Early plans for massive housing development and primary school next to local beauty spot lodged

CGI of how the new Bloor Homes development in Littleborough could look
-Credit: (Image: Bloor Homes)

Initial plans to build more than 300 new homes, a primary school and a car parking extension in Littleborough have been submitted to the council.

Developer Bloor Homes wants to transform around 21.3 hectares of farmland next to Hollingworth Lake. The first set of plans, which are for ‘scoping opinion’, have been lodged.

Bloor Homes has already launched its consultation regarding the potential for 315 homes beside land designated for a new primary school and the extension of the visitor car park at Hollingworth Lake Country Park.

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The site, off Hollingworth Road, is one allocation of the Places for Everyone plan for the delivery of thousands of new homes across Greater Manchester. The PfE plan was agreed by all councils earlier this year.

Plans to develop this section of greenbelt land have been the subject of controversy in the area for some time. The three Littleborough Lakeside councillors voted against the PfE plan earlier in 2024 specifically because of this site being one of the allocations, despite the majority of their Labour peers pushing it through.

CGI of how the new Bloor Homes development in Littleborough could look
CGI of how the new Bloor Homes development in Littleborough could look -Credit:Bloor Homes

Alongside concern for the greenbelt is more practical issues such as road infrastructure, residents in Littleborough have previously told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the area is ‘full up’. With sunny weekends frequently leading to gridlocked roads from all sides, if this were to be approved - two new housing developments, a school and farm shop are all set to be within 200 yards of each other on the same stretch of road.

A Bloor Homes spokesperson said: “We are pleased with the level of engagement we’ve had from residents in Littleborough. A significant amount of thought and planning has gone into these proposals to ensure they deliver the high-quality development Littleborough deserves.

“Our proposals are rooted in a landscape-centric design that appreciates the sites unique context. If approved, we will build around 315 new family homes including affordable provision. The whole site will be set around a central parkland with tree-lined paths and children’s play areas incorporated.

“The land designated for a primary school is in-line with the adopted Places for Everyone plan and its stipulations for the site. Having adopted this Plan in March, Rochdale Borough Council have provided a clear set of priorities for this development.

"The land designated for the school necessitates moving the existing car park to an expanded provision off Rakewood Road. The expanded car park at Hollingworth Lake Country Park will maintain a woodland setting. Incorporating new native planting, accessible parking spaces, coach parking provision and a wildflower meadow.

“Our public consultation closes at midnight tonight, so we encourage local residents to let us know their views by visiting the project website: https://bloorlittleborough.consultationonline.co.uk/”

Bernard Greep of Stantec - the appointed planning consultants - added: “Our request for scoping opinion is an entirely standard feature for a planning application of this depth as we prepare the final proposals for the site.”