Idea of contentious Mossley homes scheme approved, despite opposition

A CONTENTIOUS scheme that would see 175 homes built on land in Mossley has gone through to the next stage of the planning process.

That is despite the town’s MP, Jonathan Reynolds, its three Tameside councillors – Stephen Homer, Jack Homer and Tafheen Sharif – Mossley Town Council and more than 500 people formally objecting to it!

An outline proposal, with an indicative layout, would see much of the land between Hey Farm estate and Mossley Hollins High School turned into homes.

Now after Tameside Council’s Speaker’s Panel (Planning) committee gave the go ahead at this stage, a more detailed proposal will now be drawn up.

Hey Farm – Layout

Opponents, however, spelled out just what building would mean to the town.

Councillor Jack Homer said: “In 2017, there was the flash flooding on Micklehurst Road and water runs off the hills and on to Huddersfield Road.

“They’re the same issue. It’s still going to come down from the hills and on to the site that’s being proposed to be developed.

“Houses on Hey Farm already suffer from damp and the gardens get overwhelmed. One resident says they have water in their house cavities. It’s happening now and will happen if it’s developed.

“There are developments taking place in Stalybridge and just up the road in Oldham. Huddersfield Road isn’t designed to have the sheer amount of cars that will be on it.

“And ecology develops over 100 years. It can’t be replaced by planting a few shrubs. These things can’t just be replaced. It’s a constant development.”

John Pywell leads the Hey Farm residents’ objections and has composed a detailed report stating why it should not go ahead.

He said: “The infrastructure of Mossley can’t cope. I won’t be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, it’ll be the massive rock that breaks the camel’s back.

“Mossley has changed tremendously. Has the infrastructure increased at the same rate as the population? No.”

People currently living on Hey Farm also claimed Mossley is in danger of becoming a large housing estate on the outskirts of Manchester and it is the last remaining green oasis on the side of the valley.

Their report is also said the extra 1,392 people the proposal would bring would represent an increase of 12.75 per cent of the population of Mossley and the neighbouring Mossley Hollins, built for 750 pupils, is now struggling with more than 900.

Concerns also state: “The land is contaminated with old industrial waste including asbestos and therefore not suitable for development.”

Mossley Town Council is also against the ‘speculative’ plan, with reasons including generic environmental and ecological surveys and the number of brownfield sites that can be developed in the area.

It said: “Given the strides forward in the standards of society from the latter part of the 19th Century to now, through housing, planning, education, public health and environmental protection legislation, this level of development not only undermines the principles of this great body of work, it will mean that resources, be they financial or otherwise, allocated to these areas, will be spread much more thinly.

“This is effectively a backward step.”

If the detailed plans get the go ahead further down the line, two thirds of the site will be developed with a public right of way diverted and the boundary of a site of biological interest altered.

Hey Farm – looking towards Mossley Hollins

To achieve that, a section 106 agreement which would see the developers pay £50,000 to either extend or build a new dining facility at Mossley Hollins, £220,000 for improvement at areas like Egmont Street fields and £182,000 to pay for road network improvements must be completed.

The planning meeting on Wednesday, December 14 heard the land in question has actually been allocated for housing since 1996.

An area of ‘managed open space’ will run across the area closest to the Tame Valley Way.

And despite the 512 objections lodged, Andrew Newsam, speaking for the applicants – Trustees of Mrs E Bissill’s Marriage Settlement Reversionary – spoke of his belief it would benefit the area.

He said: “There are no material planning-related issues that justify refusing the application.

“It’s appropriate to bring this site for development. The council needs 175 new homes to contribute to its supply.

“It will be a sustainable development It will make Mossley a more sustainable town as it provides a significant economic boost to both Top Mossley and Bottom Mossley.”

He also contended suggestions the development would overwhelm schools and facilities like doctors’ surgeries, mainly because many pupils and patients at them come from outside Mossley.

He added: “As a town, Mossley has more than a sufficient infrastructure to provide enough school places and doctors places.

“It’s children coming to Mossley Hollins from outside Mossley and I think people from outside Mossley are attending doctors’ surgeries.

“There’s more than sufficient provision. This development will make Mossley a more sustainable town.”

Councillor Doreen Dickinson voted against the proposal at the meeting but the application was carried to the next stage, a more detailed plan.

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