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Little hope of new Saddleworth School being built at back of proposed Diggle site after ‘positive meeting’

Saddleworth School

Saddleworth School

Saddleworth News understands there is little hope of the new Saddleworth School being built at the back of the proposed Diggle site.

After a meeting to discuss the project, Councillor Amanda Chadderton, Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, said: “I met with David Laws and the EFA yesterday with Debbie Abrahams, Oldham East and Saddleworth MP. This was a very positive meeting.

“We discussed the proposed Diggle site and reaffirmed our commitment to finding the best solution for young people and the local community. This includes tackling the proposed highways and traffic issues – which we know are the priority concerns for residents.

“Originally we did want to locate the new school building at the rear of the Diggle site. However, this would increase the project costs by a prohibitive sum in the region of £2-3million, which is significantly over the allocated EFA budget for this project.

“Despite Oldham Council’s continuing budget challenge it has already put aside a substantial seven-figure sum towards the project costs that are not covered by the EFA’s own finite budget for this scheme: such as improvements to highways and traffic issues.

“We remain committed to working co-operatively with all partners to find the best possible way forward.”

23 comments to Little hope of new Saddleworth School being built at back of proposed Diggle site after ‘positive meeting’

  • Emma Smith

    With all due respect to the headline writer, Amanda Chadderton’s statement doesn’t actually say they won’t build it in Diggle. If you read between the lines when she talks about the 7-figure sun allocated by Oldham Council she is actually saying they actually will build in Diggle

  • The headline is about the siting of the school site to the front or back, not if the school will be built or not.

  • Anon

    Maybe if OMBC stop letting developers off with paying fines in the region of £500,000 there would be money in the pot to ensure that these obstacles are tackled with the seriousness they deserve. Absolute shambles for Saddleworth and it’s constituents.

  • Anon

    PS i also am yet to see any of these proposed improvements to the highways and traffic issues OMBC refer too.

  • the_oracle

    Editor…….Emma Smith is correct either way. With a headline emblazoned that way, it reminds me of the behaviour of some of our esteemed red tops. Not what we have come to expect from Saddleworth News.

  • Dr A Doyle

    Sorry, The traffic is not the only thing we have objected to either. The back of the Diggle site has already been out right rejected by the EFA, basically for a slew of reasons which equally apply to the rest of the site.

    I am asking for the school to remain at Uppermill, so why is Amanda Chadderton even mentioned the school won’t be moved to the back of the site?.

    We haven’t even been officially informed what is or might be going on with the Diggle / Uppermill school “land swap deal”,and this peice gives the false impression the school is not to be built in Diggle.

    The only reason I can think of is to reduce the level of objections. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  • joy

    I think this is a huge step forward and brings to light the extra costs that will be required to tend to the widening of the road, dealing with terrible traffic jams, making it safe for residents and students, off street parking, making it a road suitable for all the extra buses and cars etc – surely this will be a really large figure of money and of course it will be paid for by us the tax payer one way or another

  • Linda Orritt

    I can’t believe it would ever have been possible to put the school in the back field. A) because of the stream and the railway proximity and B) its green belt land. I believe this will have been suggested to pacify opponents? Or am I just too cynical! Once again cost has taken precedence over common sense. Siting of a large school in such a small village is not the best idea. Oldham council need to stay in Diggle for a while before they make such decisions perhaps?

  • Alphin

    There was a lot of concern about traffic issues prior to the Tesco store being built in Greenfield, living next door to the store I was very concerned, to be honest it hasn’t made too much difference. Possibly using the existing turning circle near the Navigation Pub as a place the busses could drop off and pick up would work.

    The existing Saddleworth school is no longer a pleasant environment for our children, grandchildren or future offspring to spend 5 very important years of their life’s. There aren’t any other brownfield sites large enough to accommodate a new secondary school in Saddleworth as the few possibilities are being developed for high cost Townhouses, isn’t about time we provided the kids of Saddleworth something worthwhile?

  • Dr A Doyle

    I know my son loved going to Uppermill school. He was bought up in Diggle and can’t believe any one would contemplate destroying such an established school and the last remenants of green belt in a tiny village in one swoop.

    As far as we know the last inspection of Saddleworth school didn’t show any sign of it not being fit for purpose?

