal was lodged and turned down by the Planning Inspector who said that:

"the proposal could lead to a significant adverse impact on in-centre trade/turnover and on the vitality and viability of the town centre". He also concluded that the proposal would have an adverse impact on committed and planned public and private investment within Todmorden town centre by prejudicing the prospects for development of a mixed use scheme in the town centre and a smaller supermarket that already has planning permission on the edge of the town centre. Taking a more flexible approach to scale and format, this edge-of-centre site would be sequentially preferable to the appeal site. Therefore the proposal also fails to satisfy the sequential test.

Marple in Action think this is a sound decision in the interests of the livelihood of a town centre similar to Marple.

The grounds for refusal are quite clear. The proposed development would have created a separate retail destination to the town centre, with little potential for linked trips. Although not a vulnerable centre, the level of impact on Todmorden town centre would have been harmful to its vitality and viability. There was an alternative opportunity for a smaller supermarket development nearer the town centre that already had planning permission that passed the sequential test.

The Planning Inspector also dismissed ASDA's claim to be creating jobs in Todmorden. He said that the claimed 150 new jobs would equate to around 100 full time jobs, but diverting trade from existing retail outlets would result in job reductions elsewhere so the overall benefit would not be as great as first appearances suggested.

Marple in Action believe that the effect in Marple could be similar with a net loss of jobs if ASDA were allowed to open.

After the resounding refusals by Marple Area and Planning & Highways Committees, ASDA spokesman Philip Bartram (remember him!) said the supermarket was considering its options. We hope that for the good of Marple, and for ASDA's reputation, they consider their options and make an early announcement that they are not going to try to circumvent the local planning system by lodging an appeal.


The following email has been received and we are passing it on to all who have helped and supported MIA over the last two years of campaigning against a supermarket on Hibbert Lane. We now hope that ASDA will make an early decision not to appeal so that the residents and shopkeepers of Marple can get on with their lives.

To: Marple in Action

We fully understand that ASDA may well appeal against the refusal of their application . Hopefully they will see that that they are not welcome in Marple meanwhile we would like to place on record our grateful thanks for the excellent way MIA has managed the campaign against ASDA.

Stan and Sue Rice Buxton Lane Residents


The details of SMBC's Refusal of the Planning Application for a Supermarket on Hibbert Lane are now available on the Stockport Planning Portal. To read the full details please use this link.

It is worth quoting the statement at the end of the Reasons for Refusal of ASDA's plans:

"The Council have worked positively and proactively with the applicant during the consideration of the application. This has included providing opportunity for the applicant to address issues during the consideration of the application and has involved the submission of considerable information during the processing of the application to attempt to overcome areas of concern. Despite this dialogue the proposed development remains contrary to the development plan and the NPPF. There were no amendments to the scheme, or conditions which could reasonably have been imposed, which could have made the development acceptable and it was therefore not possible to approve the application. The Local Planning Authority has therefore implemented the requirement in Paragraphs 186-187 of the NPPF."

Also, here's an article from Convenience Store National Magazine:


Stockport Planning and Highways Committee last evening followed the recommendations of their Planning Officers and the Marple Area Committee and REFUSED ASDA's application to build a supermarket on Hibbert Lane.

At the same meeting the Kirkland application to build a supermarket on Chadwick Street was approved.

Is that the end of it? Well maybe but ASDA have the option to appeal and may well do so.


At another packed Marple Area Committee meeting last night, Marple councillors wholeheartedly rejected ASDA's planning application to build a supermarket on Hibbert Lane. Speakers from Marple in Action and the Co-op spoke against the plan, and were applauded by the audience, whereas ASDA's spokesmen met a stony silence when they defended the scheme.

Councillors Alexander, Candler, and Wright had already spoken against the ASDA plan so withdrew from the meeting, leaving Councillors Ingham, Bispham and Dowling to take the advice of the Planning Officer and vote unanimously against the planning application.

The plan now goes on to be heard at the Stockport Planning and Highways Committee hearing at Stockport County FC, Edgeley Park, Stockport at 6pm on Friday 1st March. We need as many MIA supporters as possible to attend, to reinforce the opposition to this development to Councillors in Stockport.

Anyone needing a lift to Stockport on Friday please contact Marple in Action by email (address top of this page) leaving your name, address and a contact telephone number and someone will get back to you to arrange.

22 FEBRUARY 2013 - Planning and Highways Extraordinary Meeting - CHANGE OF VENUE

The decisive planning meeting called to hear the ASDA and KIRKLAND planning applications is being held at 6pm on Friday 1st March at:


This is changed from Stockport Town Hall.

This Committee, made up of Councillors from all over Stockport, will hear the full reports from Stockport's planning officers, updated to include the late submissions by ASDA, and grant or refuse planning permission. The agenda is now on Stockport SMBC's website at the following link:

Although the Committee are recommended to refuse the ASDA application, and approve the Kirkland one, it is important that we show that Marple doesn't want an ASDA store on Hibbert Lane by attending the meeting and supporting a refusal of their application.

MARPLE AREA COMMITTEE MEETING – many people thought ASDA were playing "dirty tricks" when they submitted last minute information and asked for a deferral at the Area Committee meeting on the 6th February. The hearing of the ASDA planning application will now take place on Wednesday 27th February ( ie next week ), again at Marple Cricket Club starting at 6pm. Opponents to their application including Marple in Action will be speaking at the meeting and supporters are again urged to attend.

You may feel you suffering from "meeting fatigue" but this is the biggest threat to the future of the Marple we know and love, so please come.

Next Wednesday - 6pm Marple Cricket Club

Next Friday - 6pm Stockport County FC


ASDA's last minute information in support of their planning application for a Hibbert Lane supermarket caused the Marple Area Committee to defer a decision at last weeks meeting. However we are assured that a decision by the three neutral councillors will definitely be made at the meeting on the 27th February. It will be held as before, at Marple Cricket Club and will start at 6pm. Please attend!

Despite the frustration at the meeting on the 6th, it is very important that members of the Marple community who don't want an ASDA on Hibbert Lane, attend again to show the Area Committee that the opposition of their constituents is as strong as ever.

This decision will be vital as just two days later, on the 1st March, the ASDA application, along with the Kirkland one for Chadwick Street, is due to be heard by the Stockport Planning and Highways Committee at Stockport Town Hall. This meeting will start at 6pm and members of the public are encouraged to attend.


A huge turnout of local people opposed to an ASDA on Hibbert Lane crowded into Marple Cricket Club last night (Wednesday) expecting to hear local councillors recommend refusal of the planning application in accordance with Stockport Planning Officers' advice.

