New Saddleworth school meeting
Monday 27th July 2015 @ 11:25 by Nigel Skinner
Mossley & Saddleworth News

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 22.27.48

A public information meeting is to be held in a conservation village over residents worries about  increased traffic on their roads.

Issues surround growing concerns the impact and implications the building of a new £19 million secondary school at Diggle will have on roads in Dobcross.

The meeting will be attended by Michele Carr, assistant executive director special projects Oldham Council; Paul Groves, Principal Engineer with Unity Partnership and Councillor  Dave Hibbert, cabinet member housing,  planning and highways.

Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham  East and Saddleworth, will attend the meeting, which has been organised by the Dobcross Village  Community (DVC) executive committee.

Saddleworth  ward councillors on OMBC Nicola  Kirkham, Derek Heffernan,  Garth Harkness  along with Saddleworth parish councillors, Mike Buckley, Lesley Brown and Keith Lucas will attend.

Other interested parties, including community associations, have been invited.

Residents are  advised the planning application for the new school will have been submitted by that time. It is important residents do not think that the meeting is  a formal means to object to the application.

Consequently, the timing also means the Council has to be very careful about what they say and what they commit to.

However, the council say they will commit to listen to what residents have to say, to listen to their ideas and to take away the information and examine it further.

But the council could not make any commitments until the planning application has been determined.

The meeting starts at 7.30pm Tuesday, July 28,  at Dobcross Band and Social Club, Platt Lane.

It will be chaired by Ken Bennett a member of the DVC committee.

The organisers of a blockbusting event which turns the clock back to WW2 has  gifted a grateful school a 21st century cash boost.

The dedicated  team who bring  the themed Yanks  are back in Saddleworth annual spectacular presented £500  to Saddleworth School.

Each year, the hugely popular weekend celebrates  the local filming of the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Yanks’ in 1979 starring Richard Gere.

Saddleworth School is flooded with an array of army vehicles, vintage stalls, activities and more for all the family to enjoy.

Funds raised from the weekend are donated to charities – with the Royal British Legion supported in 2014 – as well as going towards hosting the next year’s event.

Explaining the schools cash windfall, event organiser Paul (‘Dogtags’) Higginson, said : “The school gives us help by letting us use the grounds and facilities for the event each year so we are just giving something back.”

Helper Les Leech added: “We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at the event this year and I am sure it is going to be another successful and popular weekend.”

Saddleworth School headmaster Matthew  Milburn commented: “We greatly appreciate this donation and will be very pleased to welcome the event back again this year.”

The Yanks Are Back in Saddleworth 2015 will be held on Saturday, August 8 and Sunday 9 at Saddleworth School. For more information visit:

For this  years  chosen charities, the event is supporting  Royal British Legion, Homes For Heroes and local cadets.

PIC L-R: Ian Beddoes with grandson Jayson Bates, Les Leech, Wendy and Paul Higginson and Mick Greenwood from The Yanks Are Back in Saddleworth present the cheque to Saddleworth School headboy Ira Wall and deputy headgirl Lydia Hood and headmaster Matthew  Milburn.

Enthusiastic supporters of one Saddleworth’s  best-loved beauty spots have given thumbs up to the building of a small visitor centre.

Two hundred people  took part in the RSPB’s public consultation and  now the  centre at Dove Stone is a step closer to becoming a reality.

The  consultation, via online surveys, drop in sessions and questionnaires, shared views on the proposed visitor hub, which would provide new toilets, a catering kiosk area and shelter for visitors.

In supporting  the proposals,  comments including  eLong overdue – will be good to have a hub that co-ordinates all the activities of the RSPB and the ranger services…’

‘We need a visitor centre and the proposed site is ideal f and  eA visitor centre is required at Dove Stone for wet weather, holding community events and as a base to get more information on the RSPB and the site itself. f

The preferred site for the proposed visitor hub is land next to Dovestone Sailing Club.

And the society has worked with the sailing club during  development of the proposals and negotiations are currently underway for the small grassed area adjacent to the sailing club as the site.

Miriam Biran, Visitor Experience Manager at Dove Stone, thanked all the people who took part in the public consultation last summer and shared their comments.

She said:”We are delighted with the outcome, as we knew following feedback from thousands of visitors over the past five years, there is a real need for a visitor centre and improved facilities on site.

“It is fantastic to be working with the sailing club on the proposals, developing a plan which benefits the whole site and its visitors.

“The next steps are to finalise the lease transfer with the club, submit a planning application and look at funding options.

“Consequently,  the vhub is still a few years away from becoming a reality but we are really excited about the future. h

As a family-friendly site, the  hub would  enable all ages to discover more about Dove Stone, engage with RSPB staff and take part in a variety of activities and provide  a fantastic experience for existing visitors.

In response to visitor needs, there would  space for community use and education activities, and the creation of additional volunteering opportunities.

The hub also aims to include office space for RSPB staff, volunteers and a Peak District National Park Authority ranger brining thrm closet to visitors.

The RSPB, which manages Dove Stone in partnership with land owner United Utilities, has worked with UU, Dovestone Sailing Club and the Peak District National Park Authority throughout the process of developing the proposals.

Dove Stone Reservoir is owned by United Utilities and the water company works in partnership with the RSPB, who manage the estate.  The partnership aims to encourage public access and recreation, while protecting water quality and wildlife for future generations.

Earlier this year, dramatic moorland, the size of 1,200 football pitches,  above Saddleworth was   taken over by RSPB.

They signed a deal with UU to help secure the long-term future for nature in the Peak District National Park.

RSPB  has taken over the tenancy of 840ha of Dove Stone  owned by the energy giant, giving  them agricultural rights to the land for the next 25 years.

This will enable RSPB to  deliver an extensive and ongoing programme of habitat restoration.