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Locals in tears as trees come down at Foxdenton

Reporter: Lucy Kenderdine
Date online: 27 February 2014

RESIDENTS have been reduced to tears at the sight of the felling of dozens of trees and wildlife habitats to make way for the Foxdenton development and new road junction.

The work, which residents say started without warning, saw trees felled near the old railway line at Crossley Bridge, Broadway, where a new link road for the development will be built this summer. About an acre of trees was cut down.

For one woman who has lived next to the trees for almost 40 years, the emotional effect proved to be devastating, leaving her in a “catatonic state and unable to speak” following an asthma attack.

Sheila Bailey (76) and her husband Bill (78) live at a neighbouring house on Broadway just feet from the trees.

Her daughter Julia Turner said: “Their home, the beautiful countryside surrounding it and their many animal visitors are a huge and very important part of her life. When the work started, my Mum was visibly shaken and she was sobbing uncontrollably. I have never seen her so shaken and upset.”

The removal of trees is one in a series of setbacks for local residents, coming only a short time after the controversial development was given outline planning permission. The site, to be called Broadway Green, will hold 500 homes and new warehouses.

Resident Pamela Norbury (67), who lives a few metres from the felled trees, said: “I think it is absolutely dreadful. Where is the wildlife going to go now? We know foxes, badgers and birds live among the trees and cutting them down means their homes have been destroyed.”

A spokesperson for Oldham Council confirmed that no planning consent is needed for the removal of the trees and they are not covered by Tree Preservation Orders.

The developers have argued that wildlife in the area was taken into account before the trees were removed.


Get a grip!

Another catastrophic blow to the greenery and wildlife within the borough to appease the bulging increase in population. These area's should be protected. I feel these acts will be very regrettable in the near future.

Disgusting. There are many baron areas of Oldham where this development could have been built. It is disgraceful and only a matter of time before a major accident happens on Broadway. I hope Mr Coulter the local lad who lives in Grasscroft wakes up to devastation outside his front door one day.

"The boss of the country's biggest insurance firm, Legal & General, has told Sky News he is concerned about a lack of spending on flood defences.

He said: "We've had a housing policy that has encouraged too much building in flood plains area. And we've been on and on about this." Lets wait and see eh?

The place is always full of Dog muck, the sooner this development is built the better. Is a shame they didn't think about the local wildlife when they were letting their dogs mess all over the area.

Badger are protected some one needs to contact the environment agency and let them know.

Yet again, we have a situation where concrete and brick will be "God". One day, someone will see the suffrance of their ways and stop taking every bit of space. What point is it having a Bill go through Parliament to create "Double Summertime" when you won't be able to get out and enjoy it in any "green havens".

Oldham MBC won't be content until they have concreted over every green area within their planning control. Thank goodness the best bits of Saddleworth are within the control of the Peak District National Park Authority - a body that even Oldham MBC cannot overrule.

Pure vandalism.

Sad but has been over grone for years.
Kids use the bridge for drug taking and setting fires.

When Mr Coulter said Broadway Green he clearly did not have the environment in mind. He must have meant the colour of the money he will be making from this development or a place he is yet to Bulldoze in his home village of Greenfield.

Now the planning permission has been granted there's no point in hanging around. There's job for Oldhamers at the end of this.

Not only is this emotionally upsetting to residents surrounding this site but once again to be blatantly ignored and not considered by local Councillors prior to this action. A little communication and notification may have stopped the reaction and illness caused by such a shocking and rapid destruction of the environment.Lack of consideration, respect, and hamfisted bullying tactics to a community that has paid into this local council all their lives is the thanks they get.

Utterly shameful! Those who have been complicit in this desecration should hang their heads in shame.