Instead they listened in stunned disbelief as it was announced that Asda had just forwarded further information to support their planning application. Despite a very lengthy consultation and report process, Asda, by their last minute submission, forced the Area Committee to defer the hearing to a later date to allow Councillors and officers sufficient time to consider this extra information

MIA fears that these delaying tactics can only be intended to frustrate our local democratic process, and it further illustrates the cynical contempt that Asda have shown towards the people of Marple.

Our heartfelt concerns for local residents, local businesses and the future viability of our town centre are of no importance to their ruthless determination to build a supermarket, against all local planning rules, outside the town centre on Hibbert Lane.

The application by Kirkland Developments to build a supermarket on the Chadwick Street car park was however heard by the Councillors, and was unanimously approved by the Committee and applauded by the meeting.

It is now expected that the ASDA planning application will be heard at the next Area Committee meeting on 27th February 2013.

3 FEBRUARY 2013 - Marple in Action Newsletter

 Download the latest news

Marple in Action Newsletter

31 JANUARY 2013 - ASDA Planning Application

 Stockport Planners SAY 'NO'

They say:

"It is recommended that planning permission be refused
for the reasons outlined in this report."


Recommended Decision: REFUSE

14 JANUARY 2013 - Special Marple Area Committee meets 6 February 2013

Marple Area Committee will be holding a special meeting to consider the planning application by ASDA to build a supermarket on Hibbert Lane. It will be held on Wednesday 6 February 2013 at Marple Cricket Club, Bowden Lane, Marple SK6 6LJ and will start at 6pm.

The decision made at this meeting will be very important to the future of Marple and a large attendance is expected.

This is your opportunity to show the Councillors who remain neutral on the issue of a Hibbert Lane supermarket, that the majority of people in Marple oppose that development. 

The planning application by Kirkland Developments to build on the Chadwick Street car park is also to be considered at the meeting and any recommendation from the Area Committee will carry considerable weight when both these applications go before the Stockport Planning and Highways Committee.


Marple & Cheadle Sixth Form College and ASDA

  1. The planning application will be taken to Marple Area Committee for consideration and recommendation.

  2. Due to the scale of the application and the fact that it is a departure from policy, it must be taken to the Planning and Highways Regulatory Committee (PHRC) for a final decision.

  3. If the committee approves the application, the Council would need to refer the decision to the Government’s Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) because it exceeds the scale at which local authorities are able to determine departures from policy. CLG would have 21 days to decide whether to agree with the decision or whether to call it in.

  4. If CLG did decide to call the application in, the timescale for any resolution would be significantly extended.

  5. If PHRC refuses the application, then no referral to CLG will be required.

Chadwick Street

  1. The planning application will be taken to Marple Area Committee for consideration and recommendation.

  2. Due to the scale (floorspace) of the application, it will be taken to PHRC for a final decision.

  3. The application is not a departure from policy and would not be referred to CLG.

24 DECEMBER 2012 - Deadline for Objections to ASDA proposal

Today is the final day for objections to the Asda planning application to build a supermarket on Hibbert Lane, Marple.

If you intended to do so but haven't, do it now! Use this link.

You can't complain if ASDA succeed in their plans against your wishes if you didn't put in a formal objection.

Best wishes for Christmas and an (ASDA free) Happy New Year!

22 DECEMBER 2012 - Campaigners fighting plans to build an ASDA superstore on college land in Marple handed their protest dossier to Stockport Town Hall officials on Friday.

Marple In Action delivered a protest petition containing over 8,200 signatures and a detailed letter of objection to the plans. Stockport Council have received numerous letters of objection from concerned residents. These will be taken into account by Councillors and planning officials at an Area Committee meeting in the New Year and at a Planning and Highways Committee meeting in February.

Pictured handing in the petition are Marple in Action chairman David Hoyle and vice chairman Mick McPhee.

After Marple in Action’s protest dossier was accepted at the town hall, David Hoyle said: “There has been overwhelming opposition from local people to these plans to replace the sixth form college on Hibbert Lane with a large supermarket. So many people have expressed their anger by writing letters of objection and submitting online objections to the council.

“Marple Councillors, Wright, Alexander and Candler have already publicly pledged to fight the proposal as has local MP Andrew Stunnell. We now urge all councillors and planning officials involved in the decision making process to take heed of this massive show of opposition from local people and throw out the proposal.”

21 December 2012 - DID YOU SIGN THE PETITION?

Over 8,000 did – but that's not the same as making a FORMAL OBJECTION.

Please follow this link and let the Council and the Planners know that you want ASDA's application to be rejected by both the Marple Area Committee and Stockport Council's Planning Committee.


20 December 2012 - NOT a MARPLE in ACTION LEAFLET!

The leaflet "Act NOW to Block ASDA" distributed yesterday did not come from Marple in Action and is factually incorrect. 

Objections can be submitted on line via this link up to and including, Christmas Eve, 24th December. If you haven't done so, do it now as every objection counts.

Please also ask your family, friends and colleagues to submit their objections.


ASDA has now submitted its plans for a supermarket and petrol station on the Hibbert Lane site of Cheadle & Marple Sixth Form College. The plans been published as application DC0513 on the Council website. You can see them at:

You have 21 days in which to file objections, and it is very important to have as many separate letters or emails of objection as possible. Sending an email or letter of objection is the most important thing you can do to help stop ASDA. Objections must be sent before the consultation period expires on the 21st of December.


The ASDA plans have been made together with the College’s application to redevelop the Buxton Lane site. However, you can object to any part of a planning application. Therefore you can object to only the supermarket, or only the Buxton Lane proposal, or to both.


It is important to make your objections personal to you - individual objections expressed in your own words are taken more seriously – identical objection letters are treated as a single objection. Our planning advisors have made a list of possible grounds for rejecting the ASDA part of the planning application. These can be downloaded by clicking here:

ASDA grounds and guidance for objection’.

Use ideas from this list, but please express them in your own way. Above all avoid just ‘cutting and pasting’.

The address for sending letters of objection is:

Planning Services,
Place Directorate,
Stopford House,


You can send an objection letter to the council planning office by normal post to the address given above.

If you would like help then a template for a letter of objection can be downloaded by clicking here:

ASDA letter of objection’.

If you use this template, it is very important to make it personal to you by editing it and adding your own thoughts in the section at the end. Identical emails of objection carry little weight and are likely to considered together as a single objection.


The Council web site asks you to submit comments by email if possible. If you would like help, then a template for an objection email can be downloaded by clicking here:

ASDA email of objection’.

If you use this template, it is very important to make it personal to you by editing it and adding your own thoughts in the section at the end. Identical emails of objection carry little weight and are likely to considered together as a single objection.


