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.”
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