Hebron Street housing plan final hurdle to be overcome?

A 77-HOME development in Royton, some of it on open land, is likely to get the green light providing one final obstacle can be overcome.Developers have been told to address concerns over construction traffic accessing the site on land to the east of Hebron Street and Brownlow Avenue off Heyside.

Four reasons for refusal were cited in March 2019 including loss of Other Protected Open Land (OPOL), poor design and size of proposed properties and traffic congestion and obstruction in Hebron Street.

A decision was then deferred when revised plans came before Oldham Council’s planning committee for a second time last month.

Developers were hoping for third time lucky after the committee heard previous concerns from residents and some councillors’ concerns had been answered.

Chair and Royton South councillor Amanda Chadderton, said: “We overcame the space standard and from what we are told the unilateral undertaking will grant us money to do work on the highway which the highway authority say is the most we can achieve to make sure the junction continues to operate safely.

“We have talked about OPOL land and have been told the protection afforded by OPOL designation is severely outweighed by the lack of a five-year housing land supply.

“And regarding noise from the industrial estate, the developers have put in information how that that possible nuisance will be mitigated for future residents and which environmental health department have assessed and say are adequate.

“What we are being told is the reasons we refused it before have now been addressed and are no longer have evidence to support them.”A motion to defer a final decision for possible investigation of possible alternative access arrangements and any further improvements to the Hebron Street junction was passed 10 votes to one.

Marc Hourigan of Manchester-based Hourigan Connolly, acting for the developers, said: “All dwellings are now nationally described space standards (NDSS) compliant so hopefully that deals with previous concerns to the size of the dwellings and good quality housing.

“We have always acknowledged part of the site is currently designated OPOL but in the borough wide context this is a very small parcel.

“This committee recently approved a scheme in Lees that resulted in a much larger parcel of OPOL.

“By making that decision the council has accepted the OPOL designation is outweighed by the housing land supply position in the borough.”

He also defended the company’s decision to take the matter to appeal if the committee voted against the development. He rejected Cllr Steve Hewitt’s claim that this approach sounded like a “threat.”

However, a resident, addressing the committee, said: “The application is identical to the one decided on in March that were emphatically refused.

“In presenting this as a new application all the objections to the original application have been set aside.

“To me this seems entirely out of order and contrary to natural justice. Procedurally, it would seem appropriate that you could move to reject I right now.”

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