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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.”


Common sense at last...the land surrounding the area of Dobcross loom works/Shaws pallets and cases...was always green belt, on a flood plain (and I have SEEN it flooded) and a road logistics nightmare at the end of Wool Road, Im particularly pleased for the long term residents who faced "carmageddon" outside their properties, a sensible re-appraisal in my opinion...

Commonsense may prevail!!

Lets hope Oldham Council dont just ignore this and ride roughshod over the wishes of all the locals concerned.

Well done to SDAG! I hope that you manage to get the new school built on the same site as now. Much better for the pupils and much better for Diggle.

Increasingly, Oldham Council seems deplorably out-of-touch with the wishes of its citizens. No greater example has there been in recent years than the Saddelworth School debacle.

Commonsense at last. Oldham Council have long been out of touch.

Who are these mysterious "Technical" Committee members?
What "Technical" knowledge do they have.
One has to assume it is a Construction Industry Knowledge, and a knowledge of Local Govt workings on how to get the best deal, that sort of thing.
Anyone know?

can hope common sense prevails.

interestingly the chron's own saddleworth extra paper this month has a double page spread on the flooding of 1964 when areas of saddleworth flooded only 50 years ago.

the fields earmarked for building have flooded almost once every year while I lived there.

the same fields that supposedly only flood once every 100 years according to the councils report.

its not just the danger for the school potentially flooding.

the floodplain relieves the river downstream

It does make me laugh all the conspiracy theories about the Council. They can't force through planning anywhere without it meeting legal planning requirements. Find it very disrespectful to the hardworking professionals within the planning department. Exactly the same as Foxdenton, as soon as something is proposed that people don't like they blame the Council

Debbie Abrahams will be out of a job when the next election comes round if Diggle goes ahead.

She remains curiously quiet on the issue.

Sorry Bramble. Oldham Council Planning is out of touch with the real world. I put planning in for an extension to include a 12 foot wide garage, they refused planning saying it wasn't in keeping with the area. 3 months later, allowed a bungalow behind our property to be demolished and a two storey house built in its place. Not what you know, but WHO you know at Oldham Council. FACT.

@lgwatcher - not sure how I could even accept your opinion as it is clearly biased based on your personal experience. Just because you didn't get planning permission it just comes across as sour grapes.


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