REVISED plans for the re-locating of Saddleworth School to Diggle have found to be flawed due to flooding concerns.
The Environment Agency, one of the key consultees in the planning process, has recommended refusal due to the absence of an acceptable flood risk assessment (FRA) for the WH Shaw Pallets site on Huddersfield Road.
Campaigners supporting the move from Uppermill to Diggle insist the deficiencies in the FRA can be overcome.
Indeed, it is nearly three months since the EA raised its concerns with Oldham Council through Planning Advisor Sylvia Whittingham on December 5, 2017.
The Council declines to say what steps have been taken since then by their project partners, construction partners Interserve, and the Education Skills and Funding Agency to remedy the oversights.
The EA states the FRA does not comply with the requirements set out in the National Planning Policy Framework and associated guidance.
It adds the FRA fails to:
• Take the impacts of climate change into account as published on 19 February 2016:
• Provide compensatory flood storage for the proposed ground raising, gabion walls and finished floor level. The development must not increase flood risk elsewhere
• Take into account the impact of climate change on the proposed replacement bridge
• Identify whether there is loss of flood plain volume as a result of the proposed replacement bridge. Any loss of flood plain volume must be compensated for.
The EA goes on to say: “You can overcome our objection by submitting an FRA which covers the deficiencies highlighted above and demonstrates that the development will not increase risk elsewhere and where possible reduces flood risk overall.
“If this cannot be achieved we are likely to maintain our objection to the application.
“Production of an FRA will not in itself result in the removal of an objection.
“We ask to be re-consulted with the results of the FRA. We will provide you with bespoke comments within 21 days of receiving formal consultation.
“Our objection will be maintained until an adequate FRA has been submitted.”
They also state: “This development may require a permit under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 from the Environment Agency for any proposed works or structures, in, under, over or within 8m of the top of the bank of Diggle Brook, designated ‘main river’.
“A permit is separate to and in addition to any planning permission granted.”