SADDLEWORTH PARISH Council is urging Oldham Council to extend a key deadline for views on a new Local Plan beyond the summer holidays.
The Local Plan, which is being prepared by Oldham Council, will replace the existing Local Plan which was adopted November 2011.
It will help to guide future growth and development to meet the needs of Oldham and its population, as well as set out policies for planning applications and areas for protection.
They are seeking views from the local community and stakeholders about what they think the plan should contain, and what the key issues for Oldham are.
Comments are invited over a six-week period from 10 July to 21 August 2017 and can be submitted online.
However, Saddleworth Parish Council has written to the local authority asking them to extend the deadline beyond the summer holiday period.
At their last Parish Council meeting, councillors voted unanimously to “seek to extend the consultation process to Oldham Local’s Plan beyond August 2017”.
Cllr Knotts, who proposed the motion, said: “August is a time that families take holidays, and consequently submissions to the Plan are likely to be restricted.”
Cllr Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Cooperatives and Neighbourhoods, responded: “The current consultation, which lasts for six weeks, relates solely to Oldham’s Local Plan and at this stage is seeking views about what people think are the key planning issues for Oldham and should therefore be included.
“Comments received will inform the design of the plan and the next stage of the consultation will set out the main issues that should be considered and options for addressing these.
“Whilst the initial phase runs from 10 July to 21 August 2017, it is important to stress this is the start of an on-going conversation. There will be continuous engagement as the Local Plan is prepared.
“Without an up-to-date plan in place there is a risk that the council will not be able to refuse development applications it considers to be inappropriate, including on open spaces and greenfield sites.
“It is, therefore, essential that we continue to have an up to date Local Plan.”
To submit comments about Oldham’s Local Plan, go online. Alternatively, comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or returned by post to the following address no later than 5pm on 21 August 2017:
Strategic Planning and Information, Economy, Skills and Neighbourhoods, Room 310, Level 3, Civic Centre, West Street, Oldham OL1 1UH.
Meanwhile, Saddleworth Parish Council is in the process of writing its own Neighbourhood Plan which will help to shape the future of Saddleworth.
They are holding a community consultation over the next few months to ask locals about issues that matter to them, including housing, businesses and employment, schooling, transport and traffic, infrastructure, local green spaces, heritage and conservation.
Cllr Barbara Beeley, who is on the Plan’s steering group, said: “Common themes are beginning to emerge from the meetings, like transport and housing.
“That is what we expected really, but now we’re working with the groups to help put together the evidence base to prove it and find solutions.”
They have held sessions with villages community associations and groups, and are now inviting interest groups to come along to find out more and get involved in the Plan.
The meetings are at the Civic Hall in Uppermill, starting at 7.30pm (unless indicated) for:
- Sports Clubs Uniformed Organisations: 6 September
- Music and Theatre: 7 September
- Health and Care, and Faiths: 13 September
- Voluntary Groups, and Leisure: 14 September
- Builders and Landowners, Housing Associations: 18 September (8.30am)
- Heritage and History, Agriculture and Environment: 21 September
- Education and Youth: 27 September (9.30am)
- Traffic and Transport: 28 September
- Open House: 5 October
- Community round up: 12 October
Find out more about the Neighbourhood Plan and how to get involved on the Parish Council website: http://saddleworthparishcouncil.org.uk