TWO village action groups have started a fight to stop major development taking place along the Churnet Valley.
Whiston Action Group has presented a 50-page report that details opposition for the expansion of tourism along the valley.
The group has also raised concerns about the way Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Core Strategy has been put together.
The council recently issued a document for consultation which included five options for the valley, which runs from Tittesworth to Alton.
Several locations had been put forward for development including the Cornhill area of Leek, Consall Hall Gardens, Bolton Copperworks at Froghall, Moneystone Quarry near Whiston and Alton Towers.
The plans also included the future development of the rail network which is presently ongoing.
Whiston Action Group media officer, Nick Cresswell, said: “The council plans have been developed behind closed doors without adequate public involvement.
“People just don’t know what is going on.
“Flooding the valley with more tourists and development is not the answer. We need to be protecting the special countryside of the Churnet Valley for current and future generations of residents and visitors to enjoy.
“The district council should be representing the views of the community.
“What we want is a complete rethink, so that we can have ‘Better Tourism not More Tourism’”.
The Whiston group has also supported interest put forward for the area to be declared an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Residents of Foxt have recently formed their own action group to discuss and promote the village’s view on the future of the Bolton copperworks.
The group said it had studied the documents prepared by Taylor Young and the district council regarding the site and decided they lacked the necessary vision to make the site, when redeveloped, fit into the beautiful setting of the Churnet Valley.
Media spokesman for the Foxt group, John Williams, said: “The council’s various options contained some proposed items that were worthwhile.
“These have been tweaked by the action group to give them a ‘greener’ aspect, and some new proposals that would bring a greater variety of employment opportunities to the area.
“Many Foxt residents, and also people from the wider area, including Froghall, have expressed the view that employment should be the main focus for the redevelopment of the site.
“The 130 houses set out as a requirement in three of the five council options was therefore rejected as being too many to add into such a small community as Froghall.”
The action group has also raised concerns that existing businesses in the surrounding villages were all having a tough time during the economic downturn, and so the council’s options where the proposals emphasised large scale holiday accommodation was found wanting.
Mr Williams added: “Interest in industrial starter units has been widely expressed and so the Foxt proposals take this on board. They also propose an extended marina, with full boating facilities on the proposed restored Uttoxeter Canal within an area of the site.
“A modern care home for 50 residents is another idea, with 24- hour staff on site to ensure the elderly residents receive swift help in an emergency.”