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Action threat to end assembly hall saga

Reporter: JENNIFER HOLLAMBY
Date online: 14 August 2009

THE end could be finally in sight for the Royton Assembly Hall saga, with Oldham Council ready to take legal action if work is not completed by the end of this year.

The assembly hall scheme has run years over schedule but recent attempts by Oldham Council chief executive Charlie Parker to arrange a meeting with developers Whispers have been ignored.

Now Oldham Council has written to Whispers with a deadline of December 1 this year and has threatened legal action if this deadline is not met.

Royton North councillor Olwen Chadderton said: “This saga has been going on for almost six years now and it has been a huge source of frustration that we have not been able to accomplish anything.

“Myself and my fellow Royton councillors have constantly been dealing with questions and concerns from local residents about the hall. We now hope that we are finally moving somewhere towards resolving this problem.

“This is a crucial gateway site in Royton and to have it out of action for so long has been an absolute nightmare for the local community. I fully support Oldham Council in taking this action.”

The hall was originally supposed to be up and running by the end of 2004. The deadline was then extended to April, 2006, and more than three years later the structure is still half finished.

The issue has been a huge headache for local councillors and has now become cross-party issue, with officers and councillors of all political colours coming together to say “enough is enough”.

The Environmental Health Department has also issued enforcement notices, demanding that Whispers take action on a number of issues at the site within 21 days.

These issues include the building being open to unauthorised access in Middleton Road, lack of security due to temporary fencing and storage of materials at the Market Square end of the site.

Other problems Whispers will need to address include the obstruction of the road at several points, damage to the public highway, litter and waste, and the start of works on the highway without submitting detailed drawings first.

Councillor Mohib Uddin, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The situation at Royton Assembly Hall unites all parties and residents in their frustration.

“Since the deal was completed to transfer this site in 2003, we’ve endured an unacceptable series of delays and frequent periods so silence and inactivity from Whispers.

“We have now given them 21 days to urgently address important security, highway and obstruction matters at the site. If they fail to comply, we will do the work ourselves and charge them for it.

“Our notice giving a deadline to complete the entire works by December also puts in place a longer-term legal process to ensure Whispers honours its contractual obligations and delivers what Royton residents have waited for since 2003. We are always sympathetic to local businesses, but these problems pre-date the credit crunch and are therefore not related to the recession. Whispers has had plenty of opportunities to work with us to bring this to a conclusion, but this now sends out the message that the matter is an urgent priority.”

The Evening Chronicle was unable to contact Whispers Developments.

Comments

Just like the joke on Roundthorn Road, a number of 6-8 bedroom houses built under (what regulations is a good question..5 yrs on and now 1 side of Roundthorn Rd has been closed for... well no none knows even the council..

And do the Council think that Whispers are really going to be bothered about them taking legal action. They should have done that years ago!!!!!

I'm glad to see that something is finally being done!!

keith - mnore myths, every house built has to have both planning permission and building regulations approval. Nowhere on any of the paperwork does it ask if you are "Asian" to claim some sort of exemption from regulations, more myths from your racist mind!!

This has been going on long enough, enough is enough i hope these threats are carried out because this whole episode is a joke.

Another example of Kilburn and his cronies making a mess that he doesn't have to sort out. Oldham Council is still as weak as it was, and Mohib Uddin would be better served shutting his mouth and saying nothing if he's isn't capable of doing more than sitting on the fence to avoid criticising his 'own'.

Prodriver - As usual in your haste, you have failed to read the article properly (or comprehension is not easy for you). Cllr Uddin has criticised "his own" and I wonder when your racist mind will use this type of criticism on "your own" Cllr Allcok who is often in the paper.

Thanks fightback for enlighting some peoples minds, as they always the only contribution we can expect form them is racist remarks or negative remarks for the local council.

fightback, I suggest that you pay a visit to your local optician, or clean your crystal ball, because you are reading content of the comments left, that simply is there.

Nowhere in the post by Keith does it mention "Asian", yet you have branded him racist.
Also, ProDriver's reference "criticising his own" could refer to a number of things, yet again, have read the comments and add your own interpretation brand this as a racist.

Perhaps, it's your racist mind that you need to question.

fightback are your comments not inflammacory !!!!

MAD4IT- part 1
Royton hall owners have been named in the past, are Asian and therefore Prodriver has made the racist remarks (as he has done loads in the past). When other Cllrs are moaned about their colour is not mentioned so why with Cllr Uddin?
Keiths thoughts and also well known, any mention of large houses being built conjures up one thought in his mind.. trust me I have been following his remarks in the past as well...

MAD4IT - part 2
My racist mind is a recent product of racist comments on these and othe chronicle pages. I will always challenge racists, if that makes me a racist... tough!!

Dispair - complain to the Chronicle - you have the right in a "democracy", funny when I have challenged your comments in the past you haven't defended them!!

Mad4it you should have read keith's post on 14/08/2009, which was later edited by the Chron.Before blaming others read the full facts first.

 

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