OLDHAM COUNCIL is to reconsider the planning applications relating to the proposed new Saddleworth School in Diggle.
A special meeting of the local authority’s cross-party Planning Committee met on February 25 to consider the applications to demolish existing buildings on the WH Shaw site, excluding the listed building, demolish the link bridge attached to the Grade II listed building; build the new Saddleworth School, and provide a parental drop off area plus residential car parking as part of the wider highways scheme.
Just hours before the meeting – at which all four applications were approved – a letter was received from objectors.
It raised concerns, in relation to one of the applications, about how much importance should be given to the effect of the proposals on the setting of the listed building.
Oldham Council sought external legal advice and has now decided to reconsider the four applications at another special meeting.
Councillor Dave Hibbert, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Transport, said: “We got a letter three hours before the Extraordinary Planning Committee met to consider these applications.
“That didn’t leave much time to consider what are very complex legal matters so it was only right and proper that we have taken external advice.
“As a responsible planning authority our chief consideration is to continue to make sure every planning application follows the correct procedure and is dealt with on an open, fair, and transparent basis.
“We therefore consider it important the issues raised just prior to the meeting are considered by the committee.
“As all the applications have previously been dealt with as one matter that means we must reconsider them together to ensure that fair and complete decisions are taken.
“In the light of that – and to avoid the risk of any further unnecessary potential legal challenge and delays – the four related applications will be considered again at an Extraordinary Planning Committee.”