With Covid restrictions lifted we can now hold normal meetings. Our next one is scheduled for 7pm on Monday 8th November 2021. If you wish to join a meeting please use the contact form under the 'Contact' tab at the top of the page, or email us: email@example.com We possess a Zoom licence to enable us to hold virtual meetings with various organisations and individuals, which seems ever more popular as we emerge from the pandemic.
We held our monthly committee meeting on the evening of Monday 11th October. The meeting is normally attended by our trustees and members. However, given the fact that the Littleborough SPD is now out for its consultation period, we welcomed a considerable number of concerned residents and business owners who wished to express their concerns on the matter.
Also discussed was the former AKZO site and Land at Stansfield, the latter of which we held a very well attended public meeting Sat. 16th Oct at St. James’ Church Calderbrook at 1pm. Further details to follow.
We are obviously aware, as were the attendees of the meeting, that regarding the Littleborough SPD, there are two public consultation sessions scheduled for w/c 18th October; one being on that date, with the other on 21st.
It was considered, commented on and noted that these two narrow windows of opportunity are inadequate, given the scale of the project and the impact it will have.
Additionally, both sessions are to be held at Hare Hill House, in Hare Hill Park; 5pm to 7pm.
It was generally commented on that with sunset now approximately 18.20hrs, that Hare Hill House is not an appropriate venue to hold the consultations due to the descending darkness at this time of year; especially in an ill-illuminated park.
It is worth noting also that given the current headline news, reports and discussions, regarding lone females in fear of attack, it heightens the question as to whether Hare Hill House is wholly appropriate to use for council purposes in the evening.
All of the attendees were/are of the opinion that a better or additional opportunity be offered and held on a Saturday throughout the day; as most residents will be commuting home from work at the times presently scheduled.
Also of note is that Cllr. Peter Winkler directly asked a council officer on Tuesday, 28th September at the Communities, Regeneration and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee, to ensure that the artist’s impressions for Littleborough SPD document were accurate; not misleading and quoted that the drawings produced for Castleton are “totally inaccurate”. Cllr. Winkler was assured Littleborough’s would be, but now published it appears not to be the case. They raised raucous laughter from residents when referred to at the meeting. This adds to the fact that the SPD is in reality, a very poorly written document.
The consultation period end on 21/11/21, so make your views known.
We have offered to assist further by raising residents and business owner’s concerns should the Council wish to engage.
Please feel free to contact us, should you so wish.
We have recently obtained information that both Taylor Wimpey and Rochdale Council both deny that the plans for the so called 'Roch Valley' development are being withdrawn. Taylor Wimpey say that their application remains 'live'. But our sources say otherwise and it will be withdrawn and a new application will be submitted. This accounts for the 'live' status.However, to quote Taylor Wimpey; " We are continuing to work with Rochdale Council planning officers to resolve some issues raised during consultation meetings, but we remain committed to bringing forward much needed housing".
The original planning application [19/00881/FUL] was validated at the time in October 2019 but is now outside the determination deadline. As a result, Taylor Wimpey will not have to pay the application fees again. Enquiries made by Littleborough Civic Trust as to the status is, quote "awaiting decision".
Very recently, 27th August 2021, it has been published that Hollingworth Lake has been awarded by, and to quote TripAdvisor "Hollingworth Lake in Littleborough has been recognised as a 2021 Travellers’ Choice award winner, ranked in the top 10% of attractions worldwide.' A stunning accolade indeed, [and it states 'Littleborough', not Rochdale; Hurrah] but how will Rochdale Council planning officers and [importantly] the planning committee made up of councillors, square that with all the proposed (and ongoing) developments for Littleborough?
Additionally, Vistry; the developers for the AKZO site remain adamant to use historical traffic survey data in their as yet awaited planning application and state that the Taylor Wimpey proposal is a 'committed development' contained within when it is most definitely not.
Your conclusions on the above and your future actions to demand the truth; both collectively and individually, are extremely important for the future of our village.
Some time ago, we emailed the Council’s Chief Planning Officer, along with all the members of the Planning and Licensing Committee regarding our ongoing concern with ‘planning by stealth’’, 10 houses here; 4 there; 15 there; 6 here, 45 there, etc. as this is what the Councill are doing; with their consistent and blatant disregard of the infrastructure impact on local residents. On each and every occassion, he does not reply.
