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SDAG responds to Liberal Democrat Group on school

The Save Diggle Action Group has responded to a press release sent out last week by the Liberal Democrat Group of Oldham Council.

In a letter to Saddleworth News, SDAG have outlined their views on the statements made in that press release.

LDG say 

The Shaws Pallet Works Site is designated as a Primary Employment Zone.

SDAG say 

Only the existing Pallet Works Buildings are designated PEZ (actually the term is now Saddleworth Employment Zone). The rest of the site is designated for Business Use and Green Belt. The proposed school would not being built on the PEZ/SEZ part of the site.

LDG say  

The land proposed for the site of the school buildings in Diggle is not green belt land.

SDAG say 

The sports hall is proposed to be built on green belt land as are the playing fields.

LDG say 

The currect classification of the land as PEZ (industrial:- ANY use, e.g. warehousing such as the one in Shaw operating 24 hours a day) could also be very easily reclassified as residential.

SDAG say 

This part of the site is not affected by the new school. It could be reclassified for residential irrespective whether the school goes ahead or not.

LDG say 

A new modern school in Diggle could possibly raise property prices.

SDAG say 

Property prices would almost certainly fall due to increased traffic and noise in what is now a quiet resident area. Good primary schools can lead to an increase in house prices in their catchment area. The catchment area for Saddleworth School is the whole of Saddleworth so the proximity of the school would have no positive effect.

LDG say 

There could be a housing estate of 300-400 houses if the school is not built in Diggle.

SDAG say 

The building of the school in Diggle would not stop the existing Pallet Works buildings being developed for housing or continue being used for industrial use.  The field in front of the Pallet Works buildings which would not be occupied by the school would still be zoned for business use and theoretically could be reclassified for housing. It is also part of the land swop proposal and Cllr McMahon of OMBC has not ruled out the possibility of it being developed for housing. The field that the school would occupy could only accommodate about 40 typical Diggle houses.

LDG say 

The 8 to10 useable acres of the Uppermill site could result in either a taller building, reduced sports facilities or reduced on-site parking.

SDAG say 

The usable area of the Uppermill site (8-10 acres) is larger than the area that would occupied by the school buildings and playing fields in Diggle (7-8 acres). The proposed school building at Diggle comfortably fits on the Uppermill site. Like the Diggle proposal it would be two and three stories high. The sports facilities at Uppermill would be better as the all-weather pitch would be retained. There are no funds to recreate this at Diggle. There are presently more parking spaces on the Uppermill site than are being proposed at Diggle. The number of parking places at Uppermill would be retained when the new school was built.

LDG say 

The reconstruction of the school on its current site would be potentially dangerous with children effectively being taught in a building site.

SDAG say 

The building part of the site would be securely fenced off from the remaining school site. Rigorous health and safety procedures would apply ensuring a separation of children from the construction area. This is a standard procedure on many school sites where schools have been rebuilt on site while the school is in operation. Five out of the seven schools in the present batch of new schools will be built on their existing sites.

LDG say 

If the Diggle site proposal were rejected the funding could be lost.

SDAG say 

The Diggle site may yet be found not to be suitable as site investigations and traffic assessments are still being carried out. For this reason the existing Uppermill site has not yet been rejected by OMBC and is still an option if it can be demonstrated it is viable. Proposals for building the school in Uppermill are still being considered by the school, OMBC and the Education Funding Agency (EFA). The recently issued OMBC FAQs states ‘The School’s Technical Group are considering [the new proposal for building on the Uppermill site] and whether or not this presents a more affordable scheme in comparison with that previously prepared and costed by the EFA’s Technical Advisors. Both the Council and School are committed to delivering the best solution for the area within the EFA’s affordability envelope.’

LDG say 

The children of Saddleworth would suffer because it is being used as what our local MP Debbie Abrahams calls “a party political football”.

SDAG say 

This statement is incomprehensible. All three political parties at OMBC are united in their view that it is Diggle or nothing. How can this be a party political football? The only constituency that does not agree are the 80% of Saddleworth residents who want to retain the school in Uppermill. It seems their elected members are not listening to them nor representing their views.

8 comments to SDAG responds to Liberal Democrat Group on school

  • Mum of 3

    80% of saddleworth residents? i think not
    who has done the survey to get to this figure. i have not seen one, nothing has come via school. maybe a poll should be done with the whole of saddleworth?
    is it worth asking how many of the SDAG group actually have children of school age or if they already actually attend saddleworth?
    unfortunately, the people i know who are opposed to the new build in diggle are either older residents with non school age children or people who ship their kids out to blue coat and hulme!

  • joy

    good to see this back 🙂 and to see some truth telling, thanks to SDAG

    the council are also planning a car park at the rear of some of the houses at the Wool Road end of Huddersfield Road – this is green belt and would be an atrocity

  • Diggle Diamond

    Joy, it’s not ‘an atrocity’ – I suggest you consult a dictionary before you
    get embroiled in an unnecessary series of adjectives.

    I think the SDAG campaign occasionally borders on the hysterical, which does
    it no favours. And we know for a fact that the main campaigners live in
    houses whose views will be affected.

    Sometimes you have to take one for the team, wouldn’t you say?

    CHANGED BY EDITOR

  • Saddleworth

    Hear hear mum of 3 !! SDAG could do with some help with how maths works ! Or is it English and their writing or maybe reading . Not quite sure .

  • Mel

    The 80% Joy refers to is on this poll!

  • Saddleworth

    MEL.
    80 % of 540 ish voters
    IS NOT 80% OF SADDLEWORTH RESIDENTS !
    AS THE ARTICLE STATES .
    I think that this statement is wrong

  • Sue

    Where will Saddleworth Olympics be held during this proposal ?
    Where will Saddleworth show go that has now become a 2 day event ?
    Huge money raising both for the school and Rotary club as well as huge community spirit .
    Where will all the Saddleworth Clubs go that use the Sports facilities out of hours ? Again loss of income for the school .
    Wonder if this has even been thought about when working out the COULD cost less build ?

  • Sue

    Sorry editor my previous comment was made for uppermill site Could cost less than building in Diggle . Not this one .

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