I AM supporting residents in the Freehold and Chadderton area affected by a range of connected issues with development and anti-social behaviour.
- Oldham Council has agreed funding to prepare a revised master plan for Freehold. Although it doesn’t go as far as residents and I would have liked, it does deal with the vacant sites which cause the most problems to local residents, including Hartford Mill and this is welcomed. We will continue to press for action on the poor quality play areas and industrial sites.
- Council and emergency services have press owner to secure Hartford Mill and meetings have taken place to push its redevelopment
- Metrolink agree to install netting to prevent stone ballast being thrown at nearby houses
THE Freehold area has been the focus of a great deal of investment with the demolition and refurbishment of poor standard terrace housing. The arrival of Metrolink to the area together with investment in housing promised to regenerate the area.
In 2010 the new coalition government cancelled the Housing Market Renewal Programme leaving the area half built and blighted. Local people who invested in new homes were left with unfinished roads and pavements as well as facing derelict sites which quickly attracted dumping.
After a site visit and lobbying the local council have agreed to develop a master plan for the area. Although it doesn’t go as far as I and residents would like, for instance it fails to address the derelict play areas and vacant commercial units, it does at least provide some solution for the vacate sites and the Hartford Mill.
THE Freehold and Chadderton area is overshadowed by the Hartford Mill, once part of the original powerhouse and now derelict. Attempts to convert the mill have failed owing to low land values and high refurbishment costs coupled with the deep internal spaces.
The owners have struggled to make progress in demolishing the mill because of it’s Grade 2 listed status, partly owing to it being one of the oldest with concrete floors! It’s the same concrete floors which makes the building solid, and although it is an eyesore it is generally structurally sound.
Following a recent death at the site police, fire and the local authority are pushing the owner to provide security and make safe the site. I have supported these calls and made representations to government to support its redevelopment.
THE attraction of the derelict mill and new Metrolink stop have been an attraction to young people to cause anti-social behaviour and criminal damage.
I have been working with local residents, councillors and the police to make progress on security on the tram route and physical measures.
In the most recent incident a tram was struck by stones being thrown, breaking a window and injuring a women passenger.
After a year of campaigning tram bosses have now agreed additional security and the installation of netting to protect nearby houses (which sit lower than the tram track).