We have contacted the Council with a view to becoming with the Calder Valley Community Rail Partnership; a collaboration between Rochdale and Calderdale Councils, who promote that they wish involvement from Community Groups. Time spent by the council on this projest is limited and will probably take some considerable time to progress.
Our Flood Resilience sub-committee have strengthened links with the Church to provide a refuge in the event of any future major flooding event.
Please click here to view the preface to this document.
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On Wednesday 9th June we met, in person instead of Zoom, with Vistry, the chosen developers for the former AKZO site.
On site were two architects and their Planning Development Manager and so we took the opportunity to show them around Littleborough, to enable them to get a ‘feel’ for the village and also show them how other recent building developments had been constructed ‘in keeping’ with the surroundings.
We provided them with a hard copy of the Littleborough Town Design Statement, but had previously made them aware of it via the Trust’s website where it can be found in its entirety. It is classed as Supplementary Planning Guidance, adopted by the Council in 2004.
We also imparted our local knowledge of various relevant issues; not least the traffic situation. As we stood at the site, around 11.30am, Hollingworth Rd traffic was extremely busy even at that time, and again we explained in vivid detail what it was like at rush hour.
As mentioned previously, they [Vistry] intend to use the traffic survey done in 2011, which does not really fit the bill. But they state that post-pandemic traffic will be lighter. A fact we do not accept.
It also doesn’t include any weekend tourist traffic to/from Hollingworth Lake; plus, through traffic to/from West Yorkshire, which we stressed both are major factors.
They intend to put in an initial planning application this month and so we informed them that, whilst we have no desire to prevent the brownfield development, it is highly likely we would object on the traffic grounds alone.
Another point of note is that they informed us that, whilst they are willing to build much more, Rochdale Council’s Planning Dept. only want 15% of the development to be ‘affordable housing’, apparently preferring instead, 4/5 bed houses. We were asked to support them in their attempt to increase that percentage.
Therefore, when the new planning application is submitted any member of the public will be able to object/support or make neutral comments on the Council’s planning portal. However, the majority of the public are probably not aware that any comments made will not be available to view online.
This has been the subject of concern previously as the planning file is a public document. The Council quote the General Data Protection Regulations as their reason for not publishing the text of any comments. The Developers were made aware of this and expressed their own concerns stating that other Local Authorities do not take that view. All that is required is redaction of any personal/medical data which could identify the individuals. The Trust have already, and will be making further representations regarding this and suggest that those wishing to comment should do the same.
To conclude, all parties agreed that it had been a very useful and constructive meeting and that more would follow.
Following close working relationships with Homes England (H.M. Govt. Housing & Communities Agency) since April 2018, we today 28th May 2021 we met with the developers and their planning consultants who have been chosen, regarding the future of the former Akzo Nobel site Hollingworth Rd., Littleborough, who informed us that since they began enabling works for the site they clarified that they would be putting in a planning application in June 2021, but due to it having to be a totally new application they would be starting from scratch with renewed Coal Mining Risk Assessments, Traffic Assessments, water courses/sources and an Ecology survey of the site in the next few months.
No work is likely to commence until probably Spring 2022 as they have yet to decide a final design plan and consider the options to comply with the Local Planning Authorities policy on Affordable Housing.
They have committed to continuing to discuss the scheme with Littleborough Civic Trust to ensure community engagement during the planning and delivery process and further meetings with them are scheduled to ensure that as far as reasonably possible, the wishes and concerns of the residents of Littleborough are addressed.
They have taken heed of the Civic Trust’s information and concerns, including the Littleborough Town Design Statement, the link to which is on this page. A very substantial document (28mb), formulated by the Trust in 2004 and adopted by Rochdale Council at the time as 'supplementary planning guidance', hence they are beginning the application process again in its entirety.
We have to recognise the fact that it is actually a brownfield site and does not impinge on any green belt land. We did though stress very thoroughly that the roads and infrastructure are already at over-capacity levels. We suggested that any Section 106 monies offered by them go into improving what can be improved to the benefit of residents, instead of planting tress as a gesture. (A practice often used by some developers). They were acutely aware of the traffic situation due to the feedback they had received following their recent leaflet drop in the locality. We couldn't have stressed any more than we did, regarding the traffic situation
We are looking forward to maintaining a close working relationship with them prior to, and throughout the planning phase through to the construction of the development.