Keep it green
Reporter: Iram Ramzan
Date online: 24 September 2013
ANGRY residents are battling to save their village green by opposing plans for a new housing development.
Proposals to build 13 three-bedroom houses on Mortimer Street — to be discussed by Oldham Planning Committee tomorrow - are recommended for approval.
But around 60 letters of objection have been submitted by residents who want to keep their open space — which they call their village green — untouched..
Mortimer Street resident Alison Holmes (42) is one of many residents against the scheme.
She said: “I bought this house 10 years ago and part of the attraction was that it wasn’t overlooked. We want to keep the trees and land for recreation.
“More houses and more people will bring more crime. They’re taking a little scrap of area and cramming 13 buildings on to it. We don’t understand why they’re taking a little piece of well-appreciated land.”
Neighbour Martyn Fox (50) said the land was used for walking dogs and as a play area: “I understand they have to build houses - but there are a lot of empty houses here,” he said. “Money would be better spent landscaping it. You’ve got to have some greenery.”
Arthur Short (80), who also lives on Mortimer Street, said the new houses would remove natural sunlight from his home: “There’s a privacy issue and there would be a lot more traffic,” he said.
“Where would the kids play? The kids want to play out on the grass don’t they?
“There’s lots of other land in Derker. This is unnecessary and they’re spoiling the landscape.”
The 13 proposed homes will be let at an affordable rent through Guinness Northern Counties Housing Association (GNC). The housing association says demand in the area is high — one recent vacant house attracted bids from 40 families.
In response to the complaints, GNC said that the open space is of “poor quality” and “poorly maintained” and that safe play is available in the area of Wastwater Street and further along Mortimer Street.
Planning officers say the land is “generally unsuitable” for children to play on.
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