Marple in Action volunteers will be in Marple Precinct on Saturday 8th and Saturday 15th December. They will be able to help people who have questions about the proposal or would like help with the objection process. The volunteers will have printed versions of the grounds for objection and the letter template. They can also deliver your letter for you to the Stockport Planning Department if you wish it.

03 November 2012 - Information about  Chadwick Street Development

As a group, we do not hold a view on whether or not a supermarket should be built on Chadwick Street.

FOR INFORMATION : Kirkland Development have issued the following press release following their recent exhibition at Marple Library.

Support for Kirkland’s town centre store plans

Stockport-based developer Kirkland Developments has today announced the results of the feedback gathered at its two-day public exhibition of its proposals for a foodstore in Marple town centre.

The public exhibitions displayed Kirkland’s proposals for a 25,000 net sq ft foodstore with an additional retail unit and 154 parking spaces in Marple town centre. The store, which is located on the site of the current Chadwick Street car park and Royal Mail depot, will be built into the ground with a rooftop car park at approximately the same level as the current car park.

Also on display at the exhibition was information highlighting that Kirkland strongly believes that Cheadle and Marple Sixth Form College’s Marple campus at Buxton Lane can be redeveloped without the need for a new out of town Asda supermarket on the College’s Hibbert Lane site. Kirkland believes there is potential here for a new housing scheme as a viable alternative to an out of town store.

The consultation events, which took place on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 October, were attended by an estimated 550 people. Feedback forms were available for people to record their comments and of the 278 completed forms received over the two days, over 90% of respondents registered their support for the plans.

Rod Hogarth, Kirkland Developments’ Managing Director, said:

“We’re delighted with the results of the consultation so far. We’re extremely encouraged by the vast majority of people attending our exhibition supporting the proposals. This is a strong endorsement of our carefully designed store and sends a clear message to councillors. I would like to thank those who came along to the events and told us their views on our proposals. We made it clear at the exhibition that we are confident a redevelopment of the College can come forward without an out of town supermarket.

“We will now take away the comments that the community has made regarding our plans, particularly on highways matters, and assess where changes can be made to our application before it is submitted to Stockport Council. For those who were unable to attend the events, we will ensure that the information displayed at the exhibition is uploaded to our website as soon as possible.”

Further to the positive feedback received from feedback forms available at the exhibition, the invitation leaflets which were delivered to over 6,000 homes and businesses across Marple prior to the exhibition and which included a comment card have also revealed very strong support for the plans. To date, just under 600 cards have been returned and 85% of those respondents have registered their support for Kirkland’s proposals.

Rod Hogarth, Kirkland Developments’ Managing Director, added:

“This is further evidence of the high level of support that our proposals have gained from the Marple community. This makes for a compelling argument in the spirit of Localism in favour of our in-town store as opposed to Asda’s proposed out of town store.”

For more information, residents can visit or contact the dedicated community information line on 0161 247 8417.

15 October 2012 - Complaints About the College Principal and Governors 

Complaints About the College Principal and Governors : There is now a way to register complaints about the actions and conduct of the Principal and Governors. Previously the complaints procedure for Cheadle and Marple Sixth Form College explicitly excluded these people. However, after action by MIA and the Education Funding Authority, the College have at last changed their complaints procedure.

To find out how to use the new complaints mechanism go to the College website page:

11 October 2012 - A statement regarding Chadwick Street 

The sole aim of Marple in Action has not changed since our campaigning group was formed more than 12 months ago. As stated at the top of our Facebook page: "Marple in Action is a group formed in response to the threat of a proposed giant supermarket opening on Hibbert Lane". We do NOT have any other objectives. As a group we do not hold a view on whether or not a supermarket should be built on Chadwick Street. 

Many people though have asked us for information on Chadwick Street, and we have offered that which is publicly available - but it's up to Kirkland Developments at their public consultation to explain their plans. It's then up to the people of Marple to express their views to their elected representatives in anticipation of a planning application.

8 October 2012 - Welcome to ASDA!

WELCOME TO ASDA – the second ASDA/College public consultation happened just over a week ago and residents were confronted by "security" who could only let "five in/five out" whilst we were there:

MARPLE IN ACTION held a rally in Market Street and walked with residents affected by the proposed development, to the Hibbert Lane College site to let Asda know that over 8000 people have now said they don't want an ASDA at any price!

29 September 2012 - Chadwick Street Supermarket Proposal

CHADWICK STREET SUPERMARKET proposal – the Stockport Express have revealed this artists impression of the scheme for a store on the Council's Chadwick Street car park. Marple in Action will be keen to see more details of the proposal which will of course impact on the ASDA's plan to build a supermarket in the middle of a residential area on Hibbert Lane.

27 September 2012 - Chadwick Street News

Kirkland Developments, the Council's preferred developer for a food store in Marple centre have issued the following press release:

Plans in store for town centre site

Kirkland Developments, a local development company based in Stockport, has today announced that it is bringing forward proposals for a new foodstore in Marple town centre. The store, to be located off Trinity Street where the Royal Mail depot currently stands, will ensure residents can undertake their weekly shop in Marple town centre instead of having to travel out of town, reducing residents’ fuel costs and making food shopping more convenient.

Kirkland’s proposals will also help existing Marple traders by providing an ‘anchor’ in-centre foodstore with free car parking which will increase footfall in the Town Centre, leading to spin-off trade for independent businesses. The proposed foodstore will also provide a welcome boost to the local economy by retaining spending within Marple and by creating a considerable number of new flexible local jobs.

Kirkland recognises the local concern over the location of a foodstore to serve Marple and has carefully planned the proposals to encourage linked trips between the town centre site and local shops, particularly along Market Street and Trinity Street. The plans include an enhanced pedestrian route from Market Street, between the Bull’s Head Pub and Royal Bank of Scotland, over Trinity Street to the proposed store entrance.

Kirkland Developments want to ensure that local residents are able to view the plans, ask questions of the development team and feed back their views. As such, a public exhibition of the proposals will be held in October and more details of this will be released soon. The launch of Kirkland’s proposals comes as ASDA holds its public exhibition for an out-of-town store on Hibbert Lane.

Rod Hogarth, Managing Director, Kirkland Developments, commented:

“As a local company and the Council’s preferred development partner, we’re pleased to be in a position to bring forward proposals for a food store right in the heart of Marple Town Centre.

“This store is in a great location. It will help to increase footfall to the town centre and enable local residents to do their weekly shop at a store in Marple, meaning that they don’t have to travel elsewhere – saving time and money, and helping the local economy.

“We are in discussions with a number of high quality food retailers who have expressed an interest in locating here, particularly if the Council were to refuse permission for ASDA’s current plans for an out-of-centre foodstore on Hibbert Lane.

