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Councillorís blast at gated luxury homes

Reporter: KEN BENNETT
Date online: 13 January 2014

Wealthy residents living in “private prison” gated communities are having an impact on community cohesion, says a councillor

Developments across Saddleworth - including Higher Lydgate Park, Grasscroft Heights and Long House Hamlet in Dobcross - lock wealthy households behind iron gates.

And the trend is spreading towards Oldham, with new plans to turn the derelict Hill Top Special School in Strinesdale into a gated development of luxury homes.

Villagers in Saddleworth have expressed concerns about the spread of exclusive new, high-end developments with some homes costing up to £1million each.

Oldham borough councillor and Saddleworth parish councillor Alan Roughley said: “These residents should throw open their iron gates and join the world. Better still, take them off their hinges and weigh them in as scrap.”

Councillor Roughley, who lives in Denshaw, declared: “ We seem to be living in a fearful society, frightened of our own shadows. National crime rates have been going down for a long time; local figures are very low. No new Saddleworth house is built without a sophisticated electronic alarm system being installed.

“Gated communities in various parts of the district presumably hold people frightened that hoards of criminals are lurking in the shadows, waiting to pounce as soon as they go out, or poised to attack householders in their beds at night. I feel sorry for those who choose to live in this way — they have created a private prison and locked themselves in.

“The ‘prisoners’ are little known - they don’t seem to use the local pubs, churches, shops or post offices.”

Mike Rooke, secretary of the Greenfield and Grasscroft Residents Association, said: “It seems an increasing number of rich people wish to cut themselves off from the rest of us, protecting and fortifying their premises.

Oldham Council and Parish councillor Garth Harkness, who lives in Dobcross, said gated communities create isolation: “The segregation only creates tension and doesn’t represent the community spirit of Saddleworth.”

Comments

RUBBISH, If I was lucky enough to have one of those homes I would have gates too. DOES NOT mean I won’t be a community person. What has there gates got to do with anyone else. If you want to protect your house from the scum in society then so be it. Doesn’t mean you’re not a unsociable person.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at a LibDem councillor who instead of finding out why people feel the need for gates, instead attacks them!

I have gates on my property should I throw them away to allow the criminals easier access? The only difference is that it's one gate for several houses.

A few homes does not constitute a 'community'!

Believing Police statistics is truly laughable ! We all know they do not reflect reality!

Cllr Roughley should mind his own business.

Good luck to the residents. I would do it if I could afford it – keep the undesirables out. I don’t feel it is a case of living fearful, but an added measure of security. As so far as them not using local pubs, churches, shops etc. I would love to know how many of the top earners of the council live in the borough and how much they contribute to the local economy.

The last time I checked it is still a free country, and people can do as they wish in respect of housing. It has nothing to do with the community spirit of Saddleworth, it is the mobile gangs of criminals who target isolated dwellings, safe in the knowledge that they do not face a sanction if caught, and that the law will come down on their side if they are challenged by a householder.

It'a a pity that the coucillors do not devote their efforts and energy to making Oldham a safer place to live.

There are two sides to every gate....
If these people don't want to be part of the community then I'm happy for them to be on their side and me on my side. They don't seem nice people.

In essence there's no difference between a gated community and a tower block with a call entry system.

If I had the money I would move into one of them asap.

Oldham as a place to live
We have the Metro, new hotel,new cinema and now gated community's
Great message to send to the world it's safe just don't go out.

Is this a genuine article? Surely there are a million other pressing issues that need the attention of local councillors rather than where people choose to live? If someone has worked hard and has the money to buy one of these properties what is the problem? Sums up how out of touch Saddleworth Councillors are if this is a major issue on their agendas!!!

How about blasting the thieves and scum, that make people think this is required?

This is 2014. Perhaps the 'Voices of the People' ie. our representatives on the various public bodies should have a look at the reasons why the residents of the gated communities have decided to live their selective lives behind closed doors. Security and safety are large factors in their wishes for a peaceful existence plus what they wish to do with their private lives is nothing whatsoever to do with anybody else! Another factor- a large criminal clan who prey on success whenever they can...

Stop hiding behind statistics Mr Roughley.
Crime numbers are falling because of the way crimes are now reported AND due to the fact that many have given up on the police.

So , lock your gates , get a big dog and cctv, because our police are no use and our politicians don't care so long as they carry on milking the cash cows.

I hope Councillor Roughley has not wasted to much time on this none story. Oldham has plenty of elephants in numerous rooms which need addressing. Move on and stop picking on people to polite to respond.

Just to let you know that Royston Vasey is fictitious, and that Papa Lazarou doesn't walk the mean streets of Dobcross.

Driving around the borough, it appears we have seen a massive introduction / growth of steel gates and fences installed by the local authority, that's one of the major reasons crime has been reduced. What difference does it make if someone wants to enhance their safety by having a more secure home? Is it that some people feel it is the start of the Morlocks and Eloi, developing separately and they are sitting in the wrong camp?

