The Leader of the Opposition and of the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has expressed his disappointment that Council officers have chosen to conduct a public consultation on the Oldham Local Plan during the school holidays.
The consultation started on 10 July and ends of 21 August.
Details of the local plan can be found at https://www.oldham.gov.uk/info/200585/local_plan
Responses can be submitted online at http://oldham-consult.limehouse.co.uk/portal/oc/planning/spi or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or returned by post to
Strategic Planning and Information, Economy, Skills and Neighbourhoods, Room 310, Level 3, Civic Centre, West Street, Oldham OL1 1UH.
Councillor Sykes said: “The Oldham Local Plan may sound a dry document, but it is in fact the document that will underpin the delivery of new homes and new businesses in our Borough for years to come, and more importantly it will be the key document that will determine what happens locally under the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.”
“Many residents of this Borough, particularly in Shaw, Crompton, Royton and Chadderton, are up in arms about the implications of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and they have held rallies at Tandle Hill Country Park and outside Manchester Town Hall in Albert Square to let it be known that they are opposed to development on our precious Green Belt.”
“Given the strength of local feeling, it is unacceptable to conduct a public consultation on an issue of such importance in the school holidays. Many residents will be taking families away with them on holiday. Responding to this consultation by the 21 August may be far from their minds, but if they feel strongly that they want to save their green belt I would urge them to take time to do so.”
Councillor Sykes and his Liberal Democrat colleagues in Shaw and Crompton remain vehemently opposed to plans to build almost 3,000 new homes in the two wards on surrounding Green Belt and other green land:
“Local residents are rightly up in arms, fearing that not only will the current plan mean that their precious Green Belt will be lost forever under a carpet of concrete, but also that the existing medical, school and leisure infrastructure, which is already severely stretched, will be completely swamped with the extra demand.”
The Liberal Democrats have a clear aspiration for future housing development in Greater Manchester. Councillor Sykes explained: “Development should be on brownfield sites first, particularly sites with outstanding planning permission, coupled with mill and factory conversions to housing and a drive to bring existing empty homes back into occupancy, whenever this is practicable. This view will form the basis of our response to the consultation.”