“It’s important to hear the views of the local community before we submit our planning application and I would encourage those who can attend to come along to our consultation events.”

The proposals represent substantial private investment and will create hundreds of jobs.

A website for the proposals will be established shortly as well as a community information line ready to answer residents’ queries.

MIA asked the question – Who are Kirkland Developments? They say:

“Kirkland Developments was incorporated in 1987 and is a small but active development company based in Stockport. The company operates across the North West and focuses on retail schemes.”

Marple in Action was formed to fight the proposal for a supermarket on Hibbert Lane and as such, does not have a position for or against a development on Chadwick Street.

25 September 2012 - Join us on Market Street on Saturday

PLANS TO BUILD an ASDA on Hibbert Lane would pose a huge threat to the food shops, independent retailers and small multiples like M&Co, Boots and Iceland. Events like the Food and Drink Festival could become a thing of the past in an ASDA dominated town.

...but with the "I LOVE MARPLE" campaign, Marple in Action are determined to keep up the fight. On SATURDAY 29th SEPTEMBER, members are gathering for a rally at 1PM on MARKET STREET from where we will be walking to Hibbert Lane and the latest ASDA "consultation" exercise. They will claim to be making concessions but how long before the 25,000 square feet store expands into the 40,000 square feet they are planning. Remember TESCO in Stockport centre? How how long before they extend their hours, their services etc to satisfy their owners, Wal-Mart in America?


24 September 2012 - MIA at MARPLE FOOD FESTIVAL

what has Marple in Action to do with Marple Food Festival?

WELL EVERYTHING! If you were in Marple town centre on Friday and Saturday, and thousands were, you will have enjoyed all that makes Marple a great place to live in. Friendly people walking in from Hibbert Lane, Rose Hill, Station Road etc., or arriving by car or on the bus from High Lane, Offerton, Romiley, New Mills and beyond, to enjoy the community spirit that flourishes in Marple and buy local foods from local shopkeepers. There was music from local bands and buskers, charity events and the spirit that MARPLE IN ACTION is fighting to preserve. We have a town that has a centre that works for us all. Building an ASDA supermarket on Hibbert Lane will destroy that by spoiling a pleasant residential area with heavy traffic, late night opening and a floodlit car park and threatening the existing town centre businesses that are the backbone of the Food Festival.

AND WHAT FOR? To produce more profit for ASDA's American owner's Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas who are reputed to be the world's third largest public corporation. They are not interested in improving the education of Marple's youngsters or improving our town with a 'neighbourhood store'. Local shopkeepers live locally, employ local people, buy local produce and recycle money spent with them in the area rather than by transfers out to Asda head office or to Wal-Mart in the USA.

JOBS - ASDA claim to be creating jobs in Marple. Any supermarket jobs going to locals would be years away as the construction of the Buxton Lane site would have to be complete and the College moved before the supermarket could even be built. In the meantime local businesses will be under threat and jobs will begin to be LOST. Evidence in other towns shows that more local jobs are lost than are created by supermarket developments.

A SUPERMARKET ON CHADWICK STREET is an issue that MIA has not so far commented on. We were set up to fight a supermarket on Hibbert Lane and to try to protect the householders and businesses affected by that - and we think we will win. The Council in the meantime have put their car park on Chadwick Street up for sale with the possibility of a supermarket gaining planning permission. The facts are:

  • This land is in the Marple District Centre retail zone

  • It belongs to the Council who will receive a substantial sum from selling it

  • The Council can grant planning permission (subject to normal guidelines)

  • They appear to be willing to as it fits into the SMBC Strategic Plan for Marple

So Hibbert Lane or Chadwick Street – which is best for Marple?

Many will have noticed that the company selected by Stockport Council to develop their site, Kirkland Developments, placed an advert in the Marple Review Festival Edition. Why didn't ASDA think of that?

We await with interest to see the plans and proposals for Chadwick Street as they will have a major impact on Marple centre, and on the prospects for an ASDA store on Hibbert Lane.

6 September 2012 - A warning to us all!

Well known, and unfortunately now ex-cafe restaurant owner, Dan Stringer of Toast, is quoted as saying:

"I think Marple residents need to be VERY clear about what they want. Toast's demise at the hands of Costa is a perfect, albeit small scale example of what happens when the national brands move in to a town. That's not to say Toast didn't make mistakes, but when a business's core income stream is affected so much it's very very hard to survive."

"Beware Marple, ASDA will come and the town will change drastically."

28 August 2012 - Urgent - Marple Area Committee Meeting

URGENT – MARPLE AREA COMMITTEE MEETING Wednesday 29 August – starts at at 6pm at the Marple Senior Citizens Hall (in the Memorial Park). This will probably be the last Area Committee Meeting before the planning application is submitted. Please attend to show your councillors the continued strength of opposition that there is in Marple to an ASDA supermarket on Hibbert Lane.

ASDA SECOND CONSULTATION – please read Marple in Action's latest newsletter (August seventh edition) which we were distributing at the stall in Market Street on Saturday last by clicking on this link. As well as distributing newsletters and new "NO TO ASDA/WALMART" posters, we were able to answer questions from members of the public and also added a considerable number of signatures to the petition against a supermarket on Hibbert Lane. If you have not already signed the petition, please come to the stall on Saturday and do so. We are now approaching 8000 signatures!

ANDREW STUNELL SPEAKS OUT – Marple in Action does not have any political bias but we do welcome actions by any politician that supports our cause, which is to stop a supermarket being built on Hibbert Lane.

Local MP, Andrew Stunell says this in the latest 'News Extra';

ASDA SUPERMARKET COULD CAUSE GRIDLOCK FOR MARPLE – Plans for a new supermarket in Marple are causing outrage locally, with fears of traffic congestion and long term damage to the town's shopping centre.

Asda have applied to build on Hibbert Lane – outside the shopping area, and, the traders say, it will be a direct threat to local shops and jobs. Residents fear extra traffic will bring gridlock. "It's in clear breach of planning rules which say new shops and supermarkets should be put in existing centres, not dumped in a residential area" says Andrew Stunell MP.

Angry local residents launched a campaign against the plans last year, and have vowed to fight the application 'all the way'. Local councillors have joined the battle.

"Marple's excellent range of shops would clearly be at risk, and I have grave reservations that Hibbert Lane is able to take any more traffic than it already does." says local Councillor Shan Alexander.

Andrew Stunell has launched a supermarket petition "calling on the Planning Inspector to refuse ASDA's supermarket planning application, and to uphold the 'Town Centre First' policy for any new local supermarket". Clearly Mr. Stunell expects the application to go to appeal for consideration by a Planning Inspector and it will important that the Inspector knows the strength of opposition in Marple. 