We live in a fearful society with criminals lurking in the shadows ,if i had the chance to live in a gated community i would jump at the chance,knowing that i had extra security around my property, which would be full of my belongings that i had worked hard for, they are not locking themselves behind iron gates they are locking the would be criminals out, to say "these people" dont use local services is a ridiculous comment can you prove it Mr Roughley?? let people get on with their lives.

best place for people like this is behind bars, who needs them saddleworth certainly does not, lets hope someone starts fracking next door to them they will soon be out of their little prison then

How does 'super-sleuth' Alan Rughley know that these people don't 'seem' to use local facilities if he has never seen them?? Come into the real world and get out more. Residents all over the borough have lived more peacefully since our terraced house communities have had gates installed to stop unwelcome individuals from using the backs
to gain access to unoccupied and occupied properties. IT WORKS! and other peoples choices regarding THEIR property have NOTHING to do with anyone else.

Can't say I blame the people in these gated communities for wanting to live in such a way. At the very least they should be protected from the usual detritus - namely that curious creature that is called the local councillor who seem to turn up on your doorstep every three years asking for your vote and forget that they have done little to serve the community in any meaningful way since they were last elected. I would have gun towers on top of my gates if I had them, and a draw bridge and.......

Clr Roughley failed again to grasp the most important issue from this "alarmist/sensationalist" article. AFFORDABLE HOUSING. yes even Saddleworth needs it. Building will happen, but we need family homes NOT select 5 bed/5 bath family mansions for the few! It's not about "Gates" it's about opportunity and currently there isn't any !

What's the problem? Lots of private and council houses have gates. A lot of backings have been secured with gates by the council.They provide,safety,security and often enhance homes.The councillor has got it wrong this time.

“The ‘prisoners’ are little known - they don’t seem to use the local pubs, churches, shops or post offices.” 

Thats because they are full of locals who have nothing better to whinge about than gates.

Get a life

If I had the money I would have barbed wire and flamethrowers as well as gates .If you cant keep scum in prison where they belong then build yourself a luxury one to keep them out. Role on Elysiums orbital platforms .

a sign of the times, a great idea,will stop the robbing scum we have to put up with in this town.We need more,especially for pensioners.

Gated communities are still not safe from robberies (etc). Over here all private estates are guarded by security men 24/7 - the estates have official entrances and exits and all homeowners have official car stickers - without them no vehicle is allowed entry. All houses have gates in front of their drives. It is an accepted thing but burglaries can still occur - and do. Stay safe wherever you are. A belated 'Happy New Year' to all my family and friends in Oldham.

I was surprised that the increase in "gated" communities takes a lib dem by surprise, especially when the gulf between the Haves and have nots is growing wider due to his policies, capping housing benefit, welfare reductions, zero hours record youth unemployment widespread use of drugs and alcohol and the attitude of the police to property crime, ahh not forgetting the cost of further education! The rich of Saddleworth probably know whats coming their way if policies continue like this.

Gates are the way forward! Its very rare to see a Police Officer on patrol these days and crime is up, don't believe the cooked statistics. The criminals that do end up in court rarely get a sentence they deserve. Burglary, in my opinion, is not deemed anywhere as serious as it should be.
My home is alarmed, gated and guarded by a large dog. The Criminals will obviously target the softer properties, is this the reason Cllr Roughley is alarmed? Maybe target the criminals and not the public?

You tend to see these developments more in Prestbury and Alderley Edge, I don't imagine they are at all controversial there. Perhaps this local councillor thinks we should live in hovells and work down't pit.
Going off the local economy though, it may be true that in Oldhan at least it's only the local criminals who can afford these houses.

Seems like Mr Roughley as nothing better to do than play the do gooder...Last Sunday a new bar opened on Rochdale Rd Denshaw Would you believe who who had been there to complain about the sign outside the new bar yes you have it Mr Roughley...This bar if succesfull could in time bring one or 2 jobs to the the local community i think or hope .
As for bringing The Prisoners out into the villages This man wants to pracice what he preaches i have no recollection of seeing him in local Pubs and bars

What happened to - 'Englishman's Home is his castle'
"The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the crown. It may be frail - its roof may shake - the wind may blow through it - the storm may enter - the rain may enter - but the King of England cannot enter."
So keep your nose out Cllr Roughly

I wonder how many alleygates Cllr. Roughley hazs asked for on behalf of his constituents. Since my local councillors got some installed behind our home, we have never felt more secure, the enclosed area is well looked after and children have somewhere safe to play. None of that has stopped my family from being friendly with neighbours, using the local facilities and visiting the nearby pubs. He should be more concerned about the damage that his government is going to the country.

When I was burgled some years ago the police officer when she finally managed to attend told me they haven't a hope of catching the thieves, gave me a crime number and advised me to claim on my contents insurance but then, without any comment from me, went into a tirade of what I COULDN'T do to make my house more secure in case any changes resulted in injury to anyone attempting to break in.....I kid you not!

It shows really that Cllr Roughley has a lot of time on his hands, musing over issues which he sees fit rather than those in his Saddleworth Ward. When the current site of Saddleworth School is turned into a "gated community" full of "aspirational houses" then he has no one to blame but himself. It's time to vote him out.

 

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