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Council close to deal for new school site

Date published: 17 January 2014

OLDHAM Council is in final negotiations to buy the controversial Diggle site for a new Saddleworth School.

Despite opposition to a move away from the present Uppermill location, the authority is pressing ahead on a deal to buy the 13.28-acre former WH Shaw pallet works.

The plot, off Huddersfield Road, was last year selected as the preferred site option under the Government’s Priority School Building programme.

Saddleworth parish councillor Mike Buckley has led campaign group Save Diggle Action Group (SDAG) against the move and claims he has huge support. He joined fellow councillor Lesley Schofield in quitting the Lib-Dems to to become an Independent over the issue.

Councillor Buckley claims SDAG’s plans show the same facilities — or better — can be achieved in Uppermill and the council’s proposals will urbanise Diggle.

Oldham Council says Diggle was selected after consideration of 15 different sites as a potential home for the new school.

Councillor Amanda Chadderton, Cabinet member for education, employment and skills, said: “We’re making good progress on the next steps to deliver a new Saddleworth School.

“We fully understand some people remain concerned about certain aspects of the plans and we are listening to them.”


Lesley Schofield has not been a member of the Lib-Dems for a long time
And I believe Mr Buckley was going to be replaced as the group leader on the. Parish. Council did he jump?

ombc have recently produced a questions and answers webpage that is meant to clear up the questions asked by local & saddleworth residents and parents of potential and current pupils.

and having read this there seems to be very little actual info and continued misinformation on key points raised.

ombc had better get their act together as they have now accepted responsibility for ensuring this scheme works.

if it fails then all those involved should stand down immediately.

The sooner the deal is done the better. Saddleworth students deserve much better than being on a building site for 2 years that Mike Buckley wants to condemn them to. The present school is on at least 3 levels and too small a site for a modern secondary school.

Hopefully this will be the end of the opposition saying it can be built on the existing site. Whether they agree or not the people funding it say the only one they will fund is in Diggle. They need to ask do they want a school or protect the land for a few months until their lovely new factory is put on it. We will all have to bus our kids off elsewhere. The new Pheonix school- so plenty of places.

So - who will be the new owner of the present site?

Listening to peoples concerns but totally ignoring them.You have told them and shown them that Diggle does not want the village to house the new school but you're getting it whether you want it or not

The site is on a FLOOD PLAIN and I have seen The proposed site under flood conditions, Its also a "green Belt" site, or was in my memory. I suppose its also tough cheese for all the householders on the side of the road opposite the proposed site with all the headaches and disturbance that the construction and subsequent traffic chaos that it will bring.

....even though it is actually being built on a floodplain...And I have seen the land well and truly underwater! also aren`t the fields around the WH Shaw`s site Green Belt!

If Cllr Buckley had any children at the school would he want them negotiating a building site every day with disruption to lessons and facilities. I know he says this would'nt happen, but it would be inevitable. In reply to John Price. There are some people in Diggle who do want it. Some people appreciate the modern facilities that will be available for the public to use.

@youcouldnot etc. School playing fields would be an acceptable use of Greenbelt.


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