Sign-off nears for first phase of Oldham’s Northern Roots
Update: the scheme was not considered at August’s planning meeting as scheduled. It is understood it will be decided in October.
Plans to transform a 66-acre chunk of Snipe Clough into what is billed as the UK’s largest urban farm and eco park could take a step forward next week.
Oldham Council’s planning committee will discuss the proposed Northern Roots project on Wednesday, with officers recommending approval be granted.
“The proposals represent a significant scheme which is envisaged can act as a large-scale demonstrator of how the natural environment can be harnessed and enhanced to be productive and help in improving local economic and social outcomes,” a report to the committee states.
The project, the first part of a wider 130-acre vision for Northern Roots, will benefit from a slice of Oldham’s £25m Town Deal award.
The plans feature:
- A 7,750 sq ft visitor centre with meeting pods, events space, a cafe and a shop
- An 8,700 sq ft learning centre
- A 3,000 sq ft forestry depot
- A 93,000 sq ft solar array
- 66 acres of hard and soft landscaping across the site, including an amphitheatre performance space and a swimming pond.
JDDK Architects is leading on the design of the built elements and Planit-IE is the landscape architect.
Arup is the planning consultant for the project.
If planning approval is granted, the scheme will be referred to the secretary of state for final sign-off due to its location in the Green Belt.