Broad Lane residents say ‘No’ to new housing plans
Reporter: Pete Hinchliffe
Date online: 18 June 2012
A meeting of angry residents took place at St Mary’s Church, Balderstone last Wednesday in response to proposals to build over 200 new homes on Broad Lane.
Attending the meeting were over 150 residents from the New Broad Lane, Craiglands, Charlotte Street and Turf Hill Road neighbourhoods, as all of these areas will potentially be impacted upon if these proposals go ahead.
Also at the meeting were local councillors representing a cross party consensus in support of the residents, including Dale Mulgrew, Richard Farnell, Ian Duckworth, Dalat Ali and Shakil Ahmed.
Amongst those speaking were Tracy Wilson, who represented the views of the New Broad Lane neighbourhood, and Eileen Shepherd, who spoke on behalf of the Craiglands/Oldham Road neighbourhood.
In a statement, Ms Wilson said: “It was gratifying to see so many people in attendance at the meeting united in their opposition to the building of 220 properties on protected land off New Broad Lane.
“We care about where we live and are not prepared to sit back whilst greedy builders ride roughshod over us at the expense of one of the few remaining green field sites in the area simply to maximise their profits when they could build on one of the many available brown field sites in the borough.
"We urge everyone to show their opposition to these plans by registering their objections on the council website.
“There are two applications presently; the first is from Wain Homes for an initial 60 homes in the first phase with a second phase of 140 houses. The second is for an access roundabout submitted by Taylor Wimpey as a precursor to a further application for 220 houses and apartments. This is because there are two competing building companies fighting for the right to build.
"Who in their right mind would want to live literally next to the M62 Motorway when the World Health Organisation has this very week confirmed diesel fumes cause cancer and exposure to them should be minimised?”
She urged people to lobby their MP and local councillors.
There was also the opportunity for the assembled members of the public to express their opposition to these plans and to ask questions.
As a follow on from this public meeting, there will now be the setting up of an Action Group which will continue to lead the campaign against these development proposals. There is as well advanced plan for a campaign website to be up and running very quickly. This will provide links for members of the public to view these development plans in detail, and the site will also include advice around how local residents can get involved with the campaign.
Joint organiser of the meeting Cllr Dale Mulgrew added: ‘I was really impressed with the considerable numbers who attended this meeting and this was a clear display of the strength of opinion and opposition against these plans. This is turning into a major issue for the south of the town.
“Plainly the different communities around this site don’t want it to happen. They have genuine concerns these development plans will have a huge impact on the environment, the local ground conditions which are susceptible to flooding, the amount of traffic on the local highway network, and not least the fact that the Council’s own policy classifies the site as 'protected land' under the current Unitary Development Plan.
“'The meeting was only a rallying call at the start of what could be a lengthy process. This first step will now lead to the setting up of a group who will actively campaign against these plans on behalf of the many communities who are opposed to them.”
Another local resident who could not attend the meeting held a different view and referred to what he described as elements of what he called ‘nimbyism’. Stuart Sawle told Rochdale Online: “Rochdale needs aspirational housing. We need people to bring money into the town.”
He also said that plans to put in a mini-roundabout would act as a traffic-calming measure and discourage speeding motorists who have caused accidents in the past and have caused the area to be described as a 'notorious accident blackspot'.
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