Whitebank green light
Reporter: Beatriz Ayala
Date online: 25 March 2011
OLDHAM PLANNING COMMITTEE
OLDHAM Roughyeds secured approval for six temporary cabins at their Whitebank Stadium home in Limeside.
Councillors gave the thumbs-up for one two-storey and five single-storey buildings which will be used for changing rooms, general offices and a sponsor suite/boardroom.
The temporary units will mean switching the dugouts at the ground — also home to North West Counties first division football club Oldham Boro — to the east side of the pitch.
The stadium occupies a site of about eight acres — all of which are on green belt land.
Oldham Council planners received six letters of objection listing concerns over noise levels, intrusive stadium lighting and residents not wanting their views blighted.
But one letter of support said it was essential the plans be approved as they would be the first steps in making the club, which plays in Championship One, successful again.
Planning officers felt the new additions were essential for the Roughyeds but said their size and scale was inappropriate.
However, Roughyeds submitted a list of special circumstances such as the intensive recreational use of the land before it was designated as green belt, the club not being able to operate without the proposed plans, and the plans helping to develop an under-used existing facility rather than building a new one. Officers agreed that the benefits to the community outweighed the harm to the green belt and recommended approval.
Hollinwood councillor Keith Pendlebury said he had reservations about the stadium being used as a rugby ground rather than for a local football team because of the number of fans attending games.
He said having the rugby team based at the stadium (it moved there in May, 2010) had caused parking problems especially to residents in Whitebank Road, Elm Road and Green Lane.
He said: “It is an attempt to improve facilities at this ground for all involved so I’m happy to support it and move officers recommendation.”
The matter was seconded by councillor Rod Blyth.
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