Please support this petition by filling in the cut out in the 'News Extra', or just writing a supportive note with name and address, and sending it to FREEPOST SK791, Stockport SK6 4YD.

19 August 2012 - New Marple in Action Newsletter

ASDA/CAMSFC are holding a second consultation on 14 and 15th September (note that these dates have now changed to 28 & 29 September), no further details have been made available at this stage, but presumably will follow the same format as before. MIA hope that ASDA will invite householders directly affected by the development this time, as they were missed out in favour of residents from Offerton!

Cheadle and Marple VI Form College "Marple Household Telephone Survey" included New Mills, Disley, High Lane, Hazel Grove, Offerton, Romiley and Bredbury. These areas make up approximately 35,000 homes compared to Marple North and South Wards 9,800 homes. Draw your own conclusions as to where ASDA are intending to pull customers from and the implications for Marple of an ASDA ‘neighbourhood’ store. Read more in our latest newsletter:

Download latest newsletter here

ASDA Wal-Mart's Secret Weapon?

In our newsletter you will learn of John Braggins, ASDA's hired consultant spin-doctor. Read more about him here:

John Braggins - ASDA Spin-Doctor

18 August 2012 - New Poster NO to ASDA on Hibbert Lane

Marple in Action have created a new poster. Please help us by downloading and displaying prominently in your window or on your property.

Download the new poster using this link

7 August 2012 - What a great story!

What a great story - Marple in Action applauds the town of Totnes:

5 August 2012 - After the ASDA / Walmart exhibition what do Local Councillors and our MP think now?

In the past our MP Andrew Stunell, and councillors Candler, Alexander and Wright have aligned themselves with the aims of Marple in Action by robustly declaring themselves against a supermarket on Hibbert Lane. The previous Leader of Stockport Council also spoke strongly against it. Now we have a new Leader of the Council (Sue Derbyshire) and ASDA have exhibited some of their plans for a supermarket on Hibbert Lane to service Marple and the surrounding districts.

What do our representatives think now? On the 13th July Marple in Action wrote to each separately to invite them to restate, for the MIA web site, their position after seeing the ASDA/Walmart plans. Here are their replies:

Councillor Derbyshire:

Thank you for your letter about proposed development on the college site.

So far a planning application has not been submitted and if /when one is it will be assessed as all applications are against the council's planning policies.

My understanding is that the site is outside the Marple District Centre and likely to have a detrimental impact on the existing center. It is also likely to have an impact on highways and residential amenities that are material planning issues.

Any assessment of a planning application will take these issues and the Council's planning policies into account and the election results have produced no change to that.

If any planning application is refused and goes to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate the council vigorously defends its decision and has the resources to do so.

The rules on what councillors may say before a planning application is considered have been relaxed by the Localism Act. However, it may be worth noting if an applicant believes and can show that their application did not get a fair hearing based on planning law and the existing polities of the council that in itself is a basis for an appeal, or application for Judicial Review.

I am confident that the council will deal professionally with any application submitted. It will apply its existing policies, which do not favour retail use on this site, and that the decision will be robust. I would regret if it does come to an appeal if the basis of that were declarations made by councillors in response to resident pressure, in advance of the application being submitted.

Yours sincerely.

Cllr Sue Derbyshire.

Councillors Candler and Wright replied referring to their previous statements of objection:

Councillor Candler's election statement:

"Proper planning control is essential for the survival of communities like Marple. There is a widespread consensus in the area that says that we don’t need a large supermarket outside the district centre. Stockport Council’s planning policy says so and I agree with it. Personally, I have always opposed the development of the College site in Hibbert Lane, be it for a supermarket or housing. We all know that there is too much motorised traffic in the village centre now, so a large supermarket or housing estate are in my view equally undesirable."

Councillor Alexander has not yet replied.

MP Andrew Stunell's reply is receiving attention in his office.

We also invited the Stockport Director of Place Development to restate the council’s position on the proposal for a supermarket on Hibbert Lane. This is his response:

The Hibbert Lane site is not specifically allocated for residential development but it is within a predominantly residential area - as such there are policies in place to ensure that residential amenity is protected from harmful development but not necessarily a specific preclusion of non-residential development. The playing field areas are allocated as Local Open Space.

Appropriate uses of the site include: residential, educational and community uses, and some leisure limited to existing levels of provision. Current policy states that existing levels of open space should be maintained. Local retail development (less than 200 sq. metres in area), may be acceptable, should the developer be able to demonstrate that there were no alternative and suitable sites within or closer to the centre.

We consider that in planning policy terms, larger scale retail development on this site, above 200 sq. metres, is not acceptable. Any retail schemes in Stockport, outside existing shopping areas, need to show that there are no possible alternative sites within or closer to the centre. In addition, an 'impact assessment' would need to be carried, to determine whether or not the development would affect the vitality and viability of existing centres.

Paul Lawrence
Service Director, Place Development
Stockport Council


Read this article from the national magazine, The Grocer :

14 July 2012 - ASDA Exhibition was biased!

ASDA EXHIBITION WAS BIASED – if you went to the recent two day "public consultation" exercise and felt that it was simply a PR exercise on behalf of Asda and the College, we would urge you to write to the planning office to tell them that any conclusions drawn from it, should be disregarded in the event of a planning application. Individual letters are important but a draft letter is attached for your use if needed.

Click here for draft letter to the Director of Planning.

7 July 2012 - Marple on the March Again!

Around 200 Marple residents assembled on Market Street today and went as a group to visit the Asda PR exhibition at the College on Buxton Lane. Thank you to everyone who turned to let Asda know that a supermarket on Hibbert Lane is not wanted.


As a result of contact with Marple in Action, Lady Margaret Hodge MBE MP, the Chair of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has asked the Education Funding Agency (formerly YPLA) to explain their role in the sale of Hibbert Lane to ASDA. She shares our concern over the lack of public accountability in the proposed sale of the Hibbert Lane site to ASDA by Cheadle and Marple Sixth Form College. We are awaiting to hear more from Lady Hodge in due course.

4 July 2012 - Marple In Action Newsletter 6

If you object to the proposed 25,000 sq ft ASDA supermarket on Hibbert Lane (1½ times the size of Marple Co-op) then join us on Market Street at 1pm on Saturday 7 July and walk with us to meet ASDA’s consultants at the Buxton Lane Campus.

Download our latest newsletter here.

2 July- ASDA CANCEL SUPERMARKET PLANS in Exmouth - see link below:

So it can be done!

Marple Area Committee have issued a newsletter concerning developments in Marple

29 June 2012 - Consultation Details Changed (taken from SMBC web site):

The statement on the SMBC web site has changed since changed we copied and pasted it here on 27 June.
The new statement is detailed below and note the
venue is now Buxton Lane:

Consultation Events – Friday 6 July 2012 10am – 6pm and Saturday 7 July 10am – 5pm,
Cheadle & Marple 6th Form College, Buxton Lane Campus off Hibbert Lane.

