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‘New school sports facility and controversial road plan’: Everything decided by the planning panel

A school where students haven’t had proper sports facilities for years will finally get a brand-new 3G football pitch.

Laurus Ryecroft School, based on Lumb Lane in Droylsden, has been granted permission to build an artificial grass football pitch sized 120m x 80m. The planning panel, meeting in Droylsden, was told how the proposal also includes six 18m floodlights; an equipment storage facility; a toilet block; and two lanes for cricket nets.

Ed Haslam, a director at the Laurus Trust, told the panel how the school had been struggling to find space for PE lessons in the sports hall – which is the only option when the grass pitch is unusable.

He explained that the condition of the grass pitch gets "worse and worse, year on year" and this all-weather alternative would be of huge benefit for students.

He added: “Latest figures suggest around 30 per cent of children are obese by the time they get to Year 7. This would play a part in reducing these findings.”

There were a small number of objections relating to the potential impact of the flood lights shining into their homes later at night, but planning officers deemed them too far from the homes for this to be considered as a problem worth refusing. 

Cllr Michael Smith lauded the plans which would be built next door to where he lives in Droylsden. He said: “This looks like a fantastic facility for the area. Living locally, I don’t see the problem with this. 

“The school never causes us a problem or the traffic being mad. I think it’s a big improvement on the area for local people.”

Mr Haslam told the committee the new facility would be open for the local community to hire out in the evenings, like the trusts other schools already do.

New traffic order ‘will make no difference’ – APPROVED

Plans to put new waiting orders on a street in Ashton that have caused controversy among a local community have been approved.

A home watch group around Atlas Street had been plagued by cars pulling up at the end of their street on the junctions of Oldham Road and Farnsworth Avenue, according to their representative Walter Reid. Speaking at the meeting, he said it was "with a heavy heart" that he objected to these plans – as it was an issue that they raised that brought it to committee in the first place.

The council’s plan is to include ‘no waiting and no loading at any time’ signs as well as a ‘24-hour loading only’ section where the problem is at its worst on the junction where Atlas Street meets Oldham Street. There would also be a ‘30-minute limited waiting bay’ so that businesses are not hit by a lack of passing trade.

According to Mr Reid, all these plans are pointless because of the lack of enforcement in the area. “It has been a long standing problem with cars blocking traffic (at the end of the road),” he told the panel. “The real problem is the lack of enforcement.

“If the current traffic orders in place were enforced there would be no issues at this junction. It causes lots of difficulty for people trying to get to work or school.” He added that the idea for the 30 minute waiting zone will “exacerbate the problem”. 

Cllr Doreen Dickinson agreed that enforcement of these traffic orders was a problem, not just in the Ashton area, but across the borough. She said that this £4,000 scheme would “make no difference” if it wasn’t properly enforced.

Despite this, the new plans were unanimously agreed by the panel.

New traffic order for Mossley and warehouse for Denton – APPROVED

The panel, who met at Guardsman Tony Downes House on June 26, also unanimously approved two other items. The first was an industrial warehouse building planned for the employment area off Orbital Way/Windmill Lane, in Denton.

Wernick Hire Ltd, a family firm which hires out temporary buildings, were given approval for their new warehouse – which the business said would improve facilities for staff. The building would measure 60.6m x 21m and would be used for general industrial storage and distribution, planning papers state.

The other item approved was for a ‘No Waiting at Any Time’ restriction on a number of junctions off Manchester Road in Mossley. These restrictions are to be imposed at the junctions with Hob Mill Rise, Waters Reach, Woodend Manor in order to improve visibility and reduce health and safety risk.

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