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100m Foxdenton scheme gets the big hands-up

Reporter: ROBBIE MacDONALD
Date online: 13 February 2014

CONTROVERSIAL plans for Chadderton’s £100million Foxdenton Lane housing and business development were approved by Oldham Council’s planning committee last night.

Councillors passed a so-called hybrid application in two parts: the first giving full planning permission for a spine road connecting the A663 Broadway and B6189 Foxdenton Lane, vehicle access to the site and demolition of buildings; the second giving outline planning permission for an employment-led, mixed development of offices, warehousing, factory units, homes and a 20-acre “linear park”.

The massive development - to be called Broadway Green - will see largely open land transformed into a 120-acre site with up to 500 new homes and industrial units up to 30 metres high, including a 700,000 sq ft warehouse.

The scheme was overwhelmingly backed by councillors for its potential for jobs and upmarket homes. But critics said other old industrial sites across the borough should be redeveloped rather than building on open space. They also raised fears about future traffic congestion, noise and pollution, pressure on local schools, public footpaths and the future of historic Foxdenton Hall.

Jameson Bridgwater the council’s head of planning said: “Transport has been a key issue and we have taken guidance from all the authorities. We have consulted other organisations on issues such as ecology and drainage. This is a major site for Oldham. There are very few sites that can deliver this kind of opportunity for inward investment for large-scale employment.”

Local residents voiced strong opposition to the plans, including problems with traffic and a lack of local school places. The council received 259 letters of objection when the application was initially submitted last summer; another 47 in response to the revised application.

Last night the proposed T-junction on Broadway was described as “monstrous” by a number of speakers.

Applicant Mike Coulter, of Foxdenton LLP, defended the plans. He said: “I’m an Oldham lad who spent 22 years living in this area. I have family and relatives there. I’m not a faceless London developer going for a quick buck. I want to get Oldham working and this plan builds on the great work by the council in recent years. I understand the concerns of people living close by and we will engage with them”

The Department for Trade has offered a £1.7million grant towards road works for the site, which could create up to 2,000 jobs.

There were gasps from the public when they heard the worst case scenario was for the scheme to continue for 12-15 years. But the plan us for completion in six years.


DISAPPOINTED Eric Parr, a member of the Foxdenton and District Protection Group, said he believed there was scope for a sensible and sensitive development... “but this is not it”.
“I am astonished at the decision and think it is pathetic. The committee has displayed a lack of knowledge and research that has been done before making a decision.”

John Walton of the Ramblers Association, said he was far from happy with the outcome, but expected nothing else: “I am still be to convinced that this development has the financial backing to succeed — especially with the heavy financial impositions already placed on the developments.

Dennis Heil of Foxdenton Lane said: “Foxdenton Lane is not conducive for HGVs or construction site traffic, or even domestic traffic from 500 houses. He also expressed concern for local wildlife.

Michael Lawson, secretary of Chadderton Historical Society, said: “I’m very disappointed, but everybody expected this to go ahead. Traffic pollution is already high and this will make it worse. The linear park is a token gesture.”

Comments

A disgraceful decision, there are areas of Oldham far more suited to development but the profit margins would be less. This is all about greed and nothing else. Shame on you Oldham council, you may have signed a death warrant on all wildlife in the area, where do you suggest it goes as we destroy the habitat? Future generations will miss out on any wildlife but they can look on the internet which is the only place you will find wildlife in the future in Chadderton!!!

Its appalling how they got this through the back door. They do not own half the land and a large proportion of it is not even up for sale. But that is currently irrelevant in planning law and so they used that as a tool to get permission for the road, which once built, will allow them to do whatever they want. The number of houses has already gone up from 380 to 500..

This was a showcase worthy of Eastern Europe. Democratic it wasn't. The apparatchiks were paying lipservice to the process, with one notable exception. Notable that most of the Planning Committee live in leafy Saddleworth, as does "local lad" Coulter, so what do they care. But the fight goes on - we won't give in easily!

