With the Public Inquiry in abeyance, all kinds of things are going on in the background. Whilst planners are no doubt working overtime to make adjustments to future traffic flow predictions, both in Mottram and Glossopdale, it's also likely that individual objectors are being worked upon.
Late last year saw the withdrawal of the objection (opens PDF) from the Greater Manchester Directors of Public Health. Upon closer examination, it seems that in writing the objection, a Dr Watkins had used the wrong headed notepaper to write his letter, and some bright spark amongst the supporters team used it as an opportunity to seek support amongst the NHS secretariat to get the objection withdrawn.
Does this mean that the regional NHS - let alone the local Primary Care Trust - does not take a view as to the health impacts of the construction of the road?
Mottram Show Committee are, you would have thought, another natural objector given that their showground will be destroyed by the bypass. But they have not done so - the committee is said to be split, but we understand the clincher is that promises of land being found for relocation would be scotched by Tameside MBC were there to be any objection. This is also a reason why anti-bypass stalls at the Show itself are not allowed.
Meanwhile, it looks like another objector is being worked upon. The Trustee's of Mrs E Bissell's Marriage Settlement are major land owners in the area, and they have objected - although if one reads their submission to the PI (opens PDF) they have clearly left the door open for negotiation. But it appears that the supporters of the scheme are not even willing to accommodate them. Our attention has been drawn to a planning application they made in August 2006, to convert a Bungalow on Dewsnap Lane to a House. The application was refused in October last year, and the report makes interesting reading (opens PDF). Only two objections were received, plus a representation from the one and only Roy Oldham. The head of planning has commented that this application must be turned down due to the impact on the greenbelt. Yes, the impact on the greenbelt! - clearly, this is far more grievous than a dirty great proto-motorway that is planned for the area to the East of a sodding bungalow!
Is this really coincidental? Could it be that pressure is being put upon the Trustees to withdraw their objection to the bypass, so that Councillor Oldham and TMBC will allow their plan for a house extension? Let's hope they show some backbone and do not back down.