Cheadle and Marple sixth form College and Asda have organised an exhibition for residents to find out about their plans for the Hibbert Lane and Buxton Lane sites. The College plans include a re-modelled campus on the Buxton Lane site for its students and the local community. The plans include refurbishing the Buxton buildings along with a new build facility which includes a new 6,000sq m teaching block and new sports hall. The site will be unified through a multi-use learning ‘street’ for informal and social learning and a new 3G all weather sports pitch and upgraded changing facilities.

Asda will present their plans for a neighbourhood supermarket on the Hibbert Lane site. It is understood that the proposed supermarket will occupy a site smaller than the current college buildings.

These consultation events are being run by the college and Asda, prior to the submission of a planning application. Should a planning application be made, there will be further opportunities to have your say.

Use this link to confirm the details as it may change again:

27 June 2012 - Consultation Details (taken from SMBC web site):

Consultation Events – Friday 6 July 2012 10am – 6pm and Saturday 7 July 10am – 5pm
Cheadle & Marple 6th Form College, Hibbert Lane Campus.

Cheadle and Marple sixth form College and Asda have organised an exhibition for residents to find out about their plans for the Hibbert Lane and Buxton Lane sites. The College plans include a re-modelled campus on the Buxton Lane site for its students and the local community. The plans include refurbishing the Buxton buildings along with a new 6,000sq m teaching block and new sports hall. The site will be unified through a multi-use learning ‘street’ for informal and social learning and a new 3G all weather sports pitch and upgraded changing facilities.

Asda will present their plans for a neighbourhood supermarket on the Hibbert Lane site.

These consultation events are being run by the college and Asda, prior to the submission of a planning application. Should a planning application be made, there will be further opportunities to have your say.

23 June 2012 - 6 & 7 July - Opportunity to tell College/ASDA what you think!

The College and ASDA met with SMBC planners last week at an introduction meeting setting out their plans.

The College and ASDA are holding a 2 day consultation planned for Friday 6th July & Saturday 7th July. The venue has not been identified but we will announce it here as soon as it is known.

SMBC have confirmed that if a planning application is submitted there will be a full Public Consultation Period.

SMBC are sending out a newsletter next week to confirm the current position and to give people the opportunity to attend the 2 day consultation period. We will publish it here when available.

Marple in Action will be on Market Street on Saturday 30 June to make sure as many people as possible know about the consultation.


Salford Council approves Asda store on graveyard

Also: Marple Civic Society Discussion / Q&A Session - Tuesday 26 June 2012

MARPLE CIVIC SOCIETY have arranged a panel discussion and Q&A session for next Tuesday 26th June. It promises to be a lively debate and provide a forum where you can have your say, voice your concerns and get answers to questions about issues that are important to you. 

There will be a panel of four: Gillian Postill, Chair, Marple Civic Society; Mick McPhee, Chair, Marple Business Forum; David Hoyle, Chair, Marple in Action and Cllr Andrew Bispham, Local Lib Dem Councillor. David Ackroyd, a member of the Civic Society, will chair the meeting and after a short introduction by each panel member, will take questions from the floor. The session will close about 9pm and there will be refreshments and informal discussions afterwards. 

It will be held at Marple Evangelical Church, Queen Street Marple at 7.30pm.

The issues surrounding Hibbert Lane, and probably Chadwick Street, are bound to come up so come along and find out what's going on!

7 June 2012 - Chadwick Street Car Park

Marple Area Committee last night announced the possible development of Chadwick Street and issued a fact sheet.

Marple in Action exists to oppose the development of a supermarket on Hibbert Lane and does not have view for or against a development on Chadwick Street, other than to accept that it is in the District Centre and the existing retail zone. However, we have made the following points to the Marple Councillors:

  • Any development should be on a moderate scale proportionate to the existing shopping centre.

  • It should be a high quality build with good access, public transport links and parking arrangements.

  • The money raised by the sale belongs in Marple and should be spent in Marple.

  • The Marple community should be extensively consulted before the development is agreed and the views of local residents taken into account.

ASDA Pre-Planning Consultation

We understand that ASDA have started a Pre-planning Consultation with Stockport Planning Dept on the possible Hibbert Lane supermarket development. This is a requirement under section 47(2) of the Planning Act 2008 and allows a developer to seek advice from the Council before making an application. It allows them to:

  • understand how policies and guidance will be applied to the development.

  • It can identify at an early stage where there is a need for specialist input, for example about urban design, listed buildings, trees, landscape, noise, transport, contaminated land, ecology or archaeology.

  • It saves money in working up proposals, identifying potential problems and sorting them out before an application is submitted.

  • It may indicate that a proposal is completely unacceptable.

So if anyone thought ASDA had gone away THINK AGAIN! Obviously we hope that they will be persuaded that Hibbert Lane is not suitable for a superstore development and forget the whole thing!

1 June 2012 - Marple in Action's latest newsletter

Here is Marple in Action's latest newsletter.

1 June 2012 - Council's decision on Chadwick Street - Area Committee 6 June.

At the next Marple Area Committee meeting on the 6th June, Stockport Council’s Service Director (Place Management) will be reporting on the Council’s decision with regard to the sale of the Chadwick Street Car Park.

Clearly, this will have a great impact on Marple, and whilst Marple in Action has never expressed an opinion about this, and holds no particular view, it is obvious that the Hibbert Lane and Chadwick Street issues are interlinked. We therefore feel it is only right that the public be made aware of the announcement due to be made.

We are urging the Council to be as open as possible on their plans and to consult widely with the Marple community and so would like to encourage as many people as possible to attend the Area Committee meeting to hear first-hand what is being planned for Chadwick Street Car Park.

The Area Committee meet at 6pm in Marple Library Wednesday 6 June.

Click the link to go to the Council’s website and read the Agenda for the meeting:


( 6pm Stockport Town Hall ) – on the agenda is:


To consider a report of the Executive Councillor (Finance) 
(Note: this report includes information "Not for Publication" contained within its appendix, which has been circulated to executive councillors only). The report sets out a proposal to dispose of the Council owned site on Chadwick Street, which has been identified as being suitable for a range of alternative uses, with retail A1 being the preferred option. It is the Council's view that the ability of the site to accommodate a larger format development in the District Centre, would help contribute to the range and quality of Marple's retail offer. In addition, bringing in an additional retail operator would help promote Marple as a competitive District Centre, and enhance consumer choice. This would also help generate linked trip opportunities within the District Centre which would help safeguard its vitality and viability.

