27 February 2017

The view from New Mills Football Club's Chairman, following recent town council decision about Ollersett proposals

The following is the verbatim text of a recent Buxton Advertiser article giving the point of view of New Mills FC chairman Ray Coverley on New Mills town council's recent decision re Ollersett proposals:

New Mills FC left stunned as council veto Ollersett Fields redevelopment

New Mills FC chairman Ray Coverley has expressed his dismay and frustration at the town council’s decision to veto a planned redevelopment of Ollersett Fields.

A new and exciting facility had been proposed for the site, which included 3G pitches and facilities for not only New Mills FC to use but also junior and girls teams from across the town. However, despite the pitches at Ollersett Fields currently being in a poor condition, New Mills Town Council decided at a meeting last week to turn down the proposals.

Coverley said: “The council say that the new facilities will have no real benefit to the community, only to New Mills FC itself, which is staggering really given it’s an entirely community-based proposal and designed to benefit everyone. “We’ve been putting the plans together for a long time now with developers Morbaine and this would have cost the council nothing given Morbaine would have organised all of the public consultations and so on, but we’ve not even been allowed to get to that stage.

“It’s been a very sudden end to quite a drawn out process and we’re desperately disappointed, as are our junior coaches and players as they currently don’t have anywhere suitable to play regularly. “It’s a huge setback. I could understand if consultations had taken place and there were suitable enough objections to it all, but it has been nipped in the bud before the plans had been made fully public.”

Morbaine had also put accompanying plans in place to develop the playing fields at Quarry Road, currently used by school teams but which are also in a poor condition.

Coverley added: “Everything we had planned was with a view to improving current facilities to provide a fantastic community resource and yet the council have, for some reason, not seen that and dismissed it out of hand.

“Everything was being financed and literally the only thing the council had to do was give us the OK to do it. We’ve had widespread support from across the town for what we wanted to do. “I’ve been involved with this club for 30 years and wanted this development to be my legacy so I’m very frustrated at the way this has happened.

“Both sites are going to rack and ruin and it’s such a huge waste when you consider both what could be put in place instead and just how many people will benefit. I can’t understand how the council believe the community won’t reap the rewards."

MARK DUFFY (TWITTER - @DUFFERSSPORT) 16:09Wednesday 22 February 2017

Read the article in situ at: http://www.buxtonadvertiser.co.uk/sport/football/new-mills-fc-left-stunned-as-council-veto-ollersett-fields-redevelopment-1-8404173

Ollersett Fields
Ollersett  Field- "Going to rack and ruin" - Ray Coverley

24 February 2017

New Sporting Facilities Needed In New Mills: Contribution To The Debate From New Mills Juniors Football

A 6-1 win over Tintwistle

The following has been received from Colin Ramwell, who is connected with New Mills Juniors football.  It was received as a 'comment' below the previous article but is detailed enough to merit its standalone article as follows:

Hello HPT, I thought it may be worthwhile sending you the reasons New Mills Juniors (a separate club to New Mills AFC) are keen to back the AFC proposal for this new facility

New Mills Juniors are extremely disappointed that the council didn't even vote for a public consultation, we accept that some local residents to the site will have reservations but the much wider community of New Mills have again not been taken into consideration or indeed had an opportunity to have their say in what would be the biggest sporting facility the town has had since the building of the leisure centre in the 1970's.

I attended the council EGM for this project back in early November, in attendance where the junior and AFC football clubs along with the developer and ground design company - however only 3 councillors bothered to turn up! - I genuinely believe we have not been listened to

The facility would not just be for football, I know of interest from hockey and lacrosse teams, games not currently played in the area.

Also regarding the peppercorn rent, my understanding was to either buy the land outright (more than a few peppercorns I would imagine into the council coffers) or agree a long term lease at a market value rate.

I don't do anonymous


Colin Ramwell - Chair New Mills Juniors


New Mills Juniors – fully behind a new community sports 3G facility in New Mills.

New Mills Juniors was established over 40 years ago and is a well-known FA standard charted junior football club in the High Peak and South Manchester area – we accommodate football for the age groups U8’s through to U18’s.

• We have around 170 FA registered players, we are the largest (playing) sporting club in the area, but our facilities are very poor.

• We only have 2 pitches for 10 teams to play football on. The REC on Wirksmoor Rd and the proposed site of the new 3G facility at Ollersett Fields on Watburn Rd.

• The REC on Wirkmoor Rd is OK albeit in need of some drainage and resurfacing work in parts.

• The Ollersett fields site is in the main not fit for purpose as it is nearly always waterlogged as it has no working drainage – I estimate we have played less than 10 games ONLY on Ollersett over the last 2 seasons – from October to March last year we play NO games on the pitch – The New Mills council parks team will collaborate this as they can’t get their equipment onto the pitch as the mower sinks in the mud.

•  For our teams on Ollersett, we tend to have to play many of our home games away due to the pitch being unfit - lots of unnecessary travel for our players and parents.

• Our U8’s and 9‘s teams have to play all their games in Glossop (3G pitch) due to lack of a pitch to play on in New Mills, a round trip for players and parent of around 20 miles each and every weekend.

• We have had in the past a successful girls team but we have no changing facilities so we are reluctant to set another one up due to this fact – we also would not meet the standard charter FA criteria for a girl’s football team.

• We cannot grow as a club and offer more children to play football due to the lack of facilities.

• We lose New Mills players to other towns due to the poor facilities New Mills has – Whaley Bridge, Glossop, High Lane etc. all have 3G facilities

New Mills Juniors represents the town in the Metro League playing teams from all around South Manchester – from Macclesfield through Stockport to Glossop and Hyde most towns have better facilities for their children to play than we have in New Mills – our footballing facilities are a very poor advert for the town to visitors.

New Mills Juniors are fully behind working with New Mills AFC. Both clubs have forged strong links together over the last few years and are in total agreement to move forward with a Community Footballing/Educational/Multisport facility the town can be proud of.

Editor's Note for non-football types: '3G' means Third Generation artificial pitch.  Goodbye to the burnt knees and unpredictable ball-bounce of the first generation of artificial pitches!

23 February 2017

New Mills Town Council turns down generous offer of one peppercorn in return for about four acres of land

Fig 1: Some peppercorns (actual size)

The following has been received as a reader's comment, from 'Watburn Road Resident'.  It deserves a stand-alone article, so that comments on this subject can all be all kept together rather than be scattered under other unrelated articles:

"Last Monday New Mills Town Council spent a lot of time discussing whether to lease Ollersett Fields at a peppercorn rent to allow New mills Football club to develop on the site financed by a property company on a long lease.

"Another article supplied by the club is in the paper this week. What is not mentioned is that this development will lead to the present site in Church Lane being developed into housing or retail in an overcrowded area already.

"The answers from the property company were unclear and lacked details.

"All councillors expressed concern and voted unanimously to keep the status quo.

"The football club has put their spin on this.For once the council considered all the issues and accepted their responsibility to the whole community and surrounding properties and the discussion was transparent and free from acrimony."

If either the football club or Morbain would like to send in their point of view on this matter either in Microsoft Word or as an email then it will be published verbatim on HPT.  Send to:  highpeaktransparency@btconnect.com