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Revolt against Foxdenton plan

Reporter: Karen Doherty
Date online: 14 March 2013

RESIDENTS handed a 650-signature petition to Oldham council last night against plans to create a business park and 450 homes on 49 hectares of green land at Foxdenton.

The proposals - no planning application has yet been submitted - have already prompted hundreds of people to attend protest meetings.

Christina Gater, chairman of Foxdenton and District Protection Group, said: “This petition is an objection to the lack of public consultation we had initially on the proposals for Foxdenton.

Mrs Gater said plans must have been in progress for some time. On February 21, Transport for Greater Manchester submitted a £2.7 million bid for Government funding on behalf of the council towards the £4.5 million cost of a new access road to the development.

Money from the Pinch Point fund, aimed at boosting economic growth by tackling highway problems, would be topped up with £600,000 from the council and over a million pounds from the private sector.

Foxdenton LLP, the group behind the proposals says the development is expected to provide more than 2,000 jobs, with 160 full-time construction workers on the eight-year building programme.

Only minutes after the petition was handed over, more than 40 residents flooded a council planning meeting in a vain attempt to oppose separate plans for 59 two, three and four-bedroom homes on a green-field site bounded by Haven Lane, Haugh Hill Road, Counthill Road and Higher Counthill Farm, next to green-belt land.

Local residents can’t understand why houses aren’t being proposed instead for the former Counthill school site nearby.

Campaigners - including the Campaign to Protect Rural England - fear developers are building on green fields with Government encouragement, rather than on previously developed “brown-field” sites, because it is cheaper.


650 signatures isn't really very many & the council is probably expecting a numbers of 'Nimbys' but Britain is not a democracy as some would have you believe and it wouldn't matter if a petition with 6 billion signatures (i.e. the whole world) were presented, these people know better than anyone else and you're all an incovenience to them.
Sad but true.

With no elections this year Labour know they can do want they want..

If you dont welcome businesses into oldham they will go elsewere and take their jobs with them,this is another case of not in my back yard!

Ahhh more nimbi's we need social housing and at ever turn "IDIOT's" do their best to scupper it, some people need to get real and wake up!.

Typical Oldham Labour Council ! Whats Battye got to do with it?? he's Failsworth West... don't even award the Residents enough respect to have a Councillor from the area concerned to accept the petition !

@UKIP Voter. Somebody please correct me, but I think John Battye is chair of planning.

Oh dear UKIP voter, don't you realise that Battye is Chair of the Planning Committee on behalf of the whole borough and that it his his committee, which may or may not include Chesterton Central councillors, which will make any decision. The important thing about a petition is that you present it to the decision makers.

Saddleworth squire - Jobs to the area really? Contractors on the whole are not local and do not require local trades. Do you think something who is currently working in Asda is suddenly going to say mmm new development I will put my hand up to do some bricklaying!!!! As for housing if you do live in Saddleworth residents object to any development. Do you want this in "your back yard" ????

jennyd....... I was referring to the Business park bringing employment to the area and to wanting it in saddleworth,no thank you,we are in a green belt area,thats why i choose to live here.

LOL.... apologies and consider myself corrected.... should have known Battye would have his fingers in many pies ...planning had to be an obvious one..... but in all honesty JMTS with so many Labour Councillors you REALLY think the individual Committees are the 'decision makers' ?

I was once the chair of a local residents group fighting against a housing development, then we realized that it was going to happen regardless if it was not houses what else could it be?? we as a group needed to work with the developers to get the best deal, we tried and they would not, so I joined the Council as a Councillor insted, I now sit on a planning committee and try to get the best deal for residents listening to their concerns. I have been there and know exactly what it is like.

We too live next to what we considered to be 'greenbelt land' which has its status changed a while ago without any of the surrounding residents knowledge. There is a large business park already within a mile of the site which is only 30% occupied. The area is already densely populated with housing and the green spaces in the area are few and far between. It may not be as picturesque as Saddleworth, but it is OUR back yard and so we have every right to want to keep it as it is.

Saddleworth squire. Long may you continue to survey your green and pleasant green belt as you can rest assured a development will be coming to your backyard but I am sure you will welcome the extra revenue and social housing it brings with it. Enjoy

@UKIP voter. Political parties are not allowed to whip regulatory committees. What members of planning committees have a responsibility to do is to judge each application on its merits against the criteria of national and local planning policies.


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