Residents confused by second application for 265 homes – before decision on first appeal

RESIDENTS have been left confused and concerned after a second application for 265 homes in Lees, Springhead and Grotton was submitted – before a final outcome on the first.

But they have vowed to keep fighting the proposals, submitted by Barton Wilmore on behalf of Russell Homes, for the large development and a link road between Knowls Lane and Ashbrook Road.

The original hybrid application was rejected by Oldham Council’s planning committee last December despite recommendation for approval by planning officers.

Concerns were raised about “the loss of OPOL 12 land and subsequent landscape harm and harm to the visual amenity of the Wharmton Undulating Uplands, LCA and Thornley wooded valley landscape”.

But an appeal was lodged by Russell Homes with the Planning Inspectorate and the hearing is expected to last four days from July 23 at Oldham’s Civic Centre.

However, residents were then baffled to receive letters stating a second hybrid planning application was submitted to Oldham Council at the end of April.

Save Our Valleys, who have been campaigning against the development for two-and-a-half years, said: “The appeal is still happening so a lot of residents were left confused and concerned to find out about another planning application taking place at the same time.

“All we can think is Russell Homes think they are going to lose the appeal and so are trying to get this through Oldham planning instead.

“It is basically the same thing again but they have called the area rural and looked at changes to land supply.

“But in their own documents they have referred to Lees Village – and the definition of a village is that it is rural!

“They say if you’re standing at the site you can see parts of Oldham and Manchester and electricity pylons so it must be an urban area, which is nonsense!

“And if you can see other urban areas all around, surely the green spaces in between shouldn’t be removed?”

They added: “If there is a new application, why have we not had another public consultation? People deserve to be told what’s going on.

“The new application was sent to Saddleworth Parish Council only four working days ahead of their planning meeting which is not enough time to read all those documents properly.”

A special Parish Council planning meeting is being organised for Thursday, June 20 for councillors to give a recommendation on the plans ahead of a decision by Oldham Council.

The meeting will start at 7.30pm at the Civic Hall, Uppermill. Anyone wishing to speak at the meeting must inform the Clerk to the Council by Monday, June 17 either by telephoning 01457 876665 or emailing hazel@saddleworthparishcouncil.org.uk
 
Comments for the Parish Council planning meeting can be sent to clerk Pam Bailey, quoting reference number PA/343269/19, at Civic Hall, Lee St, Uppermill, Saddleworth OL3 6AE or by email to: Pam@saddleworthparishcouncil.org.uk
 
A new petition has been launched to object to development on the OPOL (other protected open land) and the link road: https://tinyurl.com/y3b54uqq
 
Cllr Sam Al-Hamdani, Parish Councillor for Springhead Lower, said: “The new application is more of the same. It doesn’t try to solve the problems, it’s just an attempt to force through their current plans.
 
“It’s a shame they haven’t listened more to the residents’ issues. This isn’t nimbyism, no-one is saying there should be no development, just that we shouldn’t have to lose our green space – the OPOL land – to do it.
 
“Using the ‘aspirational’ road to try and force through the development is misleading – it might have been an aspiration of the council 30 years ago but no-one wants it now.
 
“We want the right development – one that includes affordable housing, provision for local services, and most importantly, keeps the green spaces of Thornley Brook and Ashbrook.
 
“If Russell Homes want to put in an application that is better for the area, I can’t wait to see it. This isn’t it.”
 
Comments on the application should also be submitted to Oldham Council by the deadline of June 20, quoting reference number PA/343269/19. A decision is expected by July 26.
 
Submit comments online at www.oldham.gov.uk or write to case office Graeme Moore, Planning and Infrastructure, Development Management, PO Box 30, Civic Centre, West Street, Oldham, OL1 1UQ or email graeme.moore@oldham.gov.uk

One Reply to “Residents confused by second application for 265 homes – before decision on first appeal”

  1. During the recent local elections the issue of building on Green field sites across the borough was highlighted by all UKIP candidates, along with the underlying cause, that being; the fact that Oldham has a majority controlled Labour council.
    Unless residents are prepared to challenge this majority control by electing representatives from other political spheres, then the abuse and disregard for the electorates opinions will continue.
    UKIP have a national policy of bringing brownfield sites back into use prior to destroying our beautiful green spaces, which would only add to road congestion, pollution and the loss of our once green and pleasant land.

    Think about supporting UKIP in local elections and fight for local democracy and a voice that is not just heard but also acted upon.

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