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Diggle School’s a done deal

Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date online: 09 April 2014

FINAL legal agreements have been signed to confirm a new Saddleworth School will be built in Diggle.

Relocating the school from Uppermill has been mired in controversy. Opponents argued it will devastate the village, but supporters welcomed the opportunity for a new school for the area.

Oldham Council today confirmed it has signed papers build the multi-million pound school at the former Shaw Pallet Works off Huddersfield Road.

The authority has been in negotiations to acquire the land, part of which involves exchanging the land on which the existing school stands. The option agreement now enables the council to complete the purchase over the coming months, following the granting of planning permission in the summer.

After that the council, the government’s Education Funding Agency and the school authorities will draw up detailed plans for the works.

Councillor Amanda Chadderton, cabinet member for education, employment and skills, visited the site to discuss the plans with Saddleworth School headteacher Matthew Milburn.

She said: “We know some people in the local community have expressed concerns about the plans. It’s now our challenge to come up with a scheme of associated works that can deliver the best possible solution on these matters — and we are passionate about succeeding in that task.”

Full demolition of the pallet works isn’t necessary but some parts of the upper storey will be removed to prevent the possibility of partial collapse.


I do look forward to seeing these best solutions the council comes up with for the scheme and associated works.
the figures for building and development never sacked up.

so what has changed? come on ombc. be clear to the residents and parents.
give them full costing breakdowns.

very interesting on the mention of demolition of the pallet works though? this isn't anything to do with the council for starters.

and structurally there very little wrong with the buildings.

so what going on there?

A little misleading in that the picture and the final paragraph infer that the school is planned to be built on the site of the pallet works. It is not. It is planned for the fields (some of them green belt) in between the canal and Huddersfield Road, next to the pallet works.
Also, I say 'planned' as there's no planning permission granted yet.

This was a "done deal" from the second it was considered.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluded.

"Consultations" are a sham.

"complete the purchase over the coming months, following the granting of planning permission in the summer"

Well, it's good to know that permnission being granted isn't a foregone conclusion is it?

Oh... It is..

What a farce.

Remember the "planning permission conditions" on Waterhead academy? The traffic impact study that was never done, the contamination study that was never done.

Planning permission.. What a joke.

What the council want they get. Just look Foxdenton Development. Absolute disgrace. No doubt a deal for houses has been agreed for the old Saddleworth site.

I thought a done deal was when planning permission had been granted. There is a long way to go yet.

Great news that theres a new school going ahead but I cant help but feel like this is going to ruin 2 villages, Uppermill in the fact that all the local shops will suffer and the school plot as it is now will have nice affordable houses put on it thus bringing the riff raff in from miles around and turning a great village into a GHETTO, then there Diggle which will be a death trap for pedestrians with all the extra traffic going through it, its bad enough now!!!!

Looking forward to councillor Amanda Chadderton et al profusely apologising when this disaster in the making finally proves its critics right.

What a tragic decision for Diggle. There is very little left of the villages of Saddleworth as I remember them; so much of the land has been built on already. Enough is enough. The poor residents of Diggle must know it's going to be a nightmare getting in or out of the village when this school and the primary school are starting and ending and dread this plan going ahead. Who listened to them in all of this? Not the Council evidently.

Good. Now let's get on with it. Saddleworth kids deserve as good school facilities as the rest of the borough.

Nah it ain't a done deal is it. Very misleading headline.

So much for democracy as the only ones who wanted it are the ones who will make huge profits and not the majority of locals who have been ignored for not wanting it built.Should be fun watching all the school buses and parents cars trying to squeeze through the bottle neck at the village entrance .I suppose double yellow lines will be next leaving the villagers no where to park or a land grab (sorry,compulsory purchase order ) on the gardens to widen the road .Slow hand clap to Oldham Council?

I can guess who will get to build houses on the old site. Anyone who tries to turn into Huddersfield Rd from Wool Road will know how difficult it is to progress, as the residents are quite rightly parked outside their houses, and its in effect a single lane road. Can you imagine the chaos with buses and loads of cars trying to get in and out. The other roads are single track round there as well. It will be total gridlock every school day right down into Uppermill.

Finally, a decision has been made!

Maybe we can now talk about what the new school will be like, and the type of education the children of Saddleworth will receive.

we all know what the site in uppermill will be used for,it's a done deal and as been for ages !

Urm Mr Sutcliffe, when has new buildings ever made education better?
No matter if its a new building or not, its up to the individual to possess the skill, and if Oldham keeps upsetting people, then more will get together next time something tries to get through.
The council never listens to no one, as the cases with these,and just continues to do as it pleases,as its not being paid by themselves.

Oh great what a choice of site. Not only traffic chaos, but just to add to the fun there's a canal alongside! So we can expect, totally correctly, howls of indignation from the canal restoration people who have done a fantastic job, about the drink cans, crisp bags etc. that will be hurled in. When not polluting the canal in that way they will no doubt entertain themselves by hurling each other in. How long after opening to the first drowning?

Who on earth cares who builds houses on the old site?

If the council doesn't realise the best value for it for the common pot then it's failing in its duty to the community at large.

But that really is a trivial side issue to getting a new facility for Saddleworth kids.

I think the 'moaners' have it by 12 to 1 here. Some top level moaning, getting in all the key words that make up a first class moan.

Keep it up for my entertainment please...but guess what, you wont stop progress.


I've taught in a building built in 1834 and one built in 1968 and I'm Chair of Governors of one built in 2002 and I know which ones helped the teachers and children to perform best.

Fascinating how when the council has listened to the majority, the minority always think it hasn't listened at all.

Eddie, have those whose lives are going to be 'negatively' affected by this appalling decision, no right to express their points of view. Far from "moaning", this is legitimate concern.

Remember people. You have to agree with everything our glorious council leader decree's, otherwise you're a moaner.

Well we have known for months that the only site that the Education Funding Agency would accept as viable for the funding available was the Diggle site. Uppermill was not an option when they said this. We need a new school and we should now get one even if it’s not an ideal site. If the selfish people stop it now we won’t have a school at all very soon.

Why is raising intelligible issues and concerns to a planning proposal a moan?

Why is putting your point of view and feelings across a moan?

This is a democracy, right?

Why cannot we question "Progress" Without being attacked?

Eddie saying "guess what... you won't stop progress". This is EXACTLY why I question progress in the first place! Because it is big, and arrogant, and forceful, and short sighted, and narrow minded, and subsequently highly damaging.

Moaning or not the majority of people commenting are more wrapped up in what will happen to 'the villages' rather than how this will benefit the eduction of the children of Saddleworth and surrounding areas.
Anyone suggesting 'a new school doesn't mean the eduction will be any better' is a very narrow minded individual.
With having a new school comes new facilities as a whole and don't we all want what is the very best we can offer the children and not second best 'stuff'.

Just waiting for one of my favourite moaners on here to ask 'will it have a flat or pitched roof'?

@Owdamer - it works both ways. Just because people might support Council decisions on this school or Foxdenton or the new sports hall etc, then they shouldn't be subjected to abusive comments either.


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