Letter to Editor
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The author of this letter has asked for it to be posted anonymously.
Having reviewed the revised proposal:
1. I believe the impact of traffic and pupil safety around the Huddersfield Road area of Diggle have been understated. I appreciate that road widening, pavement work and a parental drop off area have been included in the plan; however, the assessment of the increased in traffic flow being sdummarised as ‘negligible’ due to the peak occurring only once (or, arguably, twice) per day is an absolute nonsense. If the school is built on this site and much more significant road improvement measures are not taken (which, given the nature of the surrounds, is unlikely to be feasible), I am confident that this area will become a nightmarish bottleneck – irate parents, buses carrying children that cannot get to where they want to be, frustrated local residents trying to get to their places of work, etc.
2. I do not share the confidence of those that contributed to the flood report that the site will be sufficiently safe from a ‘1 in 100’ year event (with 20% climate change margin). Severe flooding is becoming an increasingly frequent and serious issue in Saddleworth, across the UK and, indeed the world at large. We are seeing the effects of climate change escalate at an increasing pace, which is largely down to the already ‘baked-in’ impact of our having abused this planet for an extended period. Given the position of the site at the bottom of a valley, I predict that severe flooding will become a frequent issue within a short space of time and, if the school is built there, there will be costly repercussions both in the damage to the buildings and peripherals and also lost education days for the pupils of Saddleworth.
I, like most Saddleworth residents, I believe, would be delighted to welcome a new school for the children of the area. There have been many delays in getting to this point and I sympathise with the frustration felt by the pupils, parents and school staff affected. However, choosing a bad option in an attempt to get a school built is not, in my view, preferable to taking the requisite time to explore better options and listen to the opinion of the local people affected. It has always been, and remains, my opinion that the selection of this site has been railroaded within due consideration of the alternatives such as reusing the existing Uppermill site or fully investigating potential sites around Greenfield.
Saddleworth resident and father of two school-age children