Approval recommended for Lydgate house plan

A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build a house on a piece of land in Lydgate looks likely to be approved at the fourth time of asking.

Simon Leigh once again lodged an application with Oldham Council to build a house at Stockport Road, and install a dropped kerb, after previous attempts were refused and turned down after an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

But this time, the authority’s planning committee is minded to approve it at its meeting on Wednesday, June 5.

The proposed site in Lydgate. Image by GGC Media

That comes despite 35 letters of objection from residents, plus Saddleworth Parish Council saying it is against on the grounds that the proposed building will be totally out of character with the surrounding area in the green belt.

The land Mr Leigh wants to build on is not in the green belt but those opposing the proposal highlighted the site’s significance – the field is believed to be the site of the first women’s suffrage meeting on May 4, 1818.

One comment said: “It is also on a site of very significant historical importance for women’s suffrage, female emancipation, working class suffrage, radicalism and liberalism, and the land need to be preserved to celebrate these movements.
“We will not be beaten, we will preserve this land for our village, for women and for history.”

Another added: “Lydgate is a village with charm and neighbourliness and one narrow main road with ‘sleeping policeman’ to deter speeding

“Think of the traffic congestion if more houses are built despite our objections! Even the Secretary of State is alongside the villagers in pooh-poohing this plan.”

This two-storey structure, next to an existing property, will be ‘built out of contextual materials, and to a style which is respectful or contextual to the historic buildings in the Lydgate Conservation Area and to the two listed buildings near to the site.’

And documents backing this application state it will not adversely impact nearby listed buildings, St Anne’s Church and The White Hart.

They say: “The proposed development will have a negligible magnitude of change to the setting of the church as the work constitutes slight changes to setting that hardly affects it.

“As the proposed new dwellings will not affect significant views of the church, and as the church is set back within the churchyard, it is assessed that the proposed development will have a neutral impact.”

The site in Lydgate

The Stockport Road land has been the centre of planning concerns for several years, with the original application to build three properties.

That was rejected by Oldham Council and then the Planning Inspectorate – then a bid to build one property was turned down last summer.

However, a recommendation has been made to this meeting to approve it, subject to conditions.

A report states: “It is considered that the sense of spaciousness is maintained between the proposed development and Lydgate Conservation Area and St Anne’s Church, therefore it is considered that the dwelling would not introduce an unacceptable impact upon the setting of the designated heritage assets.”


7 Replies to “Approval recommended for Lydgate house plan”

  1. You say the proposed development site is not in green belt and yet OMBC can provide no evidence as to where the green belt boundary actually is. The planning officer involved has taken an arbitrary line on the proposed site plan drawn by the architect to be correct, yet none of the planning documents have measurements on them.

  2. But if for example, you’re The Roebuck, (and a hard working business,) and you put up a children’s play area and a couple of people who don’t even live that close to you to complain then you’re expected too tear it down.

    The decisions of the OMBC Planning Committee too often seem seem to be so arbitrary and inconsistent that many people suspect that the cases are influenced factors other than there simple merit ?

    If that is really true or not I couldn’t possibly say; but I do know that this one will affect that area negatively

  3. I’m pleased to report that your piece reporting that permission to build was done and dusted did not dint our enthusiasm and sense of responsibility to save this site for EVERYONE. The Planning Committee were unanimous in refusing permission. Not one of your photos illustrates the significant and iconic topography of this site or the negative impact on the Conservation Area and Grade 2 listed buildings if this had gone ahead. You also failed to mention that the applicants first attempt was to build a huge 3 storey structure.
    The community came together last night as it often does in Lydgate . We protected something special …..perhaps you would like to report in that.

    1. I’m delighted with the decision and I don’t even live in Lydgate, (not even close,) although I do walk through it fairly often.

      Sometimes it takes an outsider and a different pair of eyes to see something that might less obvious to someone with a personal stake in the issue; frankly I was appalled by the plan.

      There is also the ongoing issue of the constant and continuing attrition of the Green Belt right land across the borough of which this is not an isolated example, (whether it’s technically Green Belt or not,) but simply, “another brick in the wall,” so to speak.

      I still think they probably made all that, Women’s suffrage,” stuff up, but whatever, this an excellent result.

      Well done.

  4. Yet again, Oldham Council appear to make a decision based on “ Who you know “, not on the merits / defaults of a project. This application has already been refused twice, in slightly differing formats, but for very sensible reasons. I would like the Planning Department to give a written explanation of what “New” evidence has been provided, for them to have changed their minds.

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