Community invited to have a say on quarry development plans

A KEY public consultation is to be staged over proposals to turn a controversial tip at Austerlands into a quality residential development.

p7 birk quarry
PLANS: Birks Quarry

Several years ago planning permission was granted for extensive tipping operations at Birks Quarry which locals feared would blight the community.

Despite vigorous opposition by Oldham Council and residents, the application was granted on appeal and a subsequent appeal gave approval for access to heavy tipping traffic.

And although the six-acre site could still be the subject of tipping operations, the current owners now wish to offer the site for quality housing development.

Draft plans propose building a variety of 40 properties ranging from two to five bedroomed luxury homes in the bottom of the disused quarry.

Alan Chorlton, of Chorlton Planning who is handling the application, said: “This site could provide aspirational and local housing needs in an attractive setting for the benefit of the community.

“It will also remove, once and for all, the spectre of large scale long-term tipping on the site and the noise, dust, fumes, HGV traffic and danger this brings with it.

“We want to give residents, the wider community and other interested parties the opportunity to see and comment on the housing proposal before its submitted to the Council.”

The consultation, which will include an exhibition, will be at The Three Crowns Inn, Huddersfield Road, Scouthead, on Thursday, November 19 from 4pm till 7pm.

Robert Knotts, chair of the Birks Quarry Action Group and a Saddleworth Parish Councillor, said:” The worry of the quarry being used for tipping has hung over the local community for long time.

“The news that the plans for the site now focus houses removes that worry and is welcomed.”


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