A year on from the controversial Planning Committee meeting which saw houses approved on Hodge Clough in Moorside & Sholver campaigners have criticised plans for a further 900 houses on greenbelt in St James’ ward. The houses are proposed as part of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) plans to build in the Beal Valley.
Historically there had been plans to turn the Beal Valley into an 18-hole golf course but the site was branded a ‘toxic tip’ as a result of a long-term contract for dumping noxious waste on the site.
The GMSF has been further delayed and some sites across the Borough have now been removed from the blueprint but not the Beal Valley. A local campaigner in St James’ Beth Sharp fears that the spatial framework still poses a grave threat to greenbelt in the Borough of Oldham, which will be “overdeveloped” as a result.
Beth Sharp said:
“Derker is dominated by derelict land so we should build on that brownfield land first rather than overdeveloping on greenbelt in Moorside. Beal Valley is at more risk because it is the property of Oldham Council meaning they can do whatever they want with it. It is our last open green space in St James’ ward so it is very precious to us; bulldozing it would be a catastrophe for our communities.”
Saddleworth Parish Councillor, Max Woodvine, added:
“We do not have the infrastructure to cope with the proposed level of building. Our schools are oversubscribed, medical appointments are hard to come by and our roads are congested. Building houses, as proposed by the GMSF, will create more problems more than it will solve.”