Members of Oldham & Saddleworth Green Party showed their support for the “Save Our Valleys” campaign on Monday 20th November, by joining a protest outside Uppermill Civic Hall. The campaign aims to halt proposed developments around Thornley Brook and Ashbrook valleys that, so the Green Party claim, would destroy this vital green space.
Russell Homes propose building 265 family houses and a new link road on the land.
Andy Hunter-Rossall of the Green Party told Saddleworth News: ” The plans will have a devastating effect on the wildlife, including badgers, bats, deer, owls and other birds; will create air, noise, light pollution and increase the danger of flooding. The local schools and GP surgery are already full to capacity. Little, if any, of the new housing is likely to be ‘affordable’ and certainly won’t do anything to meet the needs of the 15,000 households currently on the waiting list for social rented housing. A precious green area for the recreation of local residents will be lost along with the all the benefits for health and wellbeing that such open spaces bring.”
“Building on a green rather than a brownfield site is bad news for all of us in Oldham, it increases the threat to green spaces across the borough, and it means fewer trees and open areas, more air pollution and less breathing space for us all. Oldham & Saddleworth Green Party is totally opposed to the whole plan and is giving its full backing to the campaign.”
Residents from across the Grotton, Lees and Springhead community, who are fighting the proposed development of a major link road and 265 homes that will devastate the valley, were pleased to hear the members of Saddleworth Parish Council mirror their concerns and support the opposition to this development.
Save Our Valleys Campaign told Saddleworth News : “The plan to build the link road will involve landfilling the valley and culverting the brook with the proposed development resulting in the loss of OPOL (Other Protected Open Land) which forms a large part of the area concerned. This area not only supports a large range of wildlife but also is enjoyed by many residents for recreation and physical exercise, and it is widely accepted that open green spaces contribute to mental well being.
“The development, if allowed will take 7-10 years to complete putting further strain on already stretched resources and add an additional 500 + cars, bringing more air and noise pollution to the area. The link road, rather than alleviate current issues of congestion will just bring more cars to the area, including Oldham Road, and lead to traffic issues from Saddleworth to Oldham centre. Residents also have great concerns about road safety issues as the link road has an 11.3m high embankment and exits by a staggered junction on a narrow lane. Issues pointed out in a Road Safety Audit are merely being ignored by the developers.
The council have been approached for a comment.