By Charlotte Green- Local Democracy Reporter
OLDHAM planners have been accused of ‘concreting over our community’ after giving permission for the Shaw Hall Bank Road housing development.
A total of 157 objections and a petition containing more than 750 names were submitted against the plans.
Objectors argued the land off Shaw Hall Bank Road was a ‘unique site’ for wildlife.
Aside from concerns that wildlife – such as deer and bats used the site – issues were also raised over the increase number of cars that development would bring to the congested roads around it.
Objector Stephen Ribbitts told the meeting: “It is a real gem in the Greenfield crown and a local amenity that is enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.
“It’s Greenfield by name and green field by nature.”
Saddleworth South ward councillor Jamie Curley also spoke out against the plans.
He said: “There are 157 letters of objection and 764 signature petition. There is genuine, genuine concern about this.
“This area would represent not just the loss of visual amenity to the residents of Shaw Hall Bank Road but the loss of amenity to the whole community.
“We shouldn’t allow the environment to be degraded simply because we want to put up a few houses.
“Is that what we want to be known as? The council that just lets anybody do anything? And to hell with the wildlife and to hell with people’s lives?”
Michael Brown, the agent for the applicant, HNA Architects Ltd, said it was ‘essentially a nice housing scheme’, which was responding to ‘significant identified need’ for housing in Oldham.
“We are proposing well designed houses to national space standards with ample car parking and because we have deliberately chosen a low density development we can provide large gardens,” he said.
“The 20 new houses have 275 per cent parking provision as such those proposals will cause no parking issues whatsoever on Shaw Hall Bank Road.
“This site will be housing, why not this proposal.”
Stephen Irvine, head of planning, said: “We do have a position of our housing shortage.
“In the last 10 years in this particular ward, 269 houses have been built. That is not a substantial amount however you look at it.”
A contribution of £150,000 from the developer is proposed for ‘trim trail’ exercise equipment and surface improvements at Churchfield Playing Fields.