7 September 2016

Question from Neil Hardiker(local resident): Answered by Councillor Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Cooperatives (OMBC)

Q1.Please can you share with me the current details of the following?
Acres/hectares of land within the OMBC boundary designated as green belt, OPOL and land reserved for future development and the percentage of the land within the council boundary which each of these 3 categories represents?”

A1.The total land in the Oldham MBC boundary was 14234.6 hectares (ha).

  • Green Belt: 6254 ha (43.9%);
  • Land Reserved for Future Development (LRFD) – Bullcote Lane, Royton: 2 ha (0.01%);
  • OPOL:  314.92 ha (2.21%).

9 November 2016

Questions received from Diane Stokes(local resident) via Twitter: Answered by Councillor Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Cooperatives(OMBC)

Q1.“Does the land at Cowlishaw still have OPOL classification?
A1.Cowlishaw remained OPOL  land if or until it was amended formally by the GMSF or Local Plan process.

Q2.What was the selection criteria for the GMSF sites proposed in the draft plan?
A2.The sites firstly had to be of strategic size for  consideration as part of the GMSF consultation.  Beyond this, the following was taken into account:

  • Concentrated new industrial and warehousing development along or close to motorway corridors to make the best use of existing transport infrastructure;
  • Choose locations adjacent to the existing urban area where possible, to minimise the effects on open countryside and the green belt;
  • Where large sites were necessary, it was preferred where practical Other Protected Open Land for development rather than Green Belt or choosing areas where Green Belt conditions had changed;
  • Ensured that a site would allow a range of housing sites which met a variety of different housing requirements;
  • Minimised the effects on strategic green infrastructure;
  • Choose sites where physical ownership and viability constraints did not rule out development; and
  • Choose sites that could be served by new infrastructure if existing infrastructure was inadequate.

Q3.Who made the final decision on which sites in the Borough should be allocated for development in GMSF plan?
A3.The decision on what would initially be put forward by Oldham was made by a combination of Planning and Regeneration Officers, Councillors and members of the Local Plan Members Group.  However, it was asked to be noted that what was put forward were initial thoughts and the sites had not and would not be confirmed until the views obtained from the GMSF consultation had been properly considered.

14 December 2016

Question asked by Tony Faulkner( local resident): Answered by Councillor Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Cooperatives(OMBC)

Q1.Please can you confirm that the Green Belt loss in the Borough GMSF draft proposals equates to 7%
of the total current adopted Green Belt and NOT 3% which was given as an answer in the last full
Council meeting on 9th November 2016.
A1.Green Belt currently makes up 43.9% of the borough; if the strategic allocations were to be developed, this would mean that greenbelt would then make up 40.9% of the Borough.
As a percentage of greenbelt land only, the strategic allocations would lead to a loss of 7% of the borough’s current green belt.

Q2.We have been informed that OPOL does not afford the same protection as Green Belt and that ALL
OPOLs would need to be looked at as part of the Local Plan review. Why then have 3 OPOL sites within  Crompton, Shaw and Royton (all within a 2km radius) been allocated in the GMSF draft proposals?   Shaw and Crompton will be devoid of any recreational green spaces in this urban sprawl. We have little enough OPOL – only 2.03% of the Borough area. This will drop to a mere 1.67% if we  lose these 3 OPOLs. This equates to a staggering OPOL loss of 17.9% of the total current adopted OPOL.    How can this be justified ALL IN THE SAME VICINITY?

A2.OPOL policy is currently set out in the adopted Joint DPD and allows appropriate, small scale or ancillary development located close to existing buildings within the OPOL.
As part of the GMSF and Local Plan review a strategic review of Green Belt and OPOL is being undertaken. All OPOL will be assessed as part of the Local Plan Review against Local Green Space criteria in National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The OPOL sites that have been proposed in the GMSF form part of strategic sites where it is felt that they are able to contribute on a larger scale to the borough’s housing and employment needs.

The sites (in whole or part) have come forward through the GMSF call for sites exercise as available and deliverable for housing and / or employment.

Other considerations for the OPOL proposals include being surrounded by built up areas and therefore being considered as infill or being located on the edge of the urban area; being adjacent to Green Belt land; not having significant topographical constraints; being in close proximity to centres and existing communities to utilise existing infrastructure and key services (the capacity of infrastructure to be assessed as the plan is refined. Development would be required to provide any necessary supporting infrastructure); being in close proximity to the highway network and the Metrolink. The sites are considered to be in sustainable and accessible locations.