Please email us if you have any questions; we will try to answer them below.
The land belongs to the people of the Borough and should not be sold to a private company. Even if the footpaths were maintained, it will not be possible to exercise dogs or horses, or play sports, as it will be necessary to keep to the footpaths, rather than use the whole field.
Yes, but Dukinfield Golf Club is a private members club, so it would not be available for the recreation of all. In fact, plans for cricket and football pitches on these fields were rejected by Tameside Council in the past for this very reason, ie. not all the people of the Borough would be able to use it.
We are. The application is well underway, and after our appeal for people who have been using these fields for over 20 years to come forward, we believe that we now have sufficient evidence statements from members of the local community to support our application. We have notified Dukinfield Golf Club of our intentions, as it is only fair to warn them, given that, should our application be successful (and we have every reason to believe that it will be), if they go ahead with their purchase of the land, they will become responsible for its upkeep as a Village Green, and they will not be able to develop it for use as a Golf Course. Also they would need to remedy any changes they had already made and return the land to its previous state (so there is no point in them rushing to start developing it before our application goes through). If they go ahead with their purchase, DGC will end up buying land that they cannot not use, which would be a waste of their club members money.
This is an interesting tactic being used by some who oppose our campaign. They seem to believe if they repeat this statement enough, people will start to believe it. The facts are that there is no evidence to support their assertion. We, on the other hand, know of many people who use these fields at least once if not twice a day. Maybe those who believe that no-one uses these fields should go down and actually take a look.
Again, another standard tactic. Over 300 local people signed our petition, and that was before we achieved any press coverage. We finally submitted a petition of over 500. We had excellent support at the Picnic / Social event, despite the weather !
True, but less land, and of poorer quality. They are also planning to pay £32,500 of your money in order to lift the covenant on behalf of the Golf Club ! Hardly "best value".
They also cite "improved access to the fields from Matley Lane" as a benefit, however one of the benefits of the fields as they are now is that they are a safe space for children to play on, as they are away from any main roads. Anyone who knows the area will know the speed of the traffic using Matley Lane; forcing our children to play nearer a main road (with direct access out onto that road) is clearly unacceptable.
Geoff Priestly, the club treasurer, is quoted in the Tameside Advertiser (July 17th 2008) as saying:
"Taking the holes away from Yew Tree Road (sic) reduces the risk of stray golf balls going off course"
We are not sure how. We first assumed he meant "...into peoples back gardens and houses", but it can't be that because they are busy building 42 houses on the existing golf course. So possibly he means the risk of stray golf balls going down Yew Tree Lane. Presumably somehow golf balls going down Matley Lane, and into adjacent fields full of horses is less of a risk.
Of course, its worth remembering that the golf balls don't go off course all by themselves, as might be interpreted from the quote.
"Acquiring the land at Matley will enable us to maintain the course and also drain the public land"
Again we are not sure how. They have access to the land that they already own in Matley from Matley Lane adjacent to the pub. They seem to have managed to get all the diggers and construction equipment in there already with no problems. We are not sure how acquiring Waldorf Playing Fields will enable them to maintain the course.
Also the public land doesn't need draining; it's been fine for 35 years.
"(Golfers) would have to either double back, or follow Matley Road (sic) on to Early Bank Road to get back to play the next hole"
This seems odd, bearing in mind that walking is one of the main necessities of playing golf. Are they saying that they need this land, with the consequential loss of public recreation space, so their players don't need to walk a few more yards ?
"There would be no loss of public rights of way if the land came into golf club ownership"
Well that goes without saying - any change of ownership of the land would require the new owners to maintain the public rights of way - it's the law ! But why should people be restricted to the footpaths, when currently they can use - and exercise - safely - and away from "the risk of stray golf balls" - in a whole field ?
If anyone from DGC would like to comment, we'd be more than happy to post a response.