Clear everything immediately after initial planning approval before spring makes Foxdenton lush again. Then when specific planning applications are submitted people will have nothing to offer as complaints above what has already been ignored by planners as the area will be sterile and barren. Regeneration for Foxdenton has been the massive John Henry Newman College, the sewage works to be enlarged to handle all of Oldhams sewage & effluent & the loss of all geen land. Thanks OMBC & Foxdenton LLp

So -how have the Council and the developers dealt with the wildlife? Do they all have comfortable homes to go to? Or, as usual, are they as ignoring everything that doesn't fit in with their plans? Local opinion and consultation are not taken into account and to "go to consultation" is just a means of ticking a box.

im glad this isn't happening in saddleworth.
chadderton is built up anyway.

Mr JMTS can you guarantee that there will be jobs for Oldhamers? With 500 new houses being built that in itself creates 500 more households that will need a job (unless they have one in another town). The people who cut down the trees already had a job so no new jobs there.

While I sympathise 100% with the Foxdenton Protection Group, I am baffled as to why they are continuing with a fight that they have lost. Surely the only purpose now of the group would be to appoint an independent candidate to run against those who clearly didn't represent them on this matter. Anything else is a complete waste of time and emotions.

housing is needed not to sure about the business premises there are plenty around town empty but housing is the main priority ask anyone...the shortfall of housing in another 5 years will be tremendous and you cant stop progress......

Ironic that Blakemans Tree Services are the family from Foxdenton Farm, alot of back scratching gone on there methinks.
Does Chadderton need another industrial estate, have we not got enough empty units on Broadgate, Greengate, Arkwright Street, plus an empty Stakehill and Kingsway down the road.
The original plan for the Police Station to go next to the fire station was dumped because 'there would be another set of lights on Broadway', Go configure!!

For the billionth time, this is land long designated for development. Should not be a surprise when someone wants to build on it. It breaks no planning law and no tree preservation orders. I understand if local people don't like change but no law has been broken. Would be interesting if all these people would be worrying about badgers if this was somewhere else in Oldham?

Well said @cg. @JMTS How many jobs? Local councillors in the ward have ignored residents' concerns for over a year.
The people feel let down and betrayed. I hope that Mr & Mrs Bailey feel better soon. @Hornblower you are extremely insensitive with your comments. The people mentioned in the piece and who are directly affected by this are parents and grandparents. Their quality of life in their twilight years will be blighted by this development. Maybe people should remember that before writing.

Well said cg!
I agree with you 100%
The lack of communication and compassion is unbelievable!
The people that matter most have been totally ignored. It's all about money! End of!
The destruction of the trees will have already had a dramatic effect on the wild life.
And yes Hornblower, I would like to get a grip...around the neck of those responsible for this mass destruction of our environment!

Oh come on Foxdenton NIMBYs, badgers? Yes it's a shame but it's definitely no surprise, this has been years in coming. If you are so desperate to see a tree when washing up move to Greenfield OR buy a house next to the golf club. Any local council is duty bound to be sympathetic to planning applications for new houses and business parks. Hand wringing NIMBYs in denial only have themselves to blame.

Exactly my point Minerva, what has happened to the wild life now that they have no cover and that their homes have been destroyed?
Bramble - Of course people would still be worried about the Badgers, they are a protected species! What has been done to protect them here? And I know for a fact that one of the reasons the Baileys and other residents chose to live in this area was because of the wildlife and surrounding green space! Where is your compassion?!

Jobs for Oldhamers JMTS? Are there many Oldhamers left after the mass immigration policies of the last 20 years!!!!! This country is collapsing under the weight of mass immigration and this vandalism is just another consequence of it.

Why should they give up? The land hasn't been sold. Why? Because the battle isn't over.

It is disgusting what the councillors have done here to claw back the debts. Right from the start they betrayed their community. We won't forget, and more and more people are realising the mistake. Jobs will be lost

Kingsway not far from my home lies desolate and baron after a similar venture some years ago. The whole site is 90% vacant. Everything that stood in its path was demolished. It appears nothing is ever learnt from these mistakes. Do we have a list of business's ready to occupy this land Bramble? You appear to back every single decision that comes from OMBC, right or wrong. I assume you are in someway affiliated with OMBC or perhaps the Labour party?

