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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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Well if the business fails, and without a subsidy it probably will, then at least the sale of the house will return a profit.

It would be interesting to find out the kind of homes that the people that objected to the plan live in. Still, I suppose if you already live in the area, you are alright, Jack.

When the Business fails the applicants will have achieved their Goal! That'ts the point. This venture could be run form numerous other sites in the village.

Their goal of running a business? So they intend to start a business for it to fail? Please - I'm sure it would be cheaper and easier just to buy a property. Perhaps they would like to make a living and, dare I say, bring other people into the area to enjoy the countryside? I just hope any of the business users get a little bit of a warmer welcome.

1) It's not a business. By the applicant's own admission they expect to hire one or two a day during the week at £2.50 an hour. That's £5 a day.
2) You don't need to build a 3 bedroom house to run a £5 a day 'business'
3) The applicant's stand to turn a piece of land that currently has little value into something of considerable value by putting a house on it. And they'll get that benefit even if the 'business' fails.

'cheaper and easier just to buy a property'?
Quick internet search - cost of 3 bed detached house with double garage in Saddleworth set in extensive grounds = £500k +
Budget figure to build your own 3 bed house on land already acquired = £180K.
Interesting to note that the applicant's 'Site Selection Statement' only covers available land and not properties which could be converted to suit requirements.
Tell me again why this 'business' needs staff living accommodation?

The applicants have owned the land for years. in fact they have made failed attempts in the past to get a house built, going back over 10 years. What " New Start Up Business" would have the funds to risk a massive sum of money on a building project. A ready made building would free up funds to offer more services to the disabled and their families.

You all clearly know far more than I do on this issue - so thank you for setting me straight. Given your opposition to the venture, let's look at it another way then. A family would like to build a home for themselves to live in? What an outrage!

Although there are conditions linked to this approval OMBC's record of enforcing them is abysmal. Half a mile from this location is a caravan site on greenbelt farmland given retrospective planning in Dec 2011 with numerous conditions. To my knowledge non have been implemented. It is open now when is should be closed for winter and the enforcement team are "aware of the issues and looking into it" no faith in ombc planning dept AT ALL

Just read the decision on the OMBC website - what a travesty!
I hope the OMBC Leaders are taking notice of this. Their Planning Committee are making a mockery of the National Planning Framework. The biggest irony is that this whole 'sham' is supposed to represent OMBC showing they lead the way on 'Equality'. It seems like 'some animals are more equal than others'. 'No animal shall build residential housing in the green belt - unless they have money, and influence'.

Parish Council recommended refusal, over 90 residents objected to OMBC, OMBC Head of Planning recommended refusal. Serious disconnect between OMBC Councillors and Parish Council, OMBC Councillors and residents, OMBC Councillors and their own planning officers. Same old council same old story.When will things change? 'Love where you live' whilst you can because soon there will be nothing left of value to the commununity in Oldham.


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