Pros and cons highlighted ahead of decision over new homes by golf club

OPPONENTS to a planned housing development on protected green space were told it will benefit the area before it was approved.

However, Tameside Council has been told it cannot meet its own allocation for housing.

Planning document for golf course in Dukinfield

Dukinfield-based Bardsley Group received permission to build the properties near to Dukinfield Golf Club, close to its border with Stalybridge.

Tameside Council’s planning committee approved the application, which will see properties managed by Jigsaw, despite objections from residents and councillors.

Cllr Leanne Feeley, said it was ‘confusing’ for residents when the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework dominates many agendas.

“It seems to me there is a lack of joined up thinking here,” she told the planning committee.

“How can we expect our residents to be consulting on plans and at the same time look to agree on a development?”

Resident objector Debbie Harford added: “This is protected open space. It is regularly used for recreation both by residents and the golf club. Residents are really concerned and upset about safety.”

Fears were also raised the addition of this new ‘executive’ housing estate could be an invitation for criminals to target the neighbourhood.

Cllr Eleanor Wills told the meeting that there had been 33 burglaries in just one week that led to police having to draft more officers on to the streets.

And Stalybridge North’s Cllr Adrian Pearce criticised the proposal to build on green field land, and the separation of the applications.

“What’s paramount here is it’s protected green space and the only thing I can see, apart from someone making a lot of money out of it, is there is no exception that is worthy of losing it,” he said.

“It’s just chipping away at a green area when investment could just as easily go somewhere else.

“I really do have an objection to the fact the applicant didn’t feel that the social housing should share the site.

“If it’s good enough for the rich people it’s good enough for the poor.”

However, people behind the proposal told why it should have been given the go ahead.

A planning statement describes the area concerned as ‘waste land which is not used by the golf club and therefore rarely maintained.

‘A parcel of land to the west contained an old garage site with the remains of old garages. This part of the site is used for fly tipping and where youths congregate due to the lack of natural surveillance.

‘The site remains vacant and is best described as wasteland in the private ownership of the golf club.’

The scheme will see detached and semi-detached houses built but the applicants insist they will do everything they can to minimise disruption.

The statement adds: “The proposed houses have been set away from the southern boundary of the site so that they do not have an overbearing or dominating impact for occupiers the houses on Yew Tree Lane or The Fairways.”

Despite the local opposition, reports were produced contending their arguments and the authority’s own target has been doubted.

On fears that green belt land will be destroyed, the document prepared by Wiplow Town Planning and Development Solutions, states, quoting Tameside’s own Unitary Development Plan: “The overall urban area of Tameside is broken up by a number of corridors or wedges of mostly or entirely open land, in many cases extending more or less continuously from the open countryside deep into the built-up area.

“In places they fall within the green belt but elsewhere this policy recognises their substantial value to the urban population and their importance as a network of green spaces across the borough.

Scope exists in some places to facilitate additional public access and to undertake further landscaping, where practical and appropriate and in co-operation with local landowners.”

Tameside’s own housing policy also comes under scrutiny.

The document adds: “It is clear there has been a consistent under delivery of housing allocations in Tameside.

“Therefore, we would challenge the current five-year supply and believe the council is unable to demonstrate that a five-year supply of deliverable housing land exists to meet its five-year requirement.

“Planning applications for housing development benefit from the added presumption in favour of sustainable housing development. This means that applications should only be refused if the adverse impacts of doing so would ‘significantly and demonstrably’ outweigh the benefits.

“We consider the general principle of developing this site for residential properties is acceptable.”
They also claim there are not enough houses of the type they want to build.

The document continues: “Demand generally exceeds supply and there are a series of market pressures which vary by locality, property type and tenure.

“Overall, there is pressure on all types of housing, with the exception of terraced houses.

“Across the district, there are general shortfalls of detached houses, bungalows and flats/apartments; properties of all bedroom sizes, in particular properties with four or more bedrooms and bungalows.”

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