As long as its not in your back garden eh Bramble and JMTS.

I use to go on cross county runs from school back in the 90s.Was over grone then.And can remember when we all tried to get the old bridge on broadway turned in to a safe under pass to get to school.but no they said and just let more of our school friends be killed. They will always do what they wont.

@Mandinka...Yes Badgers! Why should people have to move from properties that they have already chosen because of it’s surrounding green space?!
What a ridiculous statement to make! I think it goes a little bit further than looking at a tree whilst washing up! Did you not read the news article? I suggest you take your blinkers off and read up a little bit more on this development and the impact it will have as a whole, before you leave such ridiculous comments.

@naturlover - compassion for what? This is development land being developed. I appreciate that is wont be nice having a building site on the doorstep but this can not be a surprise. Over 20 years this has been designated for development so bound to have someone build on it eventually
@sunflower - what could councillors do if this didnt break any planning law? Can't be refused and if it was it would be appealed and the council would lose costing more money

Mandinka....If you want to see a tree move to Greenfield!! Are you for real these people bought their houses in Chadderton because they had trees ask people on Derwent who have lived there for 40 years of more. Would you want to wake up to a mass of brick walls outside your window after 40 years of not???

This council is decimating our area ,they make mistake after mistake and this is one big mistake ,new roads , or not the infrastructure is not good enough for this development ,time is coming for the residents to take action against these incompetent councillors .

Mandinka would you please go and see my parents and their home? Have a look what is going to happen to it. They are not NIMBY's. It is nothing to do with being a NIMBY, it is about protecting something that you believe in. We can not move anywhere now, even if we wanted to as no one wants our property.This is the start of the destruction of green land in Oldham.

I see this as another decision by councillors that dont care, and hope that this dont happen to the likes of bramble and jmts, as am sure they would love a nice big housing and industrial area on their doorstep.
And obviously will be replaced by someone with common sense, once voting comes again, as to jobs for oldham, with all the competition we have not a chance.

@timberwolf - no affiliation whatsoever. Just pointing out fact that this development breaks no planning law so the council have no valid grounds to refuse permission! No political bias at all, just pure fact.
@charterplan - if an area near my house that has been designated for development for over 20 years is developed then I wouldn't be that shocked to be honest! That's what's funny about development land, it gets developed

It's a great pity these days that anybody who complains about the destruction of countryside (no matter where) is often labelled as a NIMBY by people who jump on the bandwagon of tabloid thinking without any informed debate.

Compassion is the feeling of empathy for others. Compassion is the emotion that we feel in response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help.For Bramble who clearly does not understand what this is.

This is not about the council doing a deal; anybody selling out, or the local councillors abandoning residents. It is all about private land owners and a private company agreeing a sale. The land was designated for this use in 1976. Any home-owners not aware of this have only themselves to blame. The Borough needs new homes, people need new jobs and there will be a new public, landscaped park with a cycle track and pathways. The new road will reduce traffic along Broadway. What's not to like?

Well said Alice. The boo hoo NIMBYs want to scream and scream and scream until the council change their minds. It's not going to happen. 1, Go to Ryder & Dutton 2, Sell house 3, Move to Greenfield 4, Open a badger sanctuary.

@Iovechadderton - I fully understand compassion but thank you for the definition. I find it hard to see where the "suffering of others" comes in to this? Land designated for development is now being developed? This should not be a surprise to anyone?

Bramble you don't know what you are talking about, you are always spouting the same rubbish on here it's embarrassing. The land has not been designated for 20 years at all. And the council own key parts of the land and could refuse to sell it in the interested of the health of the town as opposed to making a dent in their £150m debts

"Alice" you know Broadway very well. Go and visit the elderly residents who live at 232 and tell them that!

