Oldham Council rejects Saddleworth house redevelopment over greenbelt concerns

By Charlotte Hall (LDR) and Gemma Carter

PLANS to redevelop a derelict house in Saddleworth were refused by Oldham Council over greenbelt concerns and a risk of stray golf balls causing harm to the building.

The project  was due to be developed on Holmfirth Road, Greenfield, right next to a private golf course and on greenbelt land.

Proposed work to bring what was originally a gatehouse or lodge house built between 1822 and 1854 by then owner Edmund Buckley at the boundary of the Hollyville estate, included removing the existing dilapidated flat-roofed extension to the rear and existing low pitch roof.

Hollyville Lodge, on Holmfirth Road, has stood empty for several years because of several structural and appearance issues.

Plans submitted by Mr & Mrs Birch and HNA Architects sought to add an additional floor and extensions to an existing bungalow to create a luxury family home.

And even though Hollyville Lodge sits on green belt land, applicants believed the proposal should have been approved as it re-uses an existing structure.

But council officers decided the additions were “disproportionate” and would therefore represent an “inappropriate development in the Green Belt”.

In a report, planning officer Sophie Leech argued the plans would impact the ‘openness of the Green Belt land’, which has special protections under UK planning legislation. Development of Green Belt land can only take place under ‘very special circumstances’.

Leech wrote: “The very special circumstances provided are not considered in the public benefit and the main circumstance appears to derive from the fact the property is not big enough to be a family home.

“The council are of a view that the property is liveable and can be occupied by a single person or couple without the need to be extensively altered and extended. As such, the very special circumstances are not considered strong enough to warrant an approval.”

The report noted the council had also received two objections, which raised ‘concerns over glass balcony and existing golf course’ and ‘risk of golf balls damaging property’.

A comment claimed the building is currently protected by the ‘surrounding topography’ but that adding an extra storey could put the house within hitting-distance of the golf course.

They added: “The terrace itself would effectively be directly adjacent to and in close proximity to the 3rd green. This significantly raises the risk to the developers (and any guests) from the golf course.”

4 Replies to “Oldham Council rejects Saddleworth house redevelopment over greenbelt concerns”

  1. I’m inclined to regard this as a good decision.

    There was small and pleasant but rather dilapidated old cottage not far from The Roebuck that’s been similarly, “improved,” and converted into a large 2 story house. The new structure is unrecognizable and an eye sore .

    How that got past the Planning Committee is a mystery, particularly after they got so upset about the play area at the Roebuck ?

  2. In fact there are other developments currently occurring in the area including a largish single story building on the site of the old Public Toilets near The Clarence and in principle I would see no objection to the existing somewhat dilapidated structure, (I was walking past it a couple of weeks ago,) being brought back into use.

    Once again the real problem is greed and a slash and burn/take the money and run mentality that doesn’t care less about the impact of these developments in the area or on the other people who live there.

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