A GOLF course 24 years in the planning faces another lengthy delay, provoking stinging criticism from one of the scheme’s fiercest critics.
Shaw ward councillor, Howard Sykes, who is also leader of the opposition and leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, doubts the plans for Beal Valley will ever come to fruition.
A request on behalf of the Casey Group has been submitted to Oldham Council to vary conditions of previous planning approval for the land between Cop Road, Bullcote Lane and Ripponden Road.
The developers now want another extension for three years and nine months.
A report submitted by Civitas Planning Limited states: “It is clear the restoration of the site will not be achieved within the timescale.
“This restoration can be finished during the summer months in favourable weather conditions.
“The amended condition would therefore read as follows: ‘The restoration of the site (which shall include the laying out, seeding, planting and landscaping of the golf course to a playing standard, together with the final treatment of the remaining non-playing area of the site) as set out in the approved application documents and plans shall be carried out to completion by 13.10.2021.”
Many local residents wanted the area to be transformed into a country park. But Oldham Council gave the green light for a golf course development.
A petition was even started condemning the project as a “waste of money”.
Now, Cllr Sykes says: “The Beal Valley is a long-standing broken promise by Labour to people living in Shaw, Crompton, Royton South, St James’ wards and elsewhere in the borough.
“When planning permission was first granted to permit dumping of waste on the site, the then Labour administration saw the pound signs over many years from the fees this activity would bring the Council.
“Now almost a quarter century later the people of Oldham and the four wards around the site have seen their hopes that tipping would end and the site would made good dashed time and again.
“This 24-year saga seems to have been beset by a series of unfortunate disappointments and setbacks.
“I do hope if this deferment is granted Casey’s will finally be able to carry out the work as promised.
“But I will not be holding my breath and will predict now there will be no so-called golf course there in three years’ time.
“We always said it was a tip when Labour claimed it was necessary ‘landscaping and re-shaping’ to provide a golf course”, he added.
“Time has proved us right and we were also right that nobody wanted a golf course, otherwise it would have opened years ago!”