Mandinka..... even if we wanted to sell up and move to Saddleworth (which we don't) who would be dumb enough to buy our homes with this threat hanging over them? We are not all tree huggers, some of us just want to live in a semi-rural area. If we wanted to live in a busy, industrial area we would have bought a house near to one already in existence.
Alice... how does an access road reduce Broadway traffic? How do you get to the access road? Answer: BY DRIVING ALONG BROADWAY!!!!

Well said Sunflower, I couldn't have said it better myself. As I said before Mandinka, go and visit the elderly residents with your advice. You clearly do not have grandparents of your own. Go and talk to the 84 year old lady with cancer of the spine too with your wonderful advice. We are not NIMBYS. We are trying to protect our area and loved ones.

How can new jobs, and new roads take traffic off broadway. What's not to like? Well if it sounds that good ,I'm sure it could have been done to brighten up some dilapidated area somewhere, instead of ruining an already lovely landscape, or maybe up Saddleworth somewhere, they would have loved it!

@IoveChadderton well said. This development affects the WHOLE of Chadderton but in particular residents who live on Foxdenton Lane, Broadway, Milton Drive, Chilton Ave, Fold Green, Derwent Drive, Keswick Ave, Coniston Close as well as Hunt Lane, the Old Coal Yard area, Firwood Park and Middleton Road. @Mandinka you have no clue what you are talking about. How dare you call residents affected by a 12-15 year development NIMBYs? @Sunflower well said. This is not over. Back the FDPG.

@mandinka, maybe you haven't heard, but selling houses in the local area is now impossible, firstly to get any remote interest, and secondly, getting the amount the house was worth a couple of years ago! I presume you already live in greenfield and wake up to the sight of beautiful greenery with foxes, badgers and the like running around in 'your back yard?', progress, nonsense, rich people wanting to get richer!

@sunflower - pretty sure the majority of the privately owned land has long been designated for development which several people have mentioned on this site. The Council can not refuse the development on private land as it breaks no planning law. Why would the Council retain the other land next to a development when it can do nothing with it? Why not sell it and raise some finance to be invested for the rest of the town?

My friend took her grandchild for her 'adventure in the woods' was confronted by a burly workman who told her she couldn't go the way she had gone for 30 years. The little girl was crying as her woods had gone . She saw 3 rabbits scurrying around not knowing what to do and trees shed known for years cut down and piled up at the side, she asked her grandmother if the trees would be back for the blackberries. How sad!

I find it really frustrating when people who are standing up for what they believe is right and protecting their little space in this supposedly democratic country are labelled with highly offensive names. I think there are quite a few people commenting on here who need to take heed of their own advice, get a grip, take off their granddad slippers and go and see the parts of Oldham that need the regeneration, renewal and level of investment that is currently being put into this project.

Thank you fairbank007. As you say many residents will be affected. Bramble needs to change his record. We knew it was up for development but its the scale of it, the lack of consultation, the ward councillors who have never been near the area to speak to them and the link road that has been approved. Well said KirkyB. We are Nimbys because we care about others and our area.

MsT - The new link road will take traffic off Broadway from Crossley Bridge. It will enable motorists to avoid all of the crossings and junctions between it and Semple Way and will take traffic off Foxdenton Lane, facilitating easier access to Broadgate and the motorway. The new parkland will provide cycle tracks and pedestrian ways that will connect Foxdenton Park, Crossley playing fields and the newly refurbished Crossley Estate and Chadderton Town Centre. Try to be positive for once.

Alice Bramble & Mandinka-the 3 of you seem to know an awful lot about these proposals, much more than most residents. And you appear to be singing from the same hymnsheet. You are scathing & sarcastic, and mock the genuine distress of the residents.(I'm not distressed, just angry) I have no idea who you are, but it seems to me that the only people who are in favour of this plan are the councillors, the developers or those who stand to gain financially from it. Care to enlighten us?

lovechadderton - You refer to 'ward councillors who have never been near the area to speak to them'. That is grossly untrue. Chadderton councillors have attended all the meetings and spoken from the platform, except when they were specifically told to keep away. From the very start, they offered to work with residents but that offer has been rewarded with abuse and insults. The fact is they have been honest and not misled people, unlike other non-Chadderton frauds who are seeking election.

