Friends object to development in Green Belt

13th Jan 2017

Fletchers Paper Mill, Chew Valley Road, Greenfield. An allocation in Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework 2016

The Friends are objecting to a proposed major housing and tourist development right against the boundary of the Peak District National Park in Greenfield, Oldham. Greater Manchester claims that one hundred holiday lodges and 120 executive dwellings will create a gateway to the National Park on the disused Fletcher paper mill site below Dovestone reservoir.

Less than half of the site is the old mill buildings, and therefore brownfield land, but Greater Manchester is proposing in its draft Spatial Framework to more than double the size of the development by taking green field, also Green Belt, land.  This would include land to the west down river of the mill and below the dam wall.

Such a sprawling development would devastate the setting of this beautiful approach to the National Park, detracting from its landscape, and the sense of remoteness and tranquillity it provides. It also does not preserve or enhance the heritage of the mill and is a wholly inappropriate use of the Green Belt.

Instead we would support development sensitive to the local environment which would make best use of the old mill buildings. If the site is progressed the Friends hope something more innovative such as a community-led hydro scheme, with eco-housing/selfbuild/micro-businesses on the mill site could be included and that the green field part of the site is retained as green space for local residents and visitors.

See previous article in the Saddleworth Independent: http://saddind.co.uk/fletchers-mill-in-greenfield-targeted-as-tourist-hotspot/