John Knight's February 2022 Talking Politics column for Macclesfield Express

22 February 2022

A huge tract of wildlife-rich countryside next to Danes Moss nature reserve in Macclesfield is under threat from a proposed massive housing and retail development.

The "development" is on peatland, and it would completely contradict Government policy of protecting peat to tackle climate change - key to Britain's commitment made at the international climate summit COP26.

Peatlands are massively important for absorbing carbon dioxide - twice as effective as rainforest. They are also really wildlife-rich - the area is home to rare birds, animals and plants. The 960 new houses, retail sheds and link road proposed could dry out and kill off the nationally-important Danes Moss SSSI.

While up in the Peak District “Moors for the Future” is working to restore damaged peatlands, this act of wanton destruction is being promoted by Cheshire East Council - which claims to be committed to making the borough carbon neutral.

It's all about big profits now for big financial interests - at the expense of nature, the needs of local people and the stability of the world's climate.

Campaigners are calling on Cheshire East Councillors and the Government to halt this tide of destruction. There's no point meeting housebuilding targets now by destroying our most vital resources in the battle to protect future generations.

The plans have already been given outline planning permission and are in the Local Plan. But that doesn't mean we should turn our backs on our vital and more fundamental commitments to the future of our planet.

It makes absolutely no sense to smother this much loved and wildlife-rich place in a concrete coffin. If planning laws undermine our commitments to future generations, they need updating. We have to adapt our legislation to meet the challenges of the future.

Please sign the petition and join this Sunday’s protest:

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