A DERELICT former paper mill, abandoned for 15 years, is at the centre of Saddleworth’s contribution to a massive housing boom planned for Greater Manchester.
But the proposals to build 227,000 properties in the next two decades will reduce Greater Manchester’s greenbelt land by eight percent.
Robert Fletcher’s Mill in Greenfield has been earmarked as the site for 100 holiday lodges and 120 new homes to “maximise the tourism potential and take full advantage of the site’s unique location in a sensitive and appropriate way.”
A small development of lodges, close to Dovestone Reservoir beauty spot, opened earlier this year. But the new proposals listed in the controversial Greater Manchester Spatial Framework are on a vast scale.
The supporting document says of the plans: “the site provides the potential to provide a range of high quality housing in an attractive and desirable rural location.
“It also provides an opportunity to enhance Oldham’s housing offer and contribute to meeting Oldham’s housing need.
“Due to the scenic location of the site, it should be an attractive location for larger and bespoke housing, providing a distinctive offer to the borough’s housing market.”
Public consultation on all Saddleworth and Oldham sites is now open after GM leaders approved the draft GMSF plan last month.
As yet no official Council drop in sessions are planned for the area. However, Oldham’s Planning Chief, Stephen Irvine, has agreed to address members of Greenfield and Grasscroft Residents’ Association on November 10 at the Satellite Centre on Wellington Road.
A number of other Saddleworth sites were considered for inclusion in the draft plan but haven’t made it into the final document. They included: Summershades, Poplar Avenue, Armit Road, Park Lane/Steadway/Boarshurst Lane, Higher Hill Farm, Dacres Hall, Bailey Mill.
Overall GMSF consultation is open until December 23 with feedback possible online at http://gmsf-consult.objective.co.uk, email to GMSF@agma.gov.uk or write to Greater Manchester Integrated Support Team, P O Box 532, Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA.
Oldham will contribute 13,700 new homes to the overall GM total with a yearly target of 685.