JDDK Architects is designing the visitors centre at Northern Roots. Credit: via Oldham Council

Joy for Oldham as 160-acre Northern Roots avoids call in 

Approved locally a month ago, the government has now given the council the green light to build the first phase of the eco-park project. 

“We are delighted that the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has given the go-ahead for Northern Roots,” said Cllr Amanda Chadderton, leader of Oldham Council.

“We can now move forwards with creating the UK’s largest urban farm and eco-park in Oldham, developing a unique community resource and visitor destination that will bring local residents and communities, economic, social and environmental benefits.”

Located just 10 minutes from Oldham town centre, the project will see 160 acres of Green Belt at Snipe Clough transformed into an eco-park. 

The first phase of the project, signed off by Oldham Council in October, focuses on 66 acres of the wider site and features plans for: 

  • A 7,750 sq ft visitor centre with meeting pods, multi-use spaces, a cafe and a shop. There would be an associated amphitheatre for events, 
  • 8,700 sq ft learning centre 
  • 1,000 sq ft oval-shaped events centre, with meeting room pods totalling 409 sq ft opening out onto woodland areas 
  • 3,000 sq ft forestry depot 
  • 93,000 sq ft solar array 
  • Car parking areas and relocation of two of the site’s four football pitches. 

JDDK Architects is leading on the design of the built elements and Planit-IE is advising on landscape proposals. Arup is the planning consultant. 

Work will start on the Visitor Centre and other elements in late 2023, according to the council.

Northern Roots’ planning reference number with Oldham Council is FUL/348898/22. 

Your Comments

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It sounds like a fantastic opportunity for Oldham and the surrounding area aswell as creative activities for many people far and wide

By Chris

This sounds like a fantastic venture for everyone,From young to older members of the community.Just a nice place to walk or get involved in our local area.Brilliant.

By Howard Buckley

Yet another load of tosh won’t do anything to enhance oldham

By Anonymous

Only thing that will sort out Oldham is a visible police presence. Plenty of brownfield sites, yet using greenbelt..
I give up!!

By Anonymous

It’s good news to have the new facility but have the council given any thought to public transport links? If they are thinking conservation you have to consider the carbon footprint of visitors.

By R.Jones

Not very green if they expect everyone to drive there.

By Anonymous

Wonderful news. Well done Oldham Council

By Eileen M

A great and original scheme. It enhances the green belt asset.


This will only cater for and be used by a minority of the Oldham population given it’s location, and I doubt very much that people from other areas will travel to visit. However, one thing that it should do is blow a hole in restrictive green belt policies – how on earth could Oldham Council refuse an application for ANY large (or smaller) scale development in the green belt when they have just granted themselves planning permission for just such a thing?? Planning Consultants and Developers – take note of this precedent!


Do we have any drawings or plans in place yet as to where the football pitches are going and the designs for them ?

By Lee blomley #MAFC

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