Trampers centre’s given OK
Date published: 15 November 2012
CONTROVERSIAL plans for a business in the green belt which hopes to open up the countryside to disabled visitors have been passed.
But the decision to allow the centre in Manchester Road, Greenfield, which will hire out adapted all-terrain vehicles — called trampers — was branded as scandalous by stunned objectors.
It will include a three-bedroom house for James McNeeney, who is disabled, and will manage the business, and his parents, David and Kathleen, who are his carers.
More than 80 people objected to the plans which were recommended for refusal by the council’s own planning officers and Saddleworth Parish Council.
They said that it would be detrimental to the green belt, the living accommodation was too large, no case had been made to show that the business was tenable and that it did not require a live-in manager.
But the application was passed by 11 votes to three by councillors at last night’s planning committee.
Sarah Plevin, a member of Grasscroft and Greenfield Residents’ Association, told the committee: “Our objection is not to the idea of a sustainable tramper hire facility but to a new three-bedroom, detached property. It is an inappropriate development in green belt.”
But Mr Ken Waddington, the applicant’s agent, said: “A tramper is a robustly-built mobility vehicle which is limited to 4mph.
“This gives back the freedom and opportunity to less able and disabled people to enjoy the great outdoors such as the linear park, Dovestone and the Peak park in a way that has not been available in the past, offering access to all and bringing benefits to tourism and the wider economy.”
Councillor Rod Blyth voted in favour of the development and said: “This is “We lead the way on some things in Oldham.”
Conditions imposed included limiting the tramper centre’s opening hours to 8am to 8pm in summer and 8am to 6pm in winter. Occupancy of the house is also tied to the business.
The residents’ association is considering an appeal.
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