It is my considered opinion that development of greenbelt land at Norden Road in Bamford is unsuitable for the following reasons:
The current highways infrastructure is already under pressure to cope with the level of commuter traffic from existing housing in Bamford, Norden, Edenfield and other areas which are reliant on this as their main, and in some cases only, access route. Any increase in the number of vehicular movements in this area, with specific consideration of Norden Road and War Office Road, would be unmanageable without significant and impossible redevelopment of the highway.
The sewerage network that serves this and the wider area around the site is already operating at maximum capacity and would be unable to cope with the additional pressures that the proposed development would impose on it.
Local schools and public service providers such as doctors and dentists in the area are already working beyond capacity with no means to accommodate more students and patients.
Land at the site is regularly used as a recreational facility by members of the public, both from the local and wider area. Development of this site would negatively impact on the viability of that recreational resource and the benefits to health and mental wellbeing which it brings.
Land at the proposed site suffers from flooding. During bad weather the site can become so saturated that lakes begin to form on the surface grass. Whilst I am aware that provisions can be made in respect of this there are many concerns about their effectiveness in such extreme conditions.
Development of this site would have a significant negative effect on the air quality in the area. The twofold impact of losing a large green lung and the increase in traffic and other pollutants from additional homes would reduce air quality in an area where they are already very poor.
The proposed site is well known to be a site of significant natural bio-diversity and development of the area in whole or part would have a devastating impact on the natural flora and fauna.
Any one of the above considerations might be enough to deem the proposed site unsuitable for development, however, it is my opinion that the cumulative effect of all these factors means that this site should be removed completely from the list of proposed development sites in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.
I would also like to note that that plans to ‘off-set’ greenbelt provision by adopting land such as formal parks (Queen’s Park in Heywood) into the greenbelt are little more than a slight of hand and is, in my opinion, an insult to people with valid concerns about the safeguarding of this natural and irreplaceable resource.
– Submitted in response to the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework public consultation.