Anyone moving into the Foxdenton area over the last 6 years would have known via the land search that this area was destined to be a mixed industrial and housing site. Looks like this is a private sector led development mainly on privately owned land. Why do these NIMBYs blame a Labour Council for approving this application. If they had turned it down the Government would have approved it and it would have cost the Council about £300,000 in costs. Is this what the NIMBY s want?

Katryn sorry but the make up at last nights planning meeting was
10 labour, 3 Liberal Democrats 1Conservative as far as I can see only two /three were from Saddleworth,even if the Libdems and cons voted against,it would have been carried by 6votes.Sunflower is right you don't need to own the land to be able to put a planning application in so you could put one in to change your neighbours house if you could afford it. The law really is an Ass

Katryn states most of the Planning Committee live in "leafy Saddleworth". Since when does 4 out of 13 equate to "most"?

Well I never ! it was obvious this would pass planning,it will create a nice rat run between Foxdenton Lane and Broadway for all the H G V s.Straight off the motorway alongside the canal.All you people who are affected by this land grab use your vote wisely at election time.

@bentong - how will these votes be used wisely? This application breaks no planning law, no political party of any persuasion could have rejected it as they would have faced an appeal, lost it and cost the Council a fortune. Gladys is right, this land has long been designated for development so it can not be a surprise that someone has put in an application

@Gladys. Derwent Drive, Coniston Avenue and the people who live on Broadway who will be affected by the link road have done so for 50 years or more. Some are in their 80's and in fact in the last 2 weeks I lost 2 of my lovely neighbours and another one has been diagnosed with spine cancer. They are not NIMBY's it is not about that at all. They will spend their last years living next to pollution, noise and their peaceful lives will be shattered.

What a surprise Oldham Council not listening to its rate payers ,I presume they will come back to us all and say we are getting a Rate reduction because of the huge increase traffic that will come with this development ,there is no way they can take traffic away from residence ,the area is not suitable for this kind of development .

NIMBY being people who dont want Oldham Council, who are in charge, of this destructive joint venture with Foxdenton LLP. In their own words the council would lose substantial capital receipt from the sale of council owned land if the development did not go through. Also Foxdenton is having the sewage works increased in size so it can deal with all Oldhams waste whilst Royton's is decommissioned & soley for overfow storage. Let Oldham celebrate more potential minimum wage jobs & over-population!

Oh sweet sweet karma. Serves the NIMBYs right for kicking up such a stink when we tried to get new facilities for OAFC there. They're clearly keen to see Oldham continue to stagnate, both economically and in sporting terms. Couldn't have happened to a nicer group. Now, where do I put in my application for a tyre-burning facility?

Gladys.NIMBY's or not this is an extreme development and as stated in the meeting could cause disruption to the area for the next 12 to 15 years!!! Is this what you would want in your "back yard" Broadway is the busiest road in Oldham. This does not just effect the residents but everybody in the borough and further afield who use this road, people who have children who attend Newman and Radyclyff schools, as children come from all over for said schools. This has disaster written all over it.

oafclover...... What an absolute balloon you are..

@Jennyd is absolutely correct when she states this an extreme development. I have supported this group in opposing this development since they were formed. @oafclover has no idea what they are talking about by gloating over this development being passed. The residents now face up to 15 years of disruption. This is a housing led development. The Labour councillors hid their true position yet again by allowing the senior ward member to speak without revealing what they actually thought!

The residents must feel let down and betrayed by their elected representatives.
This was apparent after the meeting when people were talking.
When a community such as Chadderton comes together to oppose the biggest issue in the town for years, it is a shame that the local ward councillors failed to back them from the outset. Detrunking Broadway will not solve anything. That comment implied that the speaker supported the development but with conditions attached. What a shame he did not say it.

@Fairbank - what could they have done though if this doesn't break any planning law?

 

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