The Executive is recommended to instruct the Corporate Director for Corporate and Support Services to enter into negotiations with the party identified numbered 5 in the confidential appendix with a view to securing the disposal and development of the Chadwick Street site for a retail store.

Marple in Action campaigns against a supermarket being built on Hibbert Lane but one on the Council owned Chadwick Street car park obviously concerns us.

Marple in Action have lodged a question for the meeting asking for maximum openness and consultation and said:

"We are very concerned about the complete lack of consultation with the Marple community on this issue and the loss of control that simply selling to the highest bidder would entail. Everyone knows that this proposed sale is a response to the possible planning application for a superstore on Hibbert Lane, Marple but jumping from the frying pan into the fire is not an option.

With proper consultation, we think you would find support for a 'small' supermarket on Chadwick Street that would, with appropriate parking and access, enhance Marple's retail offer. It could improve the district centre for the benefit of residents and local business owners as well as provide an opportunity to develop the `Vision for Marple` plans that you will be familiar with. To achieve this however the Councillors need to retain control of who and what goes on the site, and the size and access arrangements. We could end up with a superstore that overwhelms the local shops and small multiples that make up the present vibrant district centre, or a multi-storey car park or even an empty site if the developer can't find a tenant.

We are not saying that Chadwick Street should not be developed but that it should be in a way that benefits Marple not just some supermarket giant!"

Marple in Action wanted to know where candidates stood on the threat to damage Marple by building a giant superstore on Hibbert Lane.

We were pleased to see that that strong support came from Shan Alexander and Martin Candler, for the Liberal Democrats, Annette Finnie and Carl Rydings, for the Conservatives, David Rowbottom and Clifford Stanway , for the Labour Party, Ray Jones for UKIP and Maggie Green for the Green Party. In other words ALL the recognised political parties in Marple are in opposition to the plan for Marple College to sell its Hibbert Lane site to Asda and we thank them for that.

Marple in Action has no political alignment but it is reassuring that Marple's political leaders all recognise the threat to Marple's future that such a development would pose!

01 May 2012 - Maggie Green 2012 Local Election Statement

This is the statement from Green Party candidate, Maggie Green:

As your Geen Party candidate for the Local election on May 3rd, I completely support the MIA campaign against the proposed Hibbert Lane supermarket, which will have a negative impact on Marple, in so many ways, (well documented on this website).

Marple people overwhelmingly oppose the proposal, and MIA has been doing a fantastic job in getting our views heard. The Green Party supports genuine localism, and enabling communities to have a real say over decisions that affect them . The way forward will not be easy, given the so-called "localism" legislation, and new planning directives, which seem to favour developers, but the community spirit that has built up around this campaign is really encouraging, and the Greens will continue to support it.

Please note that Marple in Action has no political bias and that these views are those of the candidate(s) only. All candidates are invited to put up a statement for consideration for inclusion on this website.

01 May 2012 - Ray Jones 2012 Local Election Statement

This is the statement from UKIP candidate, Ray Jones:

RAY JONES, UKIP candidate for Marple North Ward states that he supported the campaign to "Say NO to Asda"

Please note that Marple in Action has no political bias and that these views are those of the candidate(s) only. All candidates are invited to put up a statement for consideration for inclusion on this website.

27 April 2012 - Shan Alexander 2012 Local Election Statement

This is the statement from Lib Dem candidate, Shan Alexander:

I support the No campaign and I am against a supermarket being built on the Hibbert Lane College site. I have voiced my view at a rally and continue to oppose it. Marple District Centre has an array of interesting shops and the supermarket will threaten these shops with closure, which will be a terrible loss to the Marple community.

Marple is a small township and would not be able to cope with the excess traffic a supermarket will attract. I support the action taken by the Marple in Action Group.

Please note that Marple in Action has no political bias and that these views are those of the candidate(s) only. All candidates are invited to put up a statement for consideration for inclusion on this website.

24 April 2012 - Marple Conservative 2012 Election Statement

This is the Conservative Candidates statement:

Conservative candidates Annette Finnie (Marple North) and Carl Rydings (Marple South) are both strongly opposed to the plan to build a supermarket on the Cheadle and Marple College Hibbert Lane site. We believe that such a development would have a negative impact on the district centre leading to shop closures and job losses. Also, the site is unsuitable for a supermarket as it is in a residential area and has limited road access.

We wholeheartedly agree with the Marple In Action campaign and would like to thank all the many volunteers who have worked hard to make our voices heard. They are a testament to the community spirit of Marple.

Annette Finnie and Carl Rydings

Please note that Marple in Action has no political bias and that these views are those of the candidate(s) only. All candidates are invited to put up a statement for consideration for inclusion on this website.

21 April 2012 - Martin Candler 2012 Local Election Statement

This is the Lib Dem Martin Candler's statement:

"Proper planning control is essential for the survival of communities like Marple. There is a widespread consensus in the area that says that we don’t need a large supermarket outside the district centre. Stockport Council’s planning policy says so and I agree with it. Personally, I have always opposed the development of the College site in Hibbert Lane, be it for a supermarket or housing. We all know that there is too much motorised traffic in the village centre now, so a large supermarket or housing estate are in my view equally undesirable."

Please note that Marple in Action has no political bias and that these views are those of the candidate(s) only. All candidates are invited to put up a statement for consideration for inclusion on this website.

20 April 2012 - Marple Labour 2012 Local Election Statement 

This is the Labour Candidates statement:

As the Labour candidates in the May 3rd Stockport Metropolitan Borough Elections, David Rowbottom (Marple North) and Clifford Stanway (Marple South) remain clear and firm in their outright opposition to the plan to build a huge supermarket on the Hibbert Lane site of Cheadle and Marple College. Labour stands by the position set out at the Rally in the Park by David Rowbottom that the proposal is an unacceptable threat to Marple town centre and not an appropriate use of the site.

We would like to pay tribute to the excellent work of Marple-in-Action's team of volunteers in leading the fight against this unwanted development. Marple residents are fortunate to have such resourceful and articulate campaigners on their behalf. Their non-partisan approach has succeeded in uniting Marple people to say NO to the supermarket developers and College governors.

If elected, we would continue to work with Marple people and businesses to promote and maintain our town centre as a focus for the Marple community. A thriving town centre is vital for Marple.

David Rowbottom and Clifford Stanway

Please note that Marple in Action has no political bias and that these views are those of the candidate(s) only. All candidates are invited to put up a statement for consideration for inclusion on this website.

