STATEMENT on the Oldham Batteries site

Ioldhams wanted to provide you with an update on the long-running Oldham Batteries saga.

Firstly, what appears to be some ‘good’ news, and that is that Langtree (the site owner) are holding a public information event on Monday 20th of October, between 3pm and 7pm at Denton Methodist Church on Hyde Road.

I am told this will be to explain to you their latest plans for the site.

Now for the not-so-good news.

Sadly, because of the recession, Langtree tell me they are finding it difficult to market the site for their original retail and leisure scheme.  I’m personally not at all convinced that they’ve tried very hard and given this is a prime town centre site, with the potential for good motorway links, feel it could be a wasted opportunity for us.

My understanding is they want to submit a planning application for a very large residential development on most of the site.  Whilst this may at least bring the site back into use, I do question whether the contaminants from the previous industrial use make residential an acceptable end-use, not least because the remediation of the land (especially for gardens) would have to be substantial to remove all the traces of lead, asbestos, acid and other pollutants associated with over a century of battery production.

The other potential ‘bad’ news is that they are trying to wriggle out of putting in the new link road between Ashton Road and Hyde Road, which was a requirement for the retail application.

That would mean all the cars from any large new residential housing would solely use Edward Street.  This increases the likelihood of more rat-running through the existing residential estates off Edward Street to avoid traffic congestion on Hyde Road and at Crown Point.  I am told by Tameside Council this is a massive concern to them, not least because the Traffic Impact Assessment carried out by Langtree’s Agents use a formula of less than one car per dwelling, which is frankly nonsense!

Finally, and the thing that angers me the most, is that Langtree have effectively walked away from the CPO process on the old Co-op building (the Wallpaper Shop) on Ashton Road.  They had asked the Council to compulsorily purchase the building so that the link road could be built.  As a result, the Council secured an option to purchase the building, and because of this the building was effectively stripped bare.  Now Langtree won’t be drawing down on this option, it has left Denton blighted with a near derelict shell on a prominent gateway.

In my opinion, Langtree and their Agent, Spawforth, have a lot to answer for.  They have left this site to rot for over a decade and made umpteen promises to the local community that they have not kept.  They have blighted Ashton Road through their inaction and duplicity, and whilst it may be welcome to see something happen with some of the site in the near future, we do run the risk of having a second-rate development, and worse, no remediation for the very real traffic problems it will create for central Denton.

No planning application has yet been submitted to Tameside Council, but as soon as it is, I will let you know so that you can make your views known.

UPDATE: You can now sign my petition to the Council to sort out the traffic problems at the Oldham Batteries site

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21 thoughts on “STATEMENT on the Oldham Batteries site

  1. is there going to be anything official in writing that will be posted to the local residents? I think we need a good turn out for this. If anything can be printed, I will gladly give up my time to post them through every house in the area?

    • Thanks for the offer Amanda. My office will be posting out letters based on the above statement to all the houses on Edward street and all the streets off. If you’re in a different part of town I can run some generic ones off for you to deliver? I’m also looking to circulate a petition to the Council to ask them to look at measures to help alleviate the rat-running in the area if you can help with that!

  2. I think it’s pretty appalling how Langtree have been allowed to leave the site in the state that it is in. We have complained to the council on numerous occasions regarding the fly-tipping that is happening behind the shops on Hyde Road. It is an eye sore! The patch of land cleared for the NHS buildings looked great but what about the rest of the site. Having lived on this street all my life, the state of this area is ridiculous. The constant traffic going down this road every morning is getting out of hand, it can sometimes take me 5-10 to just to get off my drive. Sort it Langtree /Tameside, it’s gone beyond a joke!

  3. I’m happy to deliver letters. As you know I’ve been harassing the council for months and months about the fly tipping on this area. I’ve got to say that I’m not particularly impressed with their efforts to get this area cleaned up and even less impressed with these new plans. Please get in touch when they’re available as I’m more than happy to help. My friend and I head up a local home watch group and i’m we can get some of the other residents involved.

