A campaign to stop the building of 20 new homes backing onto the Huddersfield Narrow Canal in Greenfield is gaining momentum.
Action group Greenfield by Name and Greenfield by Nature (GBN) has been formed to oppose the house building proposals from Wiggett Construction on land between the canal and Shaw Hall Bank Road.
The planning application for the detached, four-bedroom properties has been submitted by agent Garry Griffiths of HNA Architects Limited to Oldham Council, with a determination deadline of November 15, 2018.
But it was recommended for refusal by Saddleworth Parish Council on Monday, October 1.
Oldham Council has also received a letter of objection from the Greenfield and Grasscroft Residents’ Association.
And of 51 responses logged on OMBC’s planning portal all but one – a neutral response – reject the building scheme on 2.2 acres of land behind numbers 29-51 Shaw Hall Bank Road.
A petition calling for the scheme to be dumped is gaining signatures throughout the wider village area.
“We remain optimistic at this stage,” said GBN spokesperson Paul McCann.
“We have taken heart from those people who have already expressed an opinion and already objected.
“That must surely have some sort of bearing on the thoughts of the full planning committee.
“It is an emotive subject and we have a number of people campaigning effectively for us.”
Former Mayor of Oldham and Council Leader, Dr Richard Knowles, is backing the action group.
“The site is heavily wooded with Tree Preservation Orders protecting mature trees, contains a large pond, marshy land and an abundance of wildlife,” he wrote in his objection to the planning application.
“No mention is made of the Tree Preservation Orders on this site. This is a very serious omission.
“The Arboricultural Impact Assessment by Tree Report Company is flawed.
“It states the development requires the removal of most trees on the site but fails to mention this site’s Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs are mentioned in the Planning Policy Compliance Statement). TPOs cannot be omitted and disregarded.
“The Planning Policy Compliance Statement is flawed, appears to be a remote and inaccurate desk exercise and lacks evidence of local inspection.”
In a Design and Access Statement HNA state: “The application site currently sits unoccupied and has been under the ownership of the application for many years.
“A Pre Planning Application Submission was submitted in April 2017, and was for 25 units.
“Comments were received from the Planning Department which we have taken on board in terms of design and layout, and have reduced the proposed dwelling by five and created more amenity space and parking.
“As the application site lies within a predominantly residential area, and based on the initial planning officers comments, we believe there is sufficient justification for our proposals to be considered as appropriate development and use. “