Millions more to be spent on building long-awaited new Saddleworth School

Manchester Evening News Lifestyle 0 month ago

Cabinet chiefs have agreed to spend millions more on the long-delayed new site for Saddleworth School , in a decision made behind closed doors.

On Monday night leading Oldham councillors signed off on additional expenditure and the land transaction arrangements for the former WH Shaw Pallet Works site in Diggle .

The details of the extra capital needed were discussed in a restricted section of the meeting from which the public and press were excluded.

But the Local Democracy Reporting Service understands the costs associated with the site are in the millions, with a net shortfall of £3.6m.

Bosses say it was known that 'unforeseen issues' may arise with the project which would need more money.

Oldham council would not confirm the figure, and a spokesman said: "The information is commercially sensitive and we will not be making any further comment."


The £19m plans by the Education Funding Agency to relocate the school from its current location in Uppermill to a purpose built new site have been in the pipeline for more than a decade .

Former head boy Joe Wheeler had described the conditions as ‘surreal’, with crumbling plaster, leaking roofs and flooded classrooms, and tiles being blown off in strong winds.

Saddleworth School in Uppermill

In February the proposals for a replacement school off Huddersfield Road were approved for the second time by Oldham’s planning committee.

The period for a judicial review – which would have meant judges checking the planning decisions and further delays to the development – expired in July, meaning work proper can now commence.

In a report presented to cabinet, principal regeneration officer Andrew Hall states: "As previously reported to cabinet in March 2015 it was acknowledged that the scope and cost of the approved works may fluctuate and that unforeseen issues may arise such that costs for this project could increase.

"The purpose of this report is to request additional funds and to request that the approval of updated heads of terms for the land transaction is also delegated."


Cabinet member for education, Councillor Shaid Mushtaq told the meeting the journey to get a new school had been 'turbulent'.

"It’s about moving forward and ensuring that the children attending Saddleworth School have a school fit for purpose and that they should have in 21st century Britain," he said

"There will be an addition 150 places at the school so it’s fantastic news for more children receiving an education."

Coun Amanda Chadderton, who had formerly held the education portfolio, said parts of the current building are over a century old, and it has been hit with flooding in the winter.

Plans of the new Saddleworth school

Deputy leader Coun Abdul Jabbar said there had 'unfortunately' been issues 'outside our control' leading to delays, and he hoped there would be no setbacks with the construction phase of the project.

Leader Sean Fielding added: “There is an incredible amount of frustration right across Saddleworth that they are still having to put up with that building which is not fit for a learning environment in the 21st century.

“So whilst there is a minority of noise about the new Saddleworth School the overwhelming feeling in that community, because I’ve experienced it, is that they know that children deserve a good quality building in which to learn and that this move must take place."

Proposals to relocate the school from its current site in Uppermill to a new facility in Diggle were first approved by Oldham’s planning committee in 2015.

But it was then overturned by a High Court Judge in 2017 following a judicial review.

Mr Justice Kerr ruled the council’s decision was unlawful, stating that the initial committee had ‘never addressed’ the potential harm to heritage assets.

The plans of how the new Saddleworth School would look

That ‘David and Goliath’ battle was led by community campaigner Keith Lucas , who took the case to court on behalf of the Save Diggle Action Group.

But an amended application was drawn up and passed by councillors earlier this year.

Planning officers had argued the impact to the heritage assets on the site of the WH Shaw former pallet works – namely the Grade Two listed office building and clock tower – was outweighed by the ‘substantial benefit’ of a new school.

It was suggested that the listed office building could be used by the school to preserve its heritage, with the possibility raised of it being turned into a library.

An off-site parental drop-off area, as well as two residents’ parking areas, highways alterations and works to the access road to the former factory site will also be created.

Source link
Read also:
Manchester Evening News › 3 weeks ago
With a high street that's bustling with cocktail bars, restaurants, boutiques and coffee shops, the tiny village on the banks of the River Tame has become a haven for the perfectly coiffured residents of Saddleworth
Manchester Evening News › Politics › 2 weeks ago
Stephen Hewitt who represents Saddleworth West and Lees ward lost a selection battle last week
CNN › Politics › 2 weeks ago
President Donald Trump has spent 99 days at his Mar-a-Lago club since taking office, compared to only 20 days spent at Trump Tower in New York City, according to CNN's count. That makes his time spent in Florida five times more than his time spent in...
CBS Local › 1 month ago
Good news for those who wait: After a decade, a traffic nightmare is north suburban Barrington will get a long-awaited fix.
UPI › Finance › 3 weeks ago
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday unveiled long-awaited regulations for growing and selling hemp as a commodity crop.
The Inquisitr › Entertainment › 1 week ago
Normani has been creating buzz for some time as a solo artist and spoke to V Magazine about her long-awaited debut album which she feels will allow her fans to get to know the real version of her. The “Dancing With A Stranger” hitmaker kickstarted...
Evening Standard › Entertainment › 6 days ago
So here’s the bad news: Elsa, the snow queen with special powers, doesn’t get a girlfriend in this long-awaited sequel to the internet’s favourite Disney cartoon. The good news: she’s not saddled with a boyfriend, either.
Business Insider › Lifestyle › 3 weeks ago
Earlier this year, I spent 12 days traveling through Russia for Business Insider. I went inside the Kremlin in Moscow, visited a diamond mine in Siberia, and spent two days riding the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. But the most memorable part of my...
Business Insider › Lifestyle › 1 week ago
Taiwanese YouTuber Max Lee, 25, spent the night in the Xinzhuang branch of Ikea in Shanghai, China. He snuck into the shelves of the warehouse and hid there until he was sure all staff had gone home. He then spent the whole night in the building...
CNBC › Finance › 1 month ago
SpaceX is in the final stages of developing the capsule it will use to launch astronauts and has spent significantly toward that goal.
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google