Alice you talk very much like a councillor who knows a lot about the traffic on Broadway. I really wish that you would go and speak to the residents on Derwent Drive and Broadway near to Crossley Bridge to reassure them of this. I know that in May 2013 another councillor was against these kind of roads being built.

@alice (or should I say Dave), we already have pedestrian ways that connect Foxdenton Park to Crossley, Crossley Estate and Chadderton Town Centre, it happens to be the very same green space you are at present destroying, a new link road will not take traffic away, it will obviously bring more traffic to the area to get access to the 500+ houses and copious amounts of soon to be deserted business units! What a load of ...........

It may reduce the traffic to a certain degree by facilitating easier access to Broadgate, how can you say it will reduce the traffic when they still have to drive down Broadway in order to get to said junction. It will also not prevent the use of Broadway as a cut through from the M62/A627 to the M60 and with another set of lights surely will hold up the traffic even more. I agree with MrsT, and would rather stay where I am, if anything this whole debacle has made our community a stronger one..

How dare Saddleworth squire say 'chadderton built up anyway,glad it's not happening in Saddleworth'
In reply to 'the noise' dont worry we are excitedly awaiting the elections.
Latics 38- housing not needed on open land, lots of dilapidated areas could be improved with housing .
Bramble- always worry about animals whether they are from Saddleworth,Chadderton or Australia!
Mandika- if you live in Geeenfield then I wouldn't want to !
And Alice - it all sounds beautiful, want to buy a house?

Alice I clearly missed the offer of support from the ward councillors. The questions that were asked at the meetings I attended could not or were not answered and I am sure some were recorded so I could ask for a copy of that just to check I misheard something. It does not change the feelings of all the residents, the feelings of being let down by the council and this has just been confirmed by the clearing of trees that has just stared. Go and take a look

@MsT - I am neither a councillor or have any involvement with this development. All the info I have is off the council website and planning application, nothing that is not in the public realm. My point is that the local Councillors and Council are being abused for a decision that is out of their control. My whole point all along is that this application breaks no planning law so it can't have been refused. It can't be a surprise when development land is developed?

I've attended the Foxdenton meetings and councillors McLaren and Hibbert have always been there,they are the only councillors who have consistently been willing to talk to us residents,despite the childish abuse they got throughout! As for this issue making this community stronger,the Foxdenton group are intent on tearing it apart by criticising anyone who 'dares' not to agree with them by copying comments from here to their page & inviting people to criticise them, bullying tactics, appalling!

In reply to Realistic, who isn't really. This issue will make the community stronger ,just wait for the local elections! I haven't seen any evidence of bullying tactics,and the reason comments are copied is to enable as many people as possible to know what is going on. Not a lot of people have the Internet, a lot do not have the Chronicle, and now the Advertiser is not readily available ,there is a need to try and get the information to as many local people as possible to elevate the shock!

@realistic, I can only presume when you say "us residents" that you don't actually live on Derwent Drive, Milton Drive or Foxdenton Lane! And if you did your view may be completely different! @Bramble, it's not the fact that the land is being developed, just the total indifference shown to the residents, nobody is saying change shouldn't happen, but nobody wants to wake up in the morning and see a huge warehouse when they look out of their window! @elhar, fantastic comment, well said!

@Realistic, I don't see any invites to people to criticise on the Foxdenton protection page? Or bullying tactics. They are simply copy and pasting the PUBLIC comments from here onto their page to make people more aware. They have no control over the reactions of the residents. I hardly class people objecting to something they feel strongly about as 'Childish abuse' Try speaking to some to the residents, ask THEIR opinions. Experience the community spirit for yourself.

