The Oldham Liberal Democrats have submitted their response to the consultation being conducted by the Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester outlining their opposition to his latest Places for Everyone plan.
Group Leader Councillor Howard Sykes MBE summarised the position of Liberal Democrat Councillors to the Mayor’s proposals: “We remain implacably opposed to any plan to build new homes on our open spaces; our view remains Places for Everyone must not compromise Green Belt for anyone. We believe that the requirement for new homes can be met with our stated policy to build first and always on brownfield sites, to push for the completion of development on sites with existing planning permission for new housing, and to act with purpose to bring back into use our empty homes or to convert our redundant commercial, retail and leisure premises into residential properties.”
Councillor Sykes and his colleagues are especially concerned that Places for Everyone represents ‘a massive and inequitable land grab’ of Green Belt and open space in the two electoral wards of Shaw and Crompton, and that the local overburdened infrastructure already at breaking point (health, schools, and highways) by the plan to build thousands of new homes across the district.
“Of the 12,800 homes proposed to be built in the Oldham borough, 2,390 will be built just four sites in or around Shaw and Crompton: almost one fifth of the total in just two electoral wards. The plans will result in the destruction of our Green Belt and other open spaces in Cowlishaw, the Beal Valley and Broadbent Moss, and there are additional plans to build on fields off Denbigh Drive and on the old Shop Direct site.”
“Shaw and Crompton’s primary schools are already bursting at the seams. Unlike neighbouring Royton, Labour has refused to invest in a modern, fit-for-purpose health centre, and took away our swimming baths, our municipal tip, and our youth centre. Where then are all of these thousands of new residents going to access education for their children or health care for their families? That is why the Liberal Democrats want a Local Plan which allocates new homes more fairly across the borough and particularly to the Oldham town centre which has the infrastructure.”