  4. Andrew, I live on Hyde Rd, almost facing the bottom end of the site. I would be happy to post letters to all along Hyde road and the streets off Hyde Rd. I think it will effect more than just Edward St residents, we suffer everyday with the traffic outside our house.

      • Yep and another housing estate feeding onto it will make it even worse (even with using the developer’s Mickey Mouse traffic figures of less than one car per house!) We desperately needed the link road, and action to tackle the existing problems. With the local Councillors, we’ll be starting a petition for the Council to look at taking special measures on the traffic issues if the developer still won’t do the link road

      • Maybe a petition should be started to get Langtree to sort out the state of that land and the fly-tipping! The area has been in such a state for far too long

  5. What a shame for Denton. As much as the town has become a very central place for shoppers there is nothing for families and the younger generation to do and a leisure park would have thrived here . The shops they have left to rot could have been used to some good. The traffic is already appalling and now with no through road there seems to be no end to this situation. I really hope the council are able to intervene in this situation and put that site to good use not yet another housing estate .

  6. I am one guilty of using Edward st to get across to Bentley rd to avoid Crown Point lights and the traffic there, it must be frustrating for all residents, we don’t live there and find it really bad goodness knows what it is like to live nearby, the site is an eyesore and it has been like that for too long,it really needs to be going forward and getting sorted out, nice to see you and your team out and about yesterday Andrew, will watch for more news thank you

  7. Well done Andrew as a resident living very close by Thanks for keeping us informed of everything that is going on and time permitting i will try to help you the best i can . The old Wallpaper shop is one of the first building that greet you when arriving in Denton an eyesore is a understatement. Coming from the Ashton side you have the old Ron Hill Sports shop another iconic Building left to a state of rack and ruin. Then if you arrive on the A57 side near the busiest Railway station in the Greater Manchester (LOL). You have a scrub of land that no one seems to bother with. Hopefully when Labour get full control we can put the D back in Denton Delightful Denton and not the E for an eyesore . Langtree = The land that time forgot !

  8. I’m not sure if this is the correct forum for this query which seems mainly concerned with traffic implications of the new proposal but I am concerned about the impact that an estate of this size will have in the availability of Doctors, Schools and other public services which already seem strained in Denton. What consideration will be given to this when considering planning permission?

    • Emma all those things are “material planning considerations” and grounds to object to any application when the time comes. You’re dead right that there are wider impacts on public services.

  9. The traffic situation is bad enough since we had the Retail Park. The land near TSB Denton is absolutely disgraceful, the trees are overgrown, litter, the ‘rat run’ from Ashton Road down Lime Grove onto Hyde Road and visa versa? Denton is becoming an area of ‘Nail Parlours’ Curry Houses and other food outlets along with landowners being neglectful of their obligations.

  10. Attended the consultation event last night. Fair play to Langtree for taking the time to talk through their plans with anyone willing to listen. Clearly there is an existing traffic issue already in Denton which is nothing to do with Langtree and neither is it their responsibility to sort out with the Oldham Old Batteries development. Very pleased to see that there seems to be a viable solution to regenerating the site which the area desperately needs. Cant come soon enough for me.

    • Tom the point is it is their responsibilty to remediate the traffic because their development (whatever it is) will feed into already congested roads. It will add traffic. It is also their responsibility as landowner to remediate the land. I accept they didnt pollute the land, but they bought it knowing the level of contamination and must put that right before anything is built.

  11. I would certainly not buy a house on that land! As for the traffic problem, when the St. Annes estate plans were originally submitted there was no through road from Shepley to Hyde Road – it was to be blocked off half way through and at the Penny Farthing. The Planning Department in their wisdom decided to allow the change by the developer and it is only due to a petition raised at the time that St. Annes Road is not now a through road – it is bad enough as it is! This a RESIDENTIAL area and the roads are simply not suitable for the amount of traffic using the “rat run” it has become.

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