DETAILED plans for a new Greenfield Primary School are printed here for the first time by the Independent after the green light was given to the planning applications.
After years of delays, a new school is expected to rise from the current playing fields by September 2019, with the old school site then demolished to form new playing fields.
The larger school will allow for a gradual increase of 30 pupils a year – eventually going from 210 to 420 – plus the introduction of 40 extra nursery places.
Last month, school headmaster Mike Wood welcomed the news of the planning application approval and said multi-million-pound building will also be available for community use.
“It will be a massive boost for the area but it will allow us to provide an outstanding education for more children for many years in a modern up to date environment,” he said.
“With new facilities it means we will go from strength to strength.”
And Cllr John McCann, who represents Saddleworth South on OMBC, welcomed the decision after campaigning for the development for five years.
“The present 100-year-old school building is no longer fit for purpose and the chance must be taken to provide a new school so staff can maintain the ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating,” he said.
“For over five years local parents have had difficulty in obtaining places in local primary schools and I have tried to help parents seeking a place at Shaw Street for their children.
“There is a long-standing shortage of places and this is becoming worse as more houses are built and would become desperate once the GMSF housing proposals are implemented.
“It is a fact that 82 per-cent of pupils come from less than 1 kilometre from the school, so hordes of ‘outside or non local’ children will not be arriving.
“OMBC does not have any responsibility to provide school places for Tameside children and other authorities cannot expect to use Saddleworth schools for children in their new builds.
“There will be increased traffic as the numbers slowly increase; it is a slow build up in pupil numbers, not a massive sudden influx.
A pelican crossing will be provided on Chew Valley Road near Shaw Street as part of a school safety scheme.
As the planning application went before Oldham in February there were calls from Saddleworth Parish councillor Neil Allsopp to explore an alternative site at the end of Wellington Road, adjacent to the current Satellite Centre.
However Cllr McCann explained: “The Churchill playing fields is a Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Playing Field in Perpetuity so cannot be used for building – plus of course it is a major flood plain site.”
He concluded: “I hope people realise we are talking about the future education of our children and that they are the priority.”
Opposition groups have complained the larger school will create increased traffic and safety risks in an area that has flooded in recent years.
See the full plans for the new Greenfield Primary School online: http://planningpa.oldham.gov.uk