June 2023

Get Involved


The revised GMSF consultation has now been published and is open for comment

Click Here

Where does it leave residents who suddenly find themselves living within the newly designated Greenbelt?

“I’m stuck” said a local resident affected by the plan. “I won’t be able to put up a garden shed without planning permission.”

Yes, planning permission on Greenbelt land can by extremely difficult to obtain, if not impossible.

But it should come as no surprise that local Councils and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority [GMCA] seem to think it’s perfectly alright to sweep a broad brush over people’s lives when it suits.

A number of local residents have previously asked for permission to place very small buildings on current Greenbelt only to be knocked back with “it’s Greenbelt, we can’t allow to build on there – it’s illegal.”

Well – all of a sudden, the rules are being changed because apparently those very same local Councils and GMCA have decided.

Is this the right way to treat local resident? And how can they trust their elected representatives?

Let’s Get Planning for the Future

Whilst the Greenbelt campaign has been successful, we need to think about how look forward.

We believe that we should try to future-proof the Area [Slattocks; Stakehill; Thornham Fold].

The Government has given us the tools so we can do this through the Locality Act 2011, with  Neighbourhood Planning.

Setting up a Neighbourhood Forum and Plan Area is the way forward.

With a Neighbourhood Forum and Plan we can do our best to influence and shape planning in our Area.

Local residents have formed a Neighbourhood Forum and applied to Rochdale Council to have it officially recognised [designated – is the official term], along with a Neighbourhood Plan Area.

The name “Thornham St John’s Neighbourhood Forum” [TSJNF] has come from our using the local parish boundary. This was decided on as appropriate as it was a long established boundary line with only minor adjustments, due to the M62 at Trows and housing on Rochdale Road opposite Cardinal Langley School.

Below is our designation statement to Rochdale Council and Plan Area map.

If you live in the Area outlined on the map and are interested in becoming a member of the Forum, email ‘’

TSJNF – Statement to RMBC

Speculation of housing development in Slattocks

Rumours abound that developers are taking a closer look at land in the Slattocks.

SOS-Save Our Slattocks understands that until the next draft of the GMSF is published [expected June 2018], then the developers via their agents are just ‘testing the water’.

The questions that residents are asking are:

  • Are local landowners willing to sell?
  • Has Rochdale Council been approached for approval?
  • Is there a need for large-scale development in the area?

SOS-Save Our Slattocks believes that only very limited development is right for Slattocks & Stakehill.

We want the greenbelt and open space where we live to be enjoyed by residents and visitors for many years ahead and not become more clogged up and built up in the name of progress.

We’ll keep our ears to the ground and let you know when we have more information.

Until then, tell us what you think at our Facebook group “Slattocks Greenbelt”

Neighbourhood Forum Meeting – A Success

Local residents, businesses and stakeholders joined together at Smalley Hall on Thornham Lane to learn about the process of setting up a Neighbourhood Forum and Planning Area.

The three invited presenters were able to bring a wealth of knowledge to the event.

The first of these was Dr Quintin Bradley, Senior Lecturer in Housing & Planning at Leeds Beckett University, who gave a very in-depth presentation on the subject. He said that there are now around 2200 Forums across England producing Neighbourhood Plans. Dr Bradley stressed that whilst the process can be daunting, it is definitely worth doing as it gives local residents, through their Forum and Plan, legal standing. This then means that the local Council must consult the Forum on planning applications in their Plan Area. He added that if you don’t do it, you leave the area open to uncontrolled and potentially inappropriate development.

Next up was Alan Rawsterne from the Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Forum. Alan was able to draw on his experience of setting up a Forum having started the process in October 2015 and their journey so far. Alan said that the community is using the process to help maintain & enhance the local environment so that residents and visitors alike can enjoy it well into the future.

Third we heard from Sohida Banu, Planning Officer with Rochdale Council. Sohida gave details of both the Council’s responsibilities and those of local residents, in setting up a Forum and Planning Area all the way to completing the process. She said that the Council was there to help the community and that Government funding is available to Forums so that they can engage professional help.

Feedback from the audience was very positive, many saying they found all the presentations very informative and giving them greater insight into the subject.

Event organisers and local residents Gordon Tilstone and Ian Briggs expressed their thanks to the presenters and said they were very pleased with the turn out.

“With continued support and input from the community, we can take the process of producing a Neighbourhood Plan forward and thus help protect and enhance the area for the benefit of all” said Gordon.

Ian Briggs added “Having a Neighbourhood Plan will mean we have legal rights, can influence  what happens and make sure it is what people in the area actually want. We’re in favour of development but it has to be right for the community.”

One of the next steps will be to distribute a questionnaire across the Plan Area to further engage the local community in the process and make sure everyone’s view is taken into account.

For more information contact:

Could you put on a display?

We now have a number of these estate agent-type signs for display around the area.

Could you be one of those households/properties where these signs would be seen by passers-by?

The signs have been paid from the funds you’ve helped to raise over the last year so it’s a big thank you to everyone who has contributed and supported the campaign.

So let’s remind everyone how passionate we are in ensuring that the local greenbelt is not lost under tons of concrete and that we, and visitors to the area, are still able to enjoy it and get a breath of fresh air.

Get your sign and show people that you’re doing your best to Save The Greenbelt by emailing . If you’re not able to erect the sign yourself, this can be arranged.


Neighbourhood Forum & Plan

The Government’s Localism Act 2011 introduced major reforms to the planning system that gives local communities new rights to shape and plan their neighbourhood.

Using this legislation we can develop our own Neighbourhood Plan and:

  • choose where new homes, shops and offices should be built;
  • have a say on what those new buildings should look like, influence the design and functionality of open spaces; and
  • grant planning permission for new developments the community wants to see go ahead.

With this in mind, SOS-Save Our Slattocks welcomes local residents who are interested to join a steering group.

To find out more, come along to Thornham Cricket Club – 7pm – Wednesday 13th September 2017