Oldham Council has outlined a refreshed Town Centre Vision which will see it increase its town centre housing ambitions from 2,000 to 2,400 homes and introduce green open space in the heart of Oldham.
Reaffirming its commitment to build back better, Cabinet is set to approve revisions to its strategic regeneration programme ‘Creating a Better Place.’ The new plans will see more homes built on brownfield land to fit a range of needs, and a brand-new linear park in the town centre. Cllr Sean Fielding, Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: “The pandemic has shown the need for modern, quality homes that meet the needs of residents at different times in their lives and have town centre facilities on the doorstep.
“Our revised plans put further emphasis on our brownfield first commitment and give us the base from which to boost jobs and apprenticeships and grow the economy.”
Creating a Better Place was launched in January, setting out investment plans to create business opportunities, jobs, homes and a greener and cleaner borough. With the pandemic hitting council budgets hard, these plans have now been reviewed to ensure they deliver on the needs of the borough, with some projects amended or reprioritised.
Cllr Sean Fielding added: “Creating a Better Place set out our vision and priorities, but was designed to give us flexibility in delivery. We’re now seeing the benefit of that approach, as we’ve been able to quickly recalibrate to account for the changing situation.
“Projects that will make a real difference to job creation, opportunities for young people and that make the borough greener right now have been pushed forward. The building blocks like new homes, a new Tommyfield Market and a food hall in the Egyptian Rooms are what we need to build back better.”
As part of the revisions, two projects that have become less viable because of the pandemic – OMA [Oldham Museum and Archives] and Wrigley Head Solar Farm – may not progress as planned.
Cllr Fielding said: “Of course we’d like to do everything in the original plan, but while we face a massive budget challenge because of the pandemic, residents would rightly expect us to prioritise projects that will help people get back on their feet as soon as possible.”
Oldham Council is continuing to campaign for fair funding from government to compensate for the losses incurred tackling the coronavirus pandemic. To support the Save Oldham’s Services campaign and sign our letter visit www.oldham.gov.uk/sosoldham