Fresh hope in school site saga
Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date online: 09 June 2014
Uppermill is to be reconsidered as the site for the new Saddleworth School.
Campaigners Save Diggle Action Group (SDAG) say intense lobbying and growing protests have led to the Educational Funding Agency (EFA) decision — and claim it is a watershed moment for the siting of the £17million school.
Headteacher Matthew Milburn gave an update to the school’s technical committee on a feasibility study into the best place to build the new school. The EFA study included the existing Uppermill site as well as the controversial Diggle site favoured by Oldham Council.
SDAG spokesman, Councillor Mike Buckley, said: “This is excellent news and knocks on the head the notion that the move is a done deal. Recent local elections sent a strong message to the powers-that-be that Saddleworth residents regard the school move to Diggle as a great mistake and want to see it remain in Uppermill.”
Despite backing from Oldham and Saddleworth parish councils to move the school from its existing Uppermill site, resistance has grown across the community.
Councillor Buckley added: “At last someone is listening to what the people of Saddleworth want.
“The proposed site in Diggle is fraught with planning and technical problems, none of which exist in Uppermill. The plans we put forward for Uppermill will cost less than building in Diggle. These plans were never properly considered, either by Oldham Council or the EFA. We will now be contacting the EFA to ask them to look seriously at our proposals.”
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