  • P R of Diggle

    I wonder if that same portion of land would incur the additional costs quoted here if ••••••• developers were to build houses there??

    Edited by editor for legal reasons

  • Alphin

    A Sinclair ZX81 computer, a Hillman Imp and a Brownie box camera are all fit for purpose, it doesn’t mean they are the best options these days.

    The proposed new school as far as I was aware was going to be built on the footprint of the now mostly derelict Pallet Works in Diggle, hence no building on green belt.

  • Cllr Mike Buckley

    The existing site can be used for the new school. The existing site is 9 usable acres plus the bus turnround. The space taken up by the proposed new school at Diggle will be less than this according to the published plans. It an operational problem building on an existing school site but one that can be successfully managed. It happens all over the country.

  • We all know its happens all over the country Cllr Buckley but not where Oldham Council and the Governors Of Saddleworth School is concerned not in Uppermill, they have had plenty of time to sort this problem out and now they are being pushed for time and as far as the powers that be are concerned Diggle Site is where it will happen or else they will lose the money, forget all the problems and a blight on the landscape this will bring to Diggle and its residents.

  • the_oracle

    Surely it’s a moot point whether the school can be built on the existing site when the money simply isn’t there. It appears that the only option is the Diggle site based upon the release of funds from Government and Oldham council, this school is needed now, the children and local community has suffered enough. Councillor Buckley are you also really proposing building a brand new state of the art school 4.5 acres short of the EFA guidelines?

  • Joy

    It really is time that people know that the acreage at the present site is MORE than that at Diggle and that the EFA expect the school to be built on its present site as it is the norm for this to happen on rebuilds

  • Font of all facts

    I would.ask the oracle to check the facts. No one has stated the money will not be there if it is not built in Diggle. Supporters of the site have hinted it simply not. Repeating it ad nausem will not make it.true. Oracles shoule not be political lemmimgs, they should seek the truth.

  • Paul Fryer

    How times have changed. I,in my rather sad way archive local political leaflets. Those opposed to the new school in Diggle may be interested in a Lib Dem leaflet from 2008. There is an article headlined ‘New Saddleworth School, but When?’ It then shows a photo of the 2008 Lib Dem candidate with Elwyn Watkins outside the pallet works in Diggle, or as the leaflet says ‘outside what should become the site for Saddleworth’s new secondary school’. The Lib Dem candidate? Why its Mike Buckley. So in 2008 Mike believed that the new school should, note the word should, be built in Diggle. Not on its current site or any alternative. Now he is leading the campaign against it. People in Diggle may ask what has changed.

  • Paul As you well know being a political person 5 yrs is a long time in politics. Cllr Buckley did support the plan in 2008 when it was sold as a school being built on the pallet works, built around the listed building of the clock tower therefore retaining some sense of its traditional heritage and beauty. When he realised that the intention was to develop the whole of the valley and effectively destroy the green belt he began to object vehemently to the school plan and has done so ever since. For the record just see his campaign address of 2010.

  • Sparkle

    Well done to Paul . Yes funny how some councillors forget !

  • Paul Fryer

    So am I to take it from Keith that Mike Buckley, and possibly himself, would be in favour of a new school in Diggle…if it was actually on the pallet works site rather where it is currently proposed. On the Save Diggle Action Group website there are no less than 7 objections to the new school based on access/traffic. These surely would be still valid if the school was built on Mike’s original preferred site. In 2008 Mike was happy with that site, so clearly he did not believe then that any traffic problems would be very large. Suddenly they are. Another change of mind?

  • Joy

    Wrong again! Where do you get the idea that Councillor Buckley sanctioned the school build in Diggle at all, then or now? Because of a photo opportunity? These were all questions being posed back then, not answers. The lack of democracy was soon to become apparent and is unfolding now as to the real powers that be behind these decisions, then and now. Fryer and sparkle should get their facts in order and renew their sparkle if their obvious propaganda is to be believed, although it appears to be more in order of slander now!

  • Saddleworth

    Joy , I don’t think it is appropriate for you to always believe you are the one in the right . I am beginning to not believe anything written on these sites now . Surely this should be a site for healthy debating not trying to shoot people down all the time or saying they are myths .We want questions answered with truthful answers from people that really do know and hopefully we will get them soon .

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