Oldham fails to protect ‘protected’ land

Once again, the Labour administration at Oldham Council has shown no regard for land designated as other protected open land (OPOL).

At the Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday 27 August 2020, the application for outline planning permission with all matters reserved except for the principal means of access from Cocker Mill Lane for a residential development following demolition of existing buildings was considered.

“Despite the pros and cons to this development, the Liberal Democrats are not opposed to housing being built on the former abattoir site; we are opposed to the weight of OPOL (other protected open land)  not being given the full merit of what the area deserves” said Crompton Liberal Democrat Councillor Diane Williamson.

“The Council has hidden behind the fact that the policy is out of date. But rather than update it so we all know where we stand, yet another application has been approved and sneaked through the back door just to fill the Conservative government’s housing demand targets” added Diane.

“The Liberal Democrat stance from the very beginning has always been that there should be a fifteen year Local Plan for the borough which identifies that new housing development should first take place on brownfield or derelict sites, on sites with existing planning permission; and by converting long-term empty mills, shops and offices into homes; and that existing long-term empty homes should also be brought back into use, before any consideration is given to allocating green-belt or other protected open land for housing.”

“So it looks like we are all going to have to get used to more traffic on an all ready busy road as I do not believe that the full weight of the problem will manifest itself until the whole development has been built; by which time it will be too late to do anything about better highway improvements.  This is going to impact the residents of Shaw Road, Greencroft Meadow, Spring Vale Way and Albion Gardens Close severely despite what was claimed in the meeting.”

“Thankfully, I was able to speak on the application at the meeting, but the application was passed anyway – but not unanimously.  I can assure you that your local Liberal Democrat Councillors will make every effort to ensure that the impact that will be felt when this development is built, is as painless as possible.  We hope that the developers talk to our residents as well as ourselves,” said Cllr Williamson.

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