What do we stand for?
Well, we’re not against development for the sake of it, let’s be clear about that from the start.
We agree that people need places to live in.
What we believe is that development needs to be appropriate.
By that we’re saying that in Rochdale Borough there are so called brownfield sites that desperately need redeveloping before the Council considers using Greenbelt land and greenspaces – the lungs of the area.
Rochdale’s town centre is an example of where planners should be looking harder for solutions. Whilst it has a new bus & Metrolink interchange and plans for a retail/leisure development on the site of the former Council offices [Black Box] and bus station, not far away it’s a different picture altogether.
Many of the shops along the Esplanade and on Drake Street are empty and look abandoned. Along with these is the old Odeon cinema/Focus DIY site at the junction of Oldham Road which has laid bare for some time.
If the Council had true vision and was bold, it would look seriously to reinvigorate these areas with much needed affordable housing.
This would then be, as has been suggested elsewhere, close to transport links so that residents can easily get to the jobs the Council says it will help create.
We’ve used Rochdale town centre as an example, but are sure that much the same can be said of Middleton, Heywood and the village centres throughout the Borough.
Join your local Save The Greenbelt campaign because ‘we have a once in a generation” chance to do the right thing, as Council Leader Richard Farnell has said.
Tell the planners to redevelop brownfield sites before they even think about covering the Greenbelt with concrete.
But at the same time, tell them you expect them create the infrastructure to go with these developments: hospitals; GP centres; and schools amongst others, otherwise things will only get worst.
Let’s make the whole of Rochdale Borough a place to be truly proud of and with a thriving, vibrant future.