Council to look at Uppermill school proposals

Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 05 December 2013

PLANS showing how Saddleworth’s new secondary school will fit on the mostly unusable football pitch on the current Uppermill site are being considered by Oldham Council and the Education Funding Authority.

The Save Diggle Action Group believes the proposal to choose Diggle over Uppermill may have been based on the controversial Building Schools for the Future design from five years ago - rather than the new, cheaper EFA design.

Parish Councillor Mike Buckley, of the SDAG group, said: “Plans have been professionally drawn up and costed. We are confident, with all the potential extra expense involved in building in Diggle, rather than using the existing infrastructure in Uppermill, our proposals will be less costly.

“A new school can be built in Uppermill entirely within the proposed budget of £17 million, if the political and local will exists.”

Proposals are identical in size and form and offer equivalent and even better facilities than those of the Diggle plans.

The new plan recognises the all-weather pitch and outdoor courts in Uppermill can be retained. Further savings may be made by refurbishing the existing sports hall.

The group claims disruption would be minimised by the temporary relocation of six classrooms elsewhere on site to allow building access.

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