MsT, no, I am not a developer and will not benefit financially from the development. Your conspiracy theory is pathetic, anyone disagreeing with the one eyed NIMBYs has either a vested interest or is a "Troll". You can post my comments on your page with some pictures of trucks and herons for all the good it will do you. Oh, and I don't live in Greenfield either, so wrong again.

Realistic what do you mean by childish abuse? I must have missed that meeting although I thought that I had attended them all. If you are a resident how can you possibly not be affected by all the heartbreak, despair and disbelief that is going on around you? Who are the bullies? People are entitled to opinions.

Mandinka, I think I speak for many when I say that your comments are hurtful, sarcastic and completely unnecessary. Your reference to us all as "one-eyed NIMBYs" is disgraceful and completely unfounded. You hide behind your anonymous username repeatedly spouting this rubbish, its no wonder people are reposting your comments. Someone stands up to you and you respond disrespectfully and its a joke. The group stand strong and will continue to do so whatever happens in the future.

Mandinka you're getting a little confused. At no point did I say you lived in Greenfield,(you said "move to Greenfield"-twice) I haven't called you any names, there's no conspiracy theory and I don't "post your comments on my page". All I did was to express my personal reaction to your comments. If you check back, you will find only YOU have called people any names "boo hoo NIMBYs"? Like you, we are allowed to comment & express our dismay. And you HAVE been scathing & sarcastic. That's all....

@mandinka, 'one eyed NIMBYS', how childish and rude! However much you agree with the development, it doesn't alter the fact that the residents have been completely ignored, so I for one suggest you take your rude comments elsewhere, and as for reposting your comments, nobody is interested in what you have to say! Especially as you have to 'hide' behind a false name to say them!

@Michelle K - I suppose my point then is I am unclear about the "indifference" that has been shown? As an outsider looking in, nothing from a planning aspect seems any different to any other application? The Council did the required notice in the area, local media and online. There were consultation and public meetings held? Anything above the norm would be at great cost and would open the floodgates for every application across Oldham which would be financially unsustainable

I am utterly disgusted by mandinka and his comments.He is indeed childish , rude and a very sad individual.What on earth is he talking about: herons and trucks??? What on earth does Alice mean when he talks about non Chadderton frauds? All the residents want is support from their local councillors. Elderly residents want and need someone to listen to them? How does that make someone a fraud?

Sadly Mandinka is continuing to do, what I personally believe, is the one thing he is good at...antagonising people. His comments are purposely disrespectful. Leave him be everyone, don't feed into it.

So you lot from up in them there hills
shall we campain to have a new bypass from sSaddleworth'
To Ashton.


@Bramble, So now you are an 'outsider' looking in? A very well informed outsider! Better informed, it seems, than us 'Insiders' Interesting!! It all goes back to 'compassion', or lack of it. Read Ilovechadderton's definition of it again. Compassion towards the residents who are losing everything that they love about where they live and compassion for the wild life. It isn't all about views, it's about pollution, noise, heavy traffic. Need I go on? Why is this so difficult for you to grasp?

Bramble-We understand the developers did everything within the law,(we are quite au fait with the rules) but the idea of "consultation" suggests that having consulted, they might actually take the responses into account. No use consulting if no one responds to what we say. They have not made changes to improve the situation for the residents. We will have to live with the finished product(and the years of noise, dirt & pollution) without any perceived benefit. A cycle path & pedestrian walkway?

I am astounded that people are still whinging about this. The facts are the council have (quite correctly) approved planning permission for land designated for building on. It is NOT greenbelt people. Why are they surprised that trees are being knocked down, how else do you build a road? The Foxdenton Protection Group (Who don't actually protect anything) have now resorted to posting on-line pictures of wagons going down Foxdenton Lane. What's that all about? Utterly pointless like the group!


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