OLDHAM Council have rejected suggestions from Saddleworth Liberal Democrats that residents were not considered when approving a new housing development in Diggle and plans to increase parking restrictions.
An initial planning application for 77 homes on land close to Saddleworth School was given the go-ahead by the council back in March 2022.
Although a new house builder Redrow Homes has since taken over the site and submitted a revised application for 70 homes, which was approved in June this year despite opposition from local councillors.
The 64 homes and six apartments will be built either side of the access road to the education establishment.
But the new proposals would see the loss of the single yellow lines on Huddersfield Road, which will become double yellow lines.
Borough councillor Garth Harkness, who represents Saddleworth North ward, said: “I proposed that the 70 new homes should not be built due to the impact on the highways, impact on the listed building and lack of affordable housing.
“This was passed so the developer should now live with the proposals and changes to existing residents’ access to car parking is unacceptable.”
As part of the traffic measures in Diggle, Cllr Harkness added: “I worked hard amongst much opposition to get a car park and reduced restrictions here, so I am opposed to any reduction to this.”
Saddleworth parish councillor Michael Powell, also of the Lib Dems, said: “I am unsure why proposed changes are being put forward now after approval. Residents will find it hard to get out of the new development, but this was approved at the planning meeting and current residents should not be impacted as a result of this decision.”
Cllr Harkness said he wrote to planning and highways officers and the council’s Cabinet member to object to changes that would result in loss of parking provision.
But Councillor Elaine Taylor, Cabinet Member for Housing and Licensing, said residents have had a fair opportunity to put forward their views on both planning applications.
She said in a statement to the Saddleworth Independent: “All residents have an opportunity to comment on planning applications via the council’s website prior to any decision being taken.
“In the case of the proposed housing development in Diggle, an initial planning application for 77 homes was approved by the council back in March 2022, although a new house builder has since taken over the site and submitted a revised application for 70 homes which was approved in July 2023.
“Both applications have been consulted on appropriately and residents living adjacent to the site were notified of both applications and were able to submit their views.
“While we do appreciate concerns raised by local residents regarding proposed changes to the existing single yellow lines on Huddersfield Road, necessary changes are required to ensure the safety of a new junction which is to be created as part of the development.
“The council has already worked to support additional parking in the area as part of the new Saddleworth School, with a car park available for residents to use at any time during the day.”