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.