RESIDENTS are mobilising themselves to oppose the first of three potential housing developments along a half-a-mile stretch of green field and greenbelt land on the Saddleworth/Mossley border.
A swathe of land, including a site of biological interest, between the Hey Farm estate and Mossley Hollins School on Huddersfield Road, has been targeted for more than 180 houses and apartments.
Last year our sister paper, the Mossley Correspondent, revealed up to 50 homes are planned for the site of the former Mossley Hollins school site.
The Independent now understands greenbelt land above and close to the Dysarts Arms pub could also be targeted by developers in the future.
Last month hundreds of locals attended a public consultation at Mossley Hollins. Two other meetings, predominantly for Hey Farm estate residents, have been staged at The Royal George pub.
An outline planning application on behalf of the land owners (the Trustees of Mrs E Bissill’s Marriage Settlement) is being prepared for submission to Tameside Council.
But this is only for an access road into the 12.96 hectares’ site. Agents Cordingley insist it could be four to five years before the first properties are built as the land has yet to be sold to developers.
They also state “proposals accord with both National and Local policy being socially, economically and environmentally sustainable”.
However, opponents argue the scheme will push local services and infrastructure to breaking point.
David Sloan, who lives on the Hey Farm estate with wife Lesley, said: “I have not come across anybody who is in favour of the development.
“The only people who are going to benefit are the people who are building the houses and those selling them.
“It’s a steep road and in the winter when the water comes down off the moors and freezes, it makes it a very dangerous spot.
“That road is at more than a 20-degree gradient. All I can see is cars piled up at the bottom.
“There have been five accidents between Mossley Hollins school and The Royal George in the last 12 months. That will only get worse with the number of cars that will come up.”
Mr Sloan also claimed residents didn’t have access to all the documents prepared in support of the application.
“How are we supposed to make a decision on the application if we haven’t seen all the surveys and evidence?” he asked.
Another Hey Farm resident, who attended the Hollins consultation but didn’t want to be named, said: “The first problem is there is only going to be one access road which will be extremely steep.
“The roads get icy and Hey Farm doesn’t get cleared in winter.
“There will be extra strain on all the services including the bus service which is already pretty poor. There are lots of complaints about the 350.
“The trains are being cut back in Mossley and Greenfield so where will all the cars park?”
Another resident raised concerns about school places, saying “Mossley Hollins is already full.
“So, are we going to go back to the situation where there were prefab classrooms like there were at the Old Mossley Hollins site?
“There are no shops around here so people will have to drive, which means more cars on the road.
“They say they have done feasibility studies on the doctors and the schools but no one has seen them.”