Peel Moat Open Space


Many of you will be familiar with the old AstroTurf pitch at the back of St Thomas’s school, known locally as ‘Peel Moat’.

Whilst the area is not strictly part of the Heaton Manor estate, many houses on the estate overlook the space, and any development of the area is likely to directly affect residents.

With this in mind, some members of the Residents’ Association Committee have been looking into future plans for the pitch with a view to forming a (or joining with any existing) ‘Friends of Peel Moat Open Space’ group to influence these plans and ensure that any future development benefits the residents of the estate and the wider community.

What has happened so far?

Stockport Council, the owners of the pitch, have commenced work on a two-stage mid-term plan of refurbishment. Phase one, which is complete, is to remove fencing and flood lights. Phase two, which it appears will take place in the Spring 2023, is to remove tarmac and Astro turf, import soil and grass the area.

At this stage Ward Committee and Councillors will not confirm that the area will remain as a community open space and that it will not be sold for housing in the future. The area is designated under the current Council plan as “developable”, so there could remain an intent on the part of some elements within the Council to sell the land ultimately for development.

The Council has now commenced a public survey to ask local residents what they wish to happen with the land. The survey is still open, and the link is shown below.

To date details related to surface water management, planting and maintenance have not been forthcoming from either the Council or the Ward Councillors.

Who have we spoken to?

The Ward Committee - Four written questions were posed and, to date, two answers have been received. The outstanding questions relate to the long-term plan and other legal interest/covenants.

Ward Councillors - Cllr David Sedgewick and Cllr John Taylor. Both claim they are opposed to any further development. The leaflet shown was distributed to by them to houses on the estate.  We are currently trying to find out the results of the survey mentioned. 

Councillors' Letter

Liz Atherton - Council environment officer.

Chris Silk - Dept Head at St Thomas’ School. The school would wish the space to be a joint use space with the Community, which they would want to use for outdoor education and have recently hired a teacher to run this and other environment / outdoor classes. There exists already a gate between the Astro turf area and the school and Chris Silk is very keen to work in collaboration with the Residents Association and other groups to ensure the space is used for benefit of the school and the community in perpetuity.

Sustainable Living in the Heatons - They would wish to see the area retained as a community open space with a strong conservation element.

Heaton Moor Golf Course - They are keen that the area is not developed for housing and asked that they are kept informed with any updates. Hoping to engage them further with support for meetings etc.

'Friends of...' Groups in the Local Area - to ask for help and advice

What are the Next Steps?

Set up (or join up with) a Friends of Peel Moat Open Space group and liaise with other local ‘Friends of…’ groups. This group would run separately to the Heaton Manor Residents’ Association.

Continue to lobby the Council Committees and Councillors to retain the area as a community space.

Mobilise other like-minded individuals and groups.

Investigate and pursue funding (Woodland Trust, City Trees, National Trust and Lottery) for planting and conservation initiatives.

Develop and implement a supporting media and social media campaign.

What can I do to help?

Complete the community engagement survey using this link:

Contact the HMRA by email or through the ‘Contact Us’ section on here if you would like to help or have any information, or ideas and suggestions for future actions.