2 April 2012 - EMPTY PROMISES ON JOBS - Mail on Sunday: 

Supermarkets fail to deliver 39,000 promised positions New research by the Financial Mail has found that major supermarkets have failed to create the tens of thousands of jobs they promised. The research reveals that Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda collectively pledged to create 67,000 jobs between 2008 and 2010. But only a fraction of those have been added permanently as chains continue to shed staff through an ongoing cycle of ‘efficiency’. Please see an article in the Mail on Sunday, 4th March 2012.

1 April 2012 - MARPLE FIGHTS BACK against the supermarket threat.

Although no planning application from Asda has yet been received at Stockport Town Hall, Marple is taking the threat head on. Its “Town Team” have put together a bid to be part of the Government's £1million “Future High Street” pilot scheme following the Mary Portas Review. A short video supporting the bid can be viewed below:

28 February 2012 - Supermarkets Blight Our Land!

Supermarkets have been blighting our land and lives for too long – Henry Porter in Sunday's Observer explains how supermarkets abuse their power in areas such as as the decline of town centres, the increasing wealth divide, binge drinking, obesity and the problems with the environment and British agriculture . For Hay on Wye read Marple!

24 February 2012 - SUPERMARKETS!

Good News on Asda? - Andy Clarke, chief exec of Asda has said no more out of town hypermarkets for them! Is that good news for Marple? Well probably not as their plans for Hibbert Lane are apparently for a "superstore" only two and a half times size of the Co op Store on the Hollins. What sense can it make to add 44,000 square feet to Stockport's shopping offer when the town apparently has the highest number of empty shops in the country?

The big four supermarkets have plans to grow their sales space by 21% by 2015 whilst sales volumes are set to rise by only 2.3%. This can only make sense if they plan to take huge amounts of business from independents and small multiples.

Meanwhile Tesco has withdrawn a "misunderstood" job advert where they were looking for permanent workers in exchange for expenses and job seekers allowance!

16 February 2012 - MP SPEAKS OUT!

Andrew Stunnell MP has again added his voice to the campaign against the Hibbert Lane supermarket plan.

He told Marple in Action - The College provides a first class education for many local young people: indeed my own son benefitted from it. I very much want to see it flourish and continue to prosper in Marple. However disposal of the Hibbert Lane site for retail use to raise capital is entirely the wrong way to achieve that. Such a possibility has already generated a very strong community reaction.

You will have seen that one of the Council’s senior planning officers has publicly offered the view that the site is not appropriate in planning terms for such retail use. There are of course very powerful planning arguments against such a development. Those include the strategic damage it could inflict on the existing Marple shopping centre, as well as the traffic, access, noise and disturbance issues generated by locating such an inappropriate use in a residential area on a minor road.

If necessary, and in due course, I will be making a formal objection to any development application along those lines.

15 February 2012 - COLLEGE COME CLEAN!

Cheadle and Marple Sixth Form College have confirmed that they have entered into an agreement with Asda with the view of pursuing a proposal for the redevelopment of the Hibbert Lane campus for a supermarket. This is despite the land being outside of the area zoned in the town plan for retail development.

To date the Council has not received any further information in respect of the timing for the submission of either an application for pre-submission advice or the submission of a formal planning application.

14 February 2012 - A Valentine's Card for ASDA!

A deputation of Marple in Action members visited ASDA HQ in Leeds on 14 February to deliver a 'Valentine Card' to Chief Executive Andy Clarke. 

Although MIA were unable to meet with Andy Clarke in person, a message was handed to his aide.

The information pack contained statements from Marple Councillors and MP Andrew Stunell against the proposed retail development of Hibbert Lane and a dossier showing the strength of local opposition.

Mr Clarke's aide assured MIA that the dossier and letters would be placed into Andy Clarke's hands and a response would be sent back to MIA.

Watch this space .....

11 February 2012 - Independent Retail News press release

9 February 2012 - Letter in Manchester Evening News

Reports that Stockport town centre has the highest shop vacancy rate in the country - for a large town centre - has shocked many. But the picture is very different in towns like Marple where there is a still-thriving community with independent shops and small multiples in a vibrant town centre.

At the last count only four percent of Marple shops were empty and new shops and businesses continue to open. All this could change, however, if a new out-of-centre supermarket is built on Hibbert Lane.

Shops in the town centre selling similar products to the supermarket would be first hit and could close down. Once a proportion of retail businesses have gone, there comes a tipping point where visitor numbers to the town centre fall, so threatening the remaining businesses.

People in Marple are determined that should not happen, which is why we are fighting the supermarket plans.

We have the support of local MP Andrew Stunell and, most importantly, the 7,500 people in Marple who have signed petitions against allowing Marple College to sell the land, gifted to the town for education purposes, to create a supermarket business.

David Hoyle - Marple in Action (as published in M.E.N.)

9 February 2012 - Stockport Express Local News

ANTI-supermarket campaigners in Marple have slammed government backing for Asda. Prime Minister David Cameron has given his backing to the supermarket chain's plans to open 25 new stores this year, creating 5,000 jobs nationwide.

But members of Marple in Action, the group set up to campaign against the new supermarket Asda intends to build on Hibbert Lane, say this 'flies in the face of lcoal and national government policy'. They have written a letter to Mr Cameron setting out their concerns about the effect a large supermarket will have on local businesses.

Chairman David Hoyle said in the letter: 'Supermarkets create wealth it's true, but for the executives and shareholders. Money spent in local shops gets recycled into the community; supermarkets extract it.'

8 February 2012 - News Release in National Federation Retail Newsagents trade press.

See article on right:

7 February 2012 - BBC Manchester Radio Interview

Marple in Action's Mick McPhee was interviewed on BBC Radio Manchester about how Marple bucks the trend compared with Stockport Town Centre vacancy rates.

2 February 2012 - Marple in Action writes to David Cameron

Marple in Action writes to David Cameron in response to his recent press statement welcoming ASDA plans to open 25 stores in 2012.

24/25 January 2012 Councillors issue written statements

Cllrs. Candler, Wright and Alexander issue written statements against a supermarket on Hibbert Lane.

18 January 2012 - Marple Area Committee Meeting. 

At Marple Area Committee Meeting on 18 January the Chair was asked if the Councillors had any comments to make on the petition and survey information handed over by MIA in December. The Councillors had no comments to make.

16 January 2012 - Cllr. Bispham holds an Information Evening

Cllr. Bispham held an information evening about the Allocations DPD on 16 January 2012. Richard Wood, SMBC Policy Planning Manager, commented on the overwhelming number of responses received from Marple residents.

06 January 2012 - Report issued to Marple Area Committee

An interim report detailing the status of Marple in Action's petition and Shopper Survey was presented to Marple Councillors at the December 2011 Marple Area Committee. Click the link below for a copy:

Interim Petition and Survey Report December 2011

For news and developments that occurred in 2011 follow this link

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