A FIELD in Lydgate, thought to be the birthplace of the suffragette movement, could become part of the site for a three storey, five-bedroomed house.
The proposed property with internal double garage on land between number four Stockport Road and St Anne’s Church has been described as a potential “monstrosity” by a Parish Councillor.
Saddleworth Parish Council’s planning committee has already recommended refusal of the green field development covering 1,600 square metres.
Opposition by individuals has been also logged on the planning portal of Oldham Council’s website.
And after residents’ complaints about lack of consultation time, the local authority has extended the deadline for responses to Thursday, February 25, 2021.
The Independent reported in 2017 how Helen Leach and Grasscroft-based work colleague Danny Brierley discovered how the prominent spot – above the Lydgate rail tunnel – hosted a meeting of social reformers on May 4, 1818.
This was 61 years before the birth of Springhead-raised suffragette Annie Kenney.At the time, Oxford University graduate Helen said: “Everything points to this particular field being the site of the meeting; the meeting being the first recorded one where women were treated equally to men.”
It was almost another century before women, courtesy of the actions of Kenney, finally received the vote.
“It is, however, fair to say that the beginnings of female emancipation in the UK originate in a field in Lydgate,” added Helen. The pair wanted Oldham Council to consider erecting a blue plaque in the area.
Opponents of the scheme have left Oldham planners in no doubt about the strength of feeling.
One person wrote: “If the application to build is approved, it could set a precedent for further developers to move in and fill the surrounding fields with over-sized and over-priced houses.”
Another said: “It is an insult to the entire Lydgate community that such a selfish eyesore would even be considered to be built.
“I wholeheartedly object to the proposal that one single residential property should change such an iconic landscape that has stood unadulterated for hundreds of years.”
A third commented: “That someone thought to build in this location is insensitive and selfish and beggars’ belief in my opinion. It will cause great consternation locally.”
Increased traffic levels were a concern to many. One objector said: “Stockport Road already suffers from congestion around that area and having extensive building work ongoing will worsen the situation to a dangerous level.”
Parish councillor Max Woodvine, said: “This house is a monstrosity. It doesn’t marry up with any buildings in Lydgate and is completely out of character for the conservation area.
“As a village it needs cottages, not modern mansions. This will spoil St Anne’s Church and the surrounding countryside.”
The application was received by OMBC on Christmas Eve and on January 25 nine neighbouring properties were notified by letter. A site notice was displayed on January 21.
The application (FUL/346015/20) has been submitted by Manchester based Grant Erskine Architects.
A design and access planning statement states: “This document seeks to demonstrate that the proposal is the result of a formal and thoughtful design process and that the scheme proposed is a response to site context, access into and within, materials and architectural detail and that a sustainable approach has been followed.”
It continues: “The application seeks to create a new dwelling on the site of exceptional design quality and green credentials, sympathetically sitting in context, but also with a view to create a property which is visually appreciated by those viewing the site from a distance on local roads.
“Consideration has been given to the scale and massing of the building, taking advantage of the site levels, to create an approach which allows the proposed to be sunken and sit comfortably with its neighbouring buildings.”
The application can be viewed online at: